For the record, I was inspired to write todays blog after a conversation on twitter. For those involved in said conversation – I thank you. For without it, this blog would not exist and, well, that’d be pointless really, wouldn’t it?
There’s no way I could justify paying the yearly fee to keep the domain if I wasn’t inspired to use it.
Here’s the thing, when it comes to the updating of this thing- I’m a lazy ass fuck. Honestly. Ain’t gonna lie. Useless as tits on a bull when it comes to updating this thing – but here I am having yet another crack at trying to keep this blog alive on the basis I really want it to take off and become something. As to what that something is, I have no idea .. but anyway.
So, the thing that’s been milling around in my head the last couple of days is my need to feel I belong.
I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and I still don’t understand why. People ask me why I feel the need to *Be accepted* or *Be part of Something* or *The need to feel like I belong somewhere* and my answer is- I don’t know. I honestly don’t. All I know is that without that feeling- I have nothing and that scares the crap out of me.
I suppose, if I were to try and examine it, it’s possible this fear of not belonging anywhere stems from my childhood. Always feeling on the outer – like, no matter what I did, I’d never fit in. I was always the last to be picked when it came to school sports, the last person people decided to be friends with and when it came to family – the last person to be noticed accomplishing anything.
Growing up was pretty much the same. I was over looked time and time and time again.
That is, until I discovered the world of social media. In one form or another, it’s kind of taken over my life. (My dream job would be doing something from home – involving social media. That would be amazing)
Before I get into that (and other things entitled “How I became a social media pest”) I figure I’d give you a bit of back story.
So, I got my first taste of the Information Highway all the way back in 2003. Back then, it was still a *new* concept ( Australia’s infrastructure for this sort of thing remains on of the shittiest – ranked #68th in the world for internet speeds and efficiency ) and, if I recall correctly, I had a job whereby I had to sell it to the masses in package deals that included either a landline or mobile phone on 12 or 24 month contracts.. which I got bonuses for if I sold enough during that particular campaign push.
Anyway, in the beginning there was MSN chat rooms (Remember those) and my first taste of community was in a room called “All Women”. Now, unbeknownst to me, the title of the room was not “All Women” as I first thought but as it turned out – it was a chat room for Lesbians! They were a lovely bunch from all over the world and I swear to you, I never laughed so hard in my life! What’s more? They didn’t mind I had a boyfriend either 😀
By 2007 though, the MSN platform had all but been abandoned and I found myself floundering again. The friends that I had made in that chat room all but disappeared and I never spoke to them ever again. Even at time of writing – I have no idea where any of those ladies are … I still wonder about them from time to time and hope they went on to have happy and for filling lives one way or another.
So, 2007. The year I joined Facebook. The Year Livejournal was still a thing and the year I fell in love with Stand Up Comedy.
2007 was the year my social media presence began to take off (I hate to admit it – but I do have one. I am, in a matter of speaking – like an Internet *Rome* in that all roads lead to me HAHA. Hence, I am a self-anointed internet pest.)
I found myself up to my neck in the world of stand-up comedy. Social media was the perfect way to meet like-minded folk who loved the same Comedy shows that I did, and we’d discuss them at length on line. Eventually, that lead to meeting these folks in person and thus forming a tight friendship group.
My foray into the world of Stand-up Comedy ran from 2007 to Mid 2014. I did everything from watching it on TV, attending shows live around the country, writing articles for online Comedy Magazines, supporting venues and there was even a few years where I performed Stand-up comedy myself – taking my hand written notes from one venue to another and hoping that I didn’t die a horrible stage death. I entered a couple of open Mic competitions which I lost … embarrassingly but I still loved it and felt part of the community. By late 2012 I was pretty much on top of the world. Not only did I have all the friends a girl could want – I was also on the inside … meaning I was friends with some of Australia’s A lister Comedians, knew TV Producers who worked on filming live comedy shows for TV and was a VIP for most Studio shows I attended.
And so, it went on. And on. And on. I got the opportunity to take part in a couple of stage shows in 2013-2014. This was exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. All the while I was online – talking to people in this community, having them treat me like I was *one of them*
They said I was funny. They said I was hilarious, and they said I was destined for great things.
And I believed them. I was free publicity for everyone I knew. Putting call outs on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Letting everyone know what shows to attend and where… and I did it because I loved it.
And then, In November 2014 … Everything changed … I had, what I believe, was the equivalent to a nervous breakdown. Between November 2014 and September 20 16 … There is a blank spot in my memory. I have no idea what happened. No memory. Except for drinking a lot, going to work and coming home again. If you asked me what watched, where I went and what I did – I more or less couldn’t tell you. (That’s why FB is great for memories. Really helps) But by September 2016 … I decided it was time for a change.
This time it was the world of You Tube.
That’s right. Your girl thought she’d find her creative chops in the world of online content. Thought she’d find somewhere to belong in a world where people spend time largely by themselves sitting in front of a camera and talking into it.
So, I set about teaching myself everything I thought I needed to know to become a You Tuber. I watched countless videos (on You Tube ironically enough) on how to BE part of this wonderful community. I watched videos on what camera to buy, how to create banners and thumb nails, I created a FB page for myself ( Which I still have btw. All my social media accounts are linked to it. I decided to do this because people were complaining that I posted too much on my personal page. HAHA), used all the free trials of all the editing programs until I decided which ones I liked (iMovie and Final Cut for the win) and tried my luck at becoming a YouTuber. I even attended VIDCON AUSTRALIA a few years back – in the hope I’d learn a thing or two (I did, actually) and walk out of there all the richer for the experience.
Naturally, I let social media do the talking for me and I did what you’d expect. I followed all the popular You Tubers – all from America and the UK- all the big names and took it upon myself to *Promote* everything they said or did.
By the end of 2016 I was making videos and they were terrible. Honestly fucking terrible. And I’m not ashamed of that. To date, I still have my channel up – but I just haven’t posted anything in over a year.
This is due to my plethora of medical issues that caused me to get rid of most of my camera gear so I could afford to make ends meet and pay my medical bills. I am a little sad- as it was a lot of fun and, truth be told, I really did enjoy, and become quite good at the edit process, but life got in the way of being part of that world and so, I had to cut my losses and walk ( or in at that stage hobble ) away.
I discovered Outlander.
At time of writing, I am still part of the Outlander Fandom.
I’m not going to go over it again because I have several blogs written about how being in this fandom and being part of this community has ultimately changed my life. For the better. I truly believe that. The friendships I have made over the last year and a half have given me a new zest for life I never thought I’d have. I’ve become fitter, healthier thanks to Outlander’s leading man Sam Heughan’s MPC program- which in turn has encouraged me to seek the correct treatment for my medical issues which are improving every day.
I’ve become friends with You -tubers around the globe who discuss OL content and in fact, they are inspiring me to want to re-invent myself and my Youtube channel and start again and see where it takes me (Shout out to my friend Shaun from Scotland! You’re my favourite Youtuber Person! I owe this to you x) I’m not sure when that will happen but hopefully soon.
You know, its funny. In writing this blog, I think I finally figured out what it is. This need to feel accepted. This longing to belong. It’s because it makes me happy. Sets my soul at ease. Doesn’t make me feel like I’m facing anything entirely alone.
I’m well aware that, for the most part everyone exists inside the little silver box that sits in front of me and at the end of the day, they have lives away from social media, jobs, kids, husbands, wives and other responsibilities that need their undivided attention – and frankly, so do I .. but it’s just nice, I think, to know that with a push of a button, a flick of a switch you can connect with thousands of others around the world that feel exactly the same as you … and there is something quite comforting in that.