Sunday, 1 January 2012

Day 1

Well, as much as it's a symbolic day to start this challenge, it's also the worst day to do it. Everyone is busy, hungover or still on holiday, so I pretty much know there's no point going onto the underground to look. But yet I still feel compelled. I think in some ways it's going to be my coping mechanism to deal with the grief. I don't mind this too much, and understand I'm going to want to throw myself into something, but I am concerned it could take me over, especially when the one I've lost was so woven into the challenges I am doing.

Nonetheless, I get my head together and with my friend Sonny, visit a few stations and trains. As expected, not one instrument. Not a single musician seen. I don't think I'll realise how hard this is until at least the end of January, but I like the fact that this month is like a training ground for me. I can start to learn what works and what doesn't. Today I learned the following:

WHAT WORKS
1. Actually being on the underground - If I'm not doing it, I'm not going to succeed
2. Carrying a notebook/pen - If I do bump into anyone, having a chance to either jot down their details or provide mine is essential
3. Filming - Taking a small video camera and documenting this is going to be very important, even just for the evidence in court...

WHAT DOESN'T WORK
1. Looking like a thief or a rapist - Standing around stations and shiftily looking into carriages doesn't make me look like a man on a challenge. It makes me look like a criminal.
2. Being desperate - I know I'm in mourning and not in the best place, but still having that look of sadness and desperation in my eyes isn't going to help. I know I can't just remove it. But at least I can be aware of it.
3. Saying things like "it's like a football sticker collection, except I'm collecting strangers" - see point 1.

So, first day down. No luck on the main challenge and with the other challenges, I've managed to stop smoking and biting my nails. That's at least two started. No onto the other 10....

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