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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, February 3

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Bucket List Tue Jul 10 2012

My Chicago Bucket List: Become Everything I Am

Previous Entry: Run a 5K
Next Entry: My name in print

Number 33: Make a movie, face more fears and become everything I am.

Here is the thing about bucket lists; they grow, not diminish, as the year progresses. The more "to-do's" you check off your bucket list, the more to-do's you begin to add.
With half of 2012 gone I have officially etched off seven of the original 25 things to do on "My 2012 Chicago Bucket List." And I have added eight more. And I have 20 more added in my head. And another five that I can't yet put into words but are definitely bucket-list-worthy.

To me the beauty of the bucket list has been that with time I realize those "things" I wanted to do before, these tangible events, have morphed into these ephemeral experiences I want to have or really these experiences I want to create. These new experiences are not the makings of a traditional bucket list; they are not sky diving, or eating at Hot Doug's or things that you have been "meaning to do for years." This new desire to create experiences has resulted in some of the most random, previously unthinkable and often terrifying desires.

Like in May 2012, when I decided I wanted to make a movie montage... by myself... with iMovie... and then show it to a roomful of people.

Facing Our Fears from Niki Fritz on Vimeo.

Let me explain to you why this is terrifying to me. I will admit that in ego-filled moments, I like to fancy myself as an artist. I create art by stringing pretty words together in an agreeable fashion. This stringing of words is second nature to me, telling stories is in my blood.

What doesn't come naturally to me, what I am not good at, is visually creating a story. I am literally unable to color inside the lines, my drawing of any mammal with four legs ends up looking like a dog, and even my instagram photos are usually boring. Attempting to tell a story without words meant a very large possibility of sucking. Showing that story to people meant possibly sucking in front of people.

But after I checked number seven off my bucket list (dancing in front of 750 people) I realized this story, the story of facing my fears, the story of my 40 new friends facing their fears, needed to be shown and not just told in my usual over-sharing, blogtastic way.

My first thought was to create a scrapbook, but I scoffed at the idea since my general lack of artistic vision using serrated scissors and my extreme anti-glue-stick stance. And then I saw the little unused iMovie symbol at the bottom of my Macbook and decided to make a movie, a digital scrapbook of our journey. And so May became a month of picture sorting, Ken Burns-ing and music selection.

By the end of May I had created a video. It was not perfect. It was definitely amateur. But I was proud of it. I was proud of creating a story with minimal words in a medium totally foreign to me.

Yet when it came time to introduce and show my video to a real live audience, I was shaking. It was not just that I was showing my first attempt at video creation. It was not just that the audience might think the movie sucked. It was that this video was a story, my story, which had become less about facing fears and more about being vulnerable. This video was essentially my heart on my screen to the beat of Kid Cudi.

With shaky hands and unsure heart, I showed my first video. There was clapping, and congratulations and general kindness and encouragement from one of the best audiences in the world.

And then I wanted to do it all over again. I wanted to create something, to tell a story in a new, possibly scary way. In possibly one of the most vulnerable ways imaginable, I realized I want more. I want to be everything that I am.

One of the greatest gifts I have received from the bucket list so far this year is the realization that everything (in a loosest most forgiving sense of the word) is possible but that everything is not always what you imagined. Everything may not be number 1-25 on a list I wrote down six months ago, but there is plenty of room for everything in number 75-1,000.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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