Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

Export My Content
feel beautiful
A photograph of me

I try to arrange and rearrange my 43 Things list in some kind of order, with the more current or doable ones near the top, and the more adventurous or out of reach ones near the bottom.

Some of you might have noticed this goal of feeling beautiful is second to last. This could tell you a lot about me.

I’ve been wanting to write something for this goal ever since I got this account, but I’ve been stumped for words. It’s as though I have scraps of ideas and I’m trying to sew them together, so let’s start with photographs.

I have a phobia of having my picture taken. When someone gets their camera out I quietly slip out of shot, make excuses (“my hair is a mess, I’ll let you get a picture when it’s washed!”) and if I do give in I’ll make sure I never see the end result.

Naturally, on Facebook, everyone has photographs of themselves in their albums. I don’t even have a user picture and this has prompted a few conversations with people as to why this is.

When I was really ill, looking in the mirror for me was traumatic. I didn’t know who I was anymore, and seeing what had happened to me was personified by this stranger I saw looking at me in the mirror. Her skin was the wrong colour. When I’m healthy I am olive, but this… this girl, she was either so white – so white – or yellow, or blue, or green. Her hair was greasy and a mess because she was too ill to wash or brush it. She was thin because often she couldn’t even lift food to her mouth, and she scared me. She scared me a lot. She scared me because she was me and was consuming my future.

I don’t want to give the impression that I always hated looking at myself. I didn’t, but when it hurt it hurt, and left its mark on me.

On top of this I was isolated. I didn’t see people my own age and I didn’t know what normal people looked like. I saw well groomed beautiful people on TV and in adverts, but those aren’t normal people. The actors and models themselves don’t even really look like the finished product. I had no exposure to “real” people, especially ones my age, to buffer those images with.

I felt sad that I wasn’t keeping a record of my life. I have next to no pictures of myself as a teenager, and I think I’ve only had maybe one or two taken of me in my twenties. When I’m older, I know I’ll regret this and wish I could see my face again as it is now.

The other day, I was talking to two people on MSN. I knew what they looked like, they didn’t know what I looked like. I dodged, made excuses, even tired to turn it into a guessing game but then… I bit the bullet. I sent them a picture of me. One of the few I have which I took when I was in my late teens. And it felt really good.


Chompy_and_Stompy "By losing your goal you've lost your way." Kahlil Gibran

Your photo is lovely! I’m sorry you’re struggling w/ this.

Thanks Chompy_and_Stompy :) Your user name is great by the way, it keeps popping into my head at random times during the day!

Saraband savouring the simple things


This picture is beautiful
YOU are beautiful.
Inside and out.

And also immensely courageous

I think it every time you post :)

and I know I still owe you a reply on another thread – still trying to find the words :)

Thank you Sara :) I really appreciate that. I’ve felt better after making this post, but it was quite emotional too so I unconsciously took a little break from 43 Things.

Yours was a lovely message to come back to.

I know this was written a while ago, but I can totally relate.

I have very little pictures of me as a teen and when I was a teen and my mum would try to show them to me I’d scream “Noooo!” I honestly couldn’t look.

It was horrifying for me. I used to dodge mirrors and avoid eye contact with anything with a reflection.

I guess for my own reasons I felt fat – because everyone around me was weight obsessed so I never felt enough (or, rather, I felt too much.)

When I look at those photos now – the very few – I feel SO sad I couldn’t just enjoy that precious little time. I worried constantly and kept myself awake at night thinking about people trying to get photos of me or people commenting on the way I looked – or worse, them commenting on my introverted ways about my looks.

I remember freaking out a few years ago because I cut a fringe and I put up a photo of it on-line somewhere. I felt so vulnerable. In reality I was happy I’d accomplished something so daunting.

I HATE when people say to me now “Oh you’re never in photos.” I feel okay about being in photos these days – which is weird because photos seem so much more important and widespread – but I do shy away from opportunities when I don’t feel at my best. I already know how bad I feel and I don’t need a reminder.

TangerineRose we can do anything!

I hope you are moving towards this goal, as you are beautiful. May you feel beautiful every time the sun shines on you :)

sitruunapuu loves ♥

I hope you’re near being able to mark this goal completed, as through other people’s eyes you’re absolutely gorgeous both inside and outside ♥

I love your photo!

You’re very beautiful! Truly.

hhannah dont be anyones slogan - you are poetry.

you are surrounded by

a wonderful group of supporters within 43 things who from my experience do not judge by looks. Looks are not everything, your spirit and your health is. I hope that you are feeling better now. While your entry is sad to read, it was well written and made me want to let you know how beauty is how beauty feels.

starstuff has gotten 17 cheers on this entry.


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