Five years ago, if you told me where I would be today, I would be devastated.
My final year of college, I wanted so badly, more than anything, to become a successful content creator on YouTube. So many years before that, when I was just 12 years old and handed my very first camcorder, I wanted to do BIG things with it. I recorded and edited hours upon hours of footage – music videos, dance videos, cover videos, sketches, video game dubs – anything you can imagine. From middle school on, all of my school projects were presented on a projector screen. Each and every production starring me. That sounds a little self-involved, and maybe it was. But I would have such great boosts of inspiration, and in those moments I would create these pieces entirely on my own, and when I had finished I would watch them back and absolutely glow. Things weren’t perfect, and at times I hated myself to my core – but looking at the things I made, I couldn’t help but beam with pride. Making videos was all that I was proud of and all that I was passionate about. When other areas of my life were crumbling, I found sanctuary in creating.
If I told my former self – a senior in college, so incredibly in love with gaming on YouTube, spending all of her classes thinking about when she could go home to record, dreaming of the day when she would meet her idols and change the world – that she would try and fail and never actually make those big things happen that she had always thought she would… I’m not sure I ever would have tried to begin with. I would have been completely and utterly crushed.
I was SO in love with creating. I was SO sure that that love was going to carry me through and I was going to make it.
I was wrong.
Things happened. College finished and I had to make a life for myself. Jobs, moves, relationships. Five years later and a few more creative rises and falls and here I am. A freelancer who edits videos for the content creators who didn’t fail when they tried.
I have so, so many regrets. Every time I look at any of my old projects – my old aspirations – it eats away at me and I can’t help but break down. I know the passion I felt as a child is still inside of me, and yet everything feels so far away and unobtainable. I look at myself and how my life has developed, and I have no idea where I went wrong. What’s worse, I’m not sure how to get back on the path I was before.
I feel like I’ve failed the person I used to be and the person I grew up becoming. And let me tell you something… nothing is more gut-wrenching than that.
Why am I writing this? I’m not sure. Maybe just as an exercise in catharsis. Or maybe to hold myself accountable to something bigger.
I’m going to create again. I’m not sure how yet. But I need to.