1,000 Awesome Things writer ends blog with No. 1
Published Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:05AM EDT
For four years, Neil Pasricha has been musing about what makes life so awesome, keeping a running list of all his favourite things in his wildly popular blog, 1000awesomethings.com.
He counted down from 1,000 until on Thursday, Pasricha reached the end: He gave the No. 1 most awesome thing.
So what was it? Anything you want it to be.
"The No. 1 thing, "Anything you want it to be" is because I want to remind people that awesome is, at the end of the day, what is awesome to you," Pasricha told fans in Toronto at an event to celebrate the blog's end.
As his project neared its finish, Pasricha's many, many fans went online to pay tribute to a blog they came to love and to look to for inspiration on even the darkest days.
Since June 2008, Pasricha charmingly wrote about such unappreciated delights as the sweet victory of peeling an orange in one shot, the elation of realizing it's Friday when you thought it was Thursday, or the guilty pleasure of peeing in a pool.
He used confessional tidbits about his own life to remind us what really makes life great -- and what makes us all connected.
With all its inherent optimism, it's interesting to note that the blog's genesis lies in depression, as Pasricha, a self-described "average guy" with a 9-to-5 job in the suburbs, struggled with a failing marriage and the suicide attempt of a dear friend.
"My marriage did end. My best friend did take his own life. and i found therapy and I found friendship by writing about simple pleasures every day," Pasricha told CTV News.
He started posting a new entry every weekday to help cheer himself up and, like many bloggers before him, was surprised to find unexpected success through the Internet version of word of mouth.
His blog's popularity was cemented when he won his first Webby award just 11 months in. He'd go on to win two more, and secure a lucrative book deal for three bestselling books -- "The Book of Awesome," "The Book of Even More Awesome" and "The Book of Holiday Awesome."
Pasricha has since done hundreds of speaking engagements, appeared on all the big talk shows in the U.S., and even did a TED talk in Toronto called "The 3 A's of Awesome." And, he was featured in a Maxwell House coffee ad campaign.
But Pasricha says he hasn't let the fame get to him. He still has his 9-to-5 job in the suburbs by day, blogging at home by night, and reportedly hasn't touched a cent of the money he's made from his three bestselling books.
As Pasricha prepared to wind down the blog, there was much speculation among his fans about what his final "awesome thing" would be.
His recent posts weren't something tangible, like Awesome thing #1,000 broccoflower, #948 man couches or #792 eyebrows. His No. 2 entry was: Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now.
"Life is so great that we only get a tiny moment to enjoy everything we see," he wrote.
"And that moment is right now. And that moment is counting down. And that moment is always, always fleeting."