Here I am, writing the very last post of my 30-day daily writing challenge. I never thought I could pull off something like that. In the last month, I have written at least 45,000 words.
To me, that’s a hell of a lot of words.
The time to analyze the experiment and draw lessons from it will come later when I am back from my vacation. Today’s post is about something different. It is a gratitude letter to someone I have never met in person, but whose support during the past 30 days was absolutely incredible.
Thank you, Jim Farina for being there for me during that journey.
When I announced my intention to put out a daily Medium post for 30 days straight in a writing group I’m a part of — Jim was the first to cheer me on. I remember him saying that now I was “held accountable” and that he would be reading and clapping for those stories.
It was nice to receive such encouragement. But I didn’t anticipate how much he would actually support me.
From day one, Jim clapped for every single one of my daily stories. Every single day. Exactly 49 claps. Always.
He also let me know that he’s reading those stories on his morning commute to work. Because of the different time zones between Poland and the US, by the time he would be getting to work I have already written and published my story for the day.
Or at least, that’s how I imagined it was happening — please correct me if I am wrong, Jim. ;)
After a week or so of this routine, I realized that, indeed, Jim was getting on Medium daily and opening my story. Possibly reading it. Then clapping 49 times, day in and day out.
This worked like magic in terms of motivating me to complete the challenge. Sure, I had plenty of internal motivation in the beginning — but there were days when getting a post out seemed almost impossible. Yet, I couldn’t skip a day.
That’s because I imagined Jim getting on the train to work, opening Medium and seeing that… I haven’t published?! Would he be disappointed? I don’t know. But I felt like I couldn’t let this happen.
If he was there for me to read my stories, I needed to do my part. I needed to put a story out there. Because it felt as if somebody on the other side of the world was waiting for it.
Dear Jim — this is something I would never expect anybody to do for me. I wouldn’t ask the closest friend or a family member to keep track of my daily posts for a month. Yet, you have done it voluntarily, without asking anything in return.
You offered this virtual — but very real — presence of yours so naturally that it became a part of my daily challenge. You provided me with the continuous reassurance just by showing up. I admit, at some point, I started looking forward to seeing that you clapped on my new post. Yet, I never took it for granted. Seeing that you showed up for me yet again made me feel increasingly grateful every day.
I want to let you know that by doing what you’ve done, you have indeed changed my life in a way. I don’t want to say that I wouldn’t complete the challenge if it wasn’t for you — I probably would. But it would have been completely different. I would be missing the element of wonder that you provided.
That feeling of wonder is about discovering how a simple act one person offers can have a tremendous impact on the life of another. You and I don’t really know each other beyond a few brief online exchanges. But the feelings I have for you today are feelings of friendship. This is what you sparked by simply being there for me, daily.
This is both incredible and inherently human. Magical, as much as it is natural.
I felt like dedicating this last post of the challenge to you — because you have been in this with me for the past month. I pretty much feel like we did it together. So you deserve a part of the credit for completing this challenge.
You played your part by showing up daily — just like I did.
At the end of the 30 days of daily writing, I am coming out with a few important lessons. One of them is about how much one person can change the life of another by simply caring. This doesn’t have to be about sacrifice, though. You have demonstrated that help and support can be conveyed through something simple and straightforward — yet, deeply meaningful.
I am sending you a big thank-you from the bottom of my heart, Jim. The past 30 days were a remarkable journey to me. And I feel like I haven’t been alone on this journey — thanks to you.