The end of awesome


First aired on DNTO (12/05/12)

Every journey has an end, no matter how awesome it's been.

For the past four years, blogger Neil Pasricha has been documenting everything in his life and in the world he thinks is "awesome." Nothing is too small or trivial for his list, which he began counting down from 1,000 entries. From awesome thing #909 (the intoxicating smell of a bakery) to awesome #14 (a good turnout on your birthday), Pasricha's blog and the series of books it inspired became a pop culture phenomenon, turning the thirty-something everyman into a star author.

And now it's over. Pasricha posted the #1 most awesome thing ("Anything you want it to be") on his blog this past April, signalling an end to his project. He recently stopped by Definitely Not the Opera to reflect back on his meteoric rise from a lonely guy going through a divorce who started the blog to help him get through some difficult times.

"I'm not saying it's a cure-all," Pasricha said of the blogging. "I think that time helps, talking to people helps, distance helps and focusing on positive things helps. I'm not saying that you can just drink this tonic of creating a blog, and writing a blog about hearing strangers fart in public, and suddenly you're a happy-go-lucky guy staring at the clouds, and whistling a tune. It's not like that, it's more complex, but it certainly was part of what made me happier, and I think the Book of Awesome and 1000 Awesome Things [blog] has hopefully had that effect on other people as well."

book-of-awesome.jpgPasricha said that reaching the end of his awesome countdown has been "bittersweet," but the project had become so big it was taking over his time. After working eight hours at his job, he would go home and get busy writing blog posts, responding to fan emails and media requests, often paying little attention to the dinners his girlfriend would cook or skipping out on watching Modern Family with her, one of his favourite TV shows. Ironically, he was starting to lose sight of the awesomeness in his life.

"I think it's time to follow my own advice. For four years I've been telling people through the books of awesome, 'Hey, stop, smell the roses, don't take life too seriously, recognize we're not going to be here very long, and stop and appreciate all the small little wonders we have around us every day."

And what's been the most popular small little wonder he's blogged about? Apparently, the most recommended post is the one about how great it is to pee after having to hold it in.

"So I suppose that, young or old, rich or poor, black or white, you can relate to finally peeing after holding it forever."