So about two weeks ago, I began a new chapter that I never anticipated: I started my own YouTube channel.
I bet you’re wondering how someone could “never anticipate” something like starting their own YouTube channel, and that’s fair; I would be wondering the same.
To be honest I don’t really know how or where it began, this ballsy idea of mine. I think the beginnings might have started brewing when I was traveling Europe a few months back and started watching vloggers on YouTube. I remember being so intrigued by this concept of how peering into the lives of every-day people living their every-day lives could be so stimulating. How watching a part of someone else’s life, and watching someone just be –period-, could bring so much joy. And the conclusion I came to, which resulted in the start of my own YouTube channel, is this: At the center of our cores, we all long for connection.
I can’t tell you how fascinated I become every single time I realize how engaged I am when watching someone’s YouTube video; a vlog (video log) of a person who I have never met in my life. It makes me feel like I know them. It makes me feel like we’re hanging out when I’m watching one of their videos. It makes me feel like we’re friends who have actual memories together. Even though the latter isn’t exactly true, it makes me realize how good of a forum YouTube can be for human connection.
After getting back to the States, I kept watching these Youtubers. And soon after, I started saying things like, “I think I wanna start a YouTube channel.” That sentence turned into, “I’m going to start my own YouTube channel.” And then that turned into me spending hours reading articles and watching videos on what the best vlogging cameras are, the best tripods, the best ring lights. More simply put: How to launch a YouTube channel. Pretty soon after, I began jotting down dozens upon dozens of ideas in the Notes app on my phone for future videos and the next thing I knew, I was clicking the “Place Order” button on Amazon and setting up all of my own vlogging equipment in my apartment. I guess you could say I spoke it into existence.
This next part is going to sound so damn corny, but I’m going to share it with you anyways.
Over the past few months, I’ve trained myself so intently on getting still and listening to my intuition that I am now finally arriving at the point where I know *cold* if a certain decision I have made is good for me or bad for me, right there in that moment. In other words (in attempts to be less black-and-white about it), I know almost immediately whether or not a choice I have made aligns with who I am and what I want.
When I received my Canon M50 in the mail, I opened it and prayed it would be right. I had actually ordered a Canon G7X a few days earlier and ended up returning it because I realized shortly it wasn’t what I was looking for. When I held this second camera in my hands for the first time, I legitimately felt this warmth in my solar plexus. It radiated into my entire body. Again, describing this sounds so cheesy; but when I held my camera in my hands for the first time and started shooting little bits of footage and snapping test shots right there, in my room, with the disheveled-from-opening cardboard box still on my bed, I felt this sensation of coming home. I felt this sort of gratitude for an abundance that I didn’t necessarily or physically have yet, but the feeling and the knowing was still there.
I filmed and posted my intro video on my channel about two weeks ago, and was really happy with the way it turned out. I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself right now because I know that with time, the pressure will naturally increase and become overwhelming if I’m not careful. For now, we’re just taking things slow and trying new approaches to figure out what feels right (this all of the sudden sounds exactly like I’m talking about a new relationship and in a way I guess I actually am).
Filming for the first time was strange with a capital ‘S’. I’ll paint a visual. Picture yourself in your bedroom. Alone. You’ve put on the clothes you want the world to see you in in that video and you have a camera aimed at you, all set up on your shiny new equipment and you press that red ‘record’ button. You start speaking, but to no one specifically. No one on the other end is giving you any type of response in the moment, so it’s almost (and also literally) like you are talking to yourself. Yep, you feel absolutely out of your mind. But the more footage I recorded, the less weird it became.
Editing is another story. It wasn’t until that first video that I realized how extensive the editing portion really is. Those with film production experience are nodding their heads slowly while their eyes roll to the backs of their heads. Editing is the meat of a video. I’d even go as far as saying its about 75% of the content. (If only you guys knew how much I cut out of the raw footage to create my videos. It’s some shit lol). But honestly, the nerd in me really loves editing. I can easily go 3-4-5 hours editing without realizing I’ve been at my laptop for that long (and I’m not exactly proud of that, but.) My boyfriend will actually have to tell me that we are going to bed because it’ll be so late and he knows I will go right back to editing once we hang up the phone (70% of the time I do, 30% of the time I don’t. Back to editing, that is). I don’t know why exactly I love it so much, but I do. I find it so fun and also horrible and daunting and homework-y but above all, fun.
For me, right now, creating content on YouTube just feels good and I’m trying to focus on that in the moments I feel insecure about putting myself out there for the world and the fear that inevitably comes with starting something on your own. Those moments are tough and I’m already feeling them with the mere 3 videos on on my channel so far. However I know that getting in my own head is what will mess me up the most, so I’m just trying to remember the big picture which is connecting through communication.
Writing this post right now is kind of funny because the words are flowing and I’m giving less of a f*ck than I ever have in comparison to my other posts, and in a good way. Instead of obsessing over every sentence or word choice and how they might be misconstrued, I’m just typing; and it feels good. I feel like it may be due to the fact that I’ve been so focused on editing my videos and on the content I’m putting up on YT that writing this is just refreshing. Not having to think about what I’m wearing, how my hair looks, whether the camera is focused or not, if what I’m saying makes sense, if I’m saying “like” or “um” too much; it’s all just so relieving in this moment.
For that reason, and others, I know I will stick to writing for my blog. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll use too many topics for vlogging that would be good to write about, but I think I’ll find the balance and I’m excited about discovering the ways they can coexist.
I titled this post “Vulner[ability]” because creating content, especially in the form of videography, is just that. One of the reasons why writing for fun is so dope is because there’s less to be judged on. I can write with sweatpants on and my un-shampoo’d-for-about-5-days hair and have no one say anything about it. I can go back and edit however many times I want (and even after it has been posted). Once you film that video, that’s the footage you edit. And in that way, I’m finding that it’s much less polished than writing is.
My uncle once told me, “Don’t have expectations, because when you have expectations, that’s when you’ll have resentment.” And that could not be further from the truth. Whether you apply that rule to career, events, projects, people, or purchases, it just rings true. So, along with many other things in my life right now, I am choosing to apply this bit of wisdom to my YouTube channel. Like I said before, the mind is a powerful muscle and self-sabotage is one of the ugliest abilities we possess, so I’m trying to train my mind to think as positively as it can and keep my sights forward.
That’s about it for today ladies n’ gents n’ non-binary friends! Some light word candy for you to gnaw on until my next video comes to you on Friday (*plug plug*).
And while we’re on that note, here she is: My YouTube Channel.
Subscribe to ze chan if you wanna help ya girl out, and if not- that’s okay too. But if you watch my videos, I hope you vibe with them! Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time now know how deep and philosophical I can get, so disclaimer: expect some of that on there. However if you stan with my blog posts you’ll for sure dig my videos.
However one thing I want to get clear on before I let you all go is that it is not, and hopefully never will be, about the follow number; it’s about connection. And at the end of the day, I am proud of myself for going through with this idea. I am proud of me for honoring myself and taking an aspiration of mine (and one that I haven’t spent my whole life pondering and studying) seriously enough to invest in it.
Alright my beautiful readers. ‘Til next time.