The Origins

Hi. I’m Andrea Ruschin, and I’m scared shitless.

For the vast majority of my life I have been very, very successful in hiding away from basically everything. I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager, but have talked myself out of pursuing my goals on a near constant basis. In my reckless pursuit of mediocrity I have signed myself up for classes I never attended, talked myself into projects I never pursued, and dreamed many dreams that died on the vine. In short, I’ve let myself lose out to my fears for the last twenty-seven years, and I’m fucking tired of it.

The same woman who stuck it to racism wherever she could spent her early life totally fearful.

Enter Eleanor Roosevelt.

In 1960 our girl Ellie published a book entitled You Learn by Living, and in the chapter “Fear – The Great Enemy” she discusses exactly the same thing I experience daily: the crippling fear and anxiety she experienced in her early life. That’s right, the same woman who flew with Amelia Earhart, helped draft the Universal Bill of Human Rights, and stuck it to racism wherever she could, spent her early life totally fearful.

How did she beat it? She actively confronted fear every day. She forced herself to do the things that scared her, and taught herself that confidence comes from winning a little bit every day. Basically, in true Roosevelt fashion, Eleanor conquered her fears by kicking the shit out of them.

Do something every single day for at least a calendar year that scares the ever-loving crap out of me.

So in an effort to channel my inner Roosevelt, I have undertaken “The Roosevelt Project”: namely, to do something every single day for at least a calendar year that scares the ever-loving crap out of me. It won’t be hard – that’s basically everything. This is an accountability project for myself, and any others who wish to join me along the way.

Starting June 20, 2016, I will strive to live a life that actively crushes my fears, large and small. Every single day between that day and June 20, 2017 (at least) must involve me pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and challenging myself to escape the trap I’ve kept myself in for my entire life.

This blog here will document the daily challenges I put out for myself, and the shenanigans that ensue.

How do I plan to do it? Simple. This blog here will document the daily challenges I put out for myself, and the shenanigans that ensue. And, because I’m an overachiever obsessed with perfection, I’ll also be setting weekly challenges for myself to be documented with video evidence for additional embarrassment. Every Monday I will upload my weekly challenge to YouTube, and by Sunday night at 11:59 PM I have to provide video evidence that I actually completed that challenge (barring an act of God and/or my future self showing up to stop me), or I will be forced to donate a minimum of $10 to the Conservative Party of Canada.

Why that punishment? Twofold:

  1. I am a Drama student student. $10 is basically a year’s salary for me.
  2. I’m about as fond of Rona Ambrose and the Tories as I am of getting kicked in the clam with steel-toed boots.

So that’s the deal. Something scary every day, something really scary every week, and a boatload of schadenfreude for everyone who isn’t me along the way.

Welcome to The Roosevelt Project.