We’ve loved watching people get outside of their comfort zone to make a difference with the Purpose Project. Each project is about an apprehensive ambition — that thing you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had a reason or the courage to do so. By adding some purpose & raising money for people in Africa, your goal becomes a little less about you and more about doing something big & fun with your community. It’s been fun to share Carly’s Tattoo Project, Brittany’s Pink Project, Lena’s Plunge Project, and Kate’s Ubuntu Project (our first GROUP Purpose Project).
Next up, Amber shares about her aWEARness project — where she simplified her wardrobe to just 35 items (in honor of her 35th birthday!) creating a closet with a cause…
10 things I have learned from my Purpose Project
It’s been a few months since I did my “aWEARness Project.” To say that I have been changed by it would be an understatement. Here are 10 lessons I have learned so far (as I’m sure there are more to come!)…
1) People want to give. With any fundraiser or project like this, you might say “I hate asking people for money.” And I can’t really disagree. But I learned people want to give, they just don’t know where to give or to what cause. You can help them with that. And if they say no, that’s OK, see #2 below.
2) People care about you. Those who love and support you…will. Maybe they won’t donate, but with a project like this, their encouraging words go a long way. Plus, you’re able to share a cause you are passionate about. Score!
3) Accepting my body as it is. With most of my clothes gone, I panicked at the empty racks because I realized I didn’t have options. Options people! I didn’t have choices! That’s what I was upset about. I couldn’t keep my “regular Amber” black pants and “fat Amber” black pants – you know what I’m talking about – I had to pick one pair. I had to either accept my body as it is, extra lbs and all, or do something to change it. (The hidden stash of M&M’s in the pantry clearly tells you what I chose to do.)
4) What “in style” really means. If you would have seen me on any given day prior to this project, you would have found me in jeans, t-shirt, flip flops, and silver hoops. Now I’m wearing clothes I never would have worn before (ones that were sitting in my closet for 2 years!). Calling myself a fashionista may be taking it a bit far, but I have learned it doesn’t really matter what you wear…as long as you love it and feel good in it, it’s the perfect outfit.
5) I do laundry way too often. An outfit can actually last about 2 or 3 days. If the pits don’t smell and it stain-free, hang it back up or sleep in it (see #6).
6) You really don’t need pajamas. You just don’t. If you’ve got limited clothing options, do you really want to waste it on something you sleep in? Either sleep in what you wore that day or, um, well…wear nothing.
7) One person can make a difference. After hours researching businesses and non-profits to fill my closet with, I realized each one was started because one person decided to act. They may not be changing the entire world, but they have certainly changed the world for at least one person. Just by taking action.
8) Less is more. I used to chuckle when I heard talk of the benefits of living a minimalistic lifestyle. But holy cow, it’s true! There is so much more freedom! When I wake up in the morning, if I’m not already wearing my outfit (see #5 & #6), choosing what to wear is a breeze. It gives me more time to spend with the family (or more time to sleep in!). Point proven one morning when my 9 year old daughter came crying to me one morning saying “I can’t pick what to wear! I have too many choices! I just want 35 things too!” #firstworldproblems
9) Purchase with purpose. Guess who can walk into TJ Maxx or Target and not be tempted to browse the clothing aisles? This girl! I mean, what in the world, right?! Next time you’re out on a shopping spree, ask yourself “do I need it?” or “do I want it?” each time before you buy. Sorry to be a killjoy. You’ll thank me later.
10) It’s just stuff. This was the very first lesson I learned after I spent hours, yes hours, going through my clothes, having to choose just 35 things to keep. As I walked into my almost empty closet to hang the last few items, a verse popped into my head. Now, you need to know that I only know about 13 bible verses, and six of those are Psalm 23. Pathetic, I know. Anyway, it’s the one that says, “Store up your treasures in Heaven” and then something about moths eating your clothes and dust on earth, I think. From that moment on, even though I was emotionally drained and a bit apprehensive about what this next year was going to look like, I knew the things I cherished most in my life, weren’t hanging in my closet. And, honestly, in the end, nothing is going with me anyway.
Have your own idea? Submit them here or email info(at)themochaclub.org… we’d love to help!