It was a year ago yesterday that I hit publish on the final Cup of my 52 Cups adventure.
I know this is cliche, but it was a moment I’ll never forget.
I was staying in a trendy Airbnb apartment in the Mission District, sitting at this beautiful wooden table with incredible sunlight streaming through the window. It was quiet. Calm. Just me, my computer and my thoughts.
I should have finished the project before December 1st but I kept dragging my feet in the same way one drags their feet when telling a loved one goodbye. I knew the project had to end but I wasn’t ready to accept that fact. The term pet-project was fitting for 52 Cups. The blog required constant attention and nurturing. It nestled itself into the center of my life and I in turn grew wildly fond of it. It followed me around through a milestone year, college graduation and over six months of nomadic living. It became a part of me.
But on the morning of December 6th, I woke up knowing it was time to complete the goal. I grabbed my notebook and headed to the funky Mexican/American hybrid cafe, Boogaloos, where I ordered eggs, bacon, and my last Cup of coffee.
It was a slow Tuesday, which made the restaurant a peaceful place to hang out with my thoughts. The plan was to get a rough draft on paper and polish it on my computer later that afternoon. The goal was not to over think it. I knew I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to say in under 1,000 words so I wasn’t going to force the post, I decided to just speak from the heart.
Writing, as I learned early in the project, is a labor of love. After nearly an hour in the coffee shop I returned to the apartment to finalize my thoughts—a process that involved many despairing moments where my elbows ended up on the table with my face buried in my hands wondering why I decided to attempt writing in the first place (this happened at some point during every Cup). When I’d reached the end of the post and felt satisfied with the results, I reached out to my friend Jeannine online. I hadn’t told anyone I was working on the post but I wanted someone to give it a once-over before posting and Jeannine was a willing volunteer. (At the time of asking for her help, I never would have predicted that a year later we’d be taking a trip to Antarctica together, but like 52 Cups taught me time and time again, you never know where a connection will lead).
When Jeannine send it back with her seal of approval I read through it one more time, plugged it into Tumblr, took a deep breath and hit publish.
Then I sat there.
Waiting for something to happen.
I don’t know what I was waiting for. As silly as sounds, I had a strange premonition that my computer would explode.
Instead, what happened was silence. The type of silence that reveals a void and simultaneously carries the weight of the world because while you don’t know what happens next, you know life will never be the same.
That’s when the first red Facebook notification button popped up. Someone liked the post. Then someone else. And another.
It was the beginning of a flood of digital well-wishes: emails, tweets, comments and texts celebrating and congratulating the 52nd Cup.
It was both overwhelming and wonderful to realize something that meant so much to me meant a lot to others. It was a moment filled with gratitude and elation—a moment, or string of moments rather, that I’ll never forget.
The people I met and stories I heard through the 52 Cups experiment spring-boarded me into one heck of an adventurous year that led me back to to where I was exactly a year ago: San Francisco. Except this time I’m a resident, not a visitor. As much as I loved the nomadic lifestyle I found it increasingly more difficult to write and focus on projects while on the road. I realized I wanted to slow down so I could regain my focus and get back to working on challenging projects. I love challenging projects.
It’s been five months since I made that decision and while life hasn’t slowed down much, I feel settled into this new city and ready to start a new project where the old one left off.
Here’s to 2013 and what is sure to be another adventurous year!
Thank you for following the journey.