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“Take a chance, you stupid ho. You’re still a super-hot female. What ya waiting, what ya waiting for? Tick tock, tick tock. Take a chance, you might grow.

Naturally I’m worried if I do it alone
Who really cares ’cause it’s your life
You never know, it could be great
Take a chance ’cause you might grow
Oh oh oh

What you waiting
What you waiting for?” – Gwen Stefani {paraphrased/too lazy to double check the lyrics}

A callous voice in my head said: You must think you’re hot shit to want to do YouTube.

I’d been putting it off even though the kind, little, quiet, voice told me to totally start a YouTube channel. I looked at what drew me to it and why? What would I possibly have to offer?

Some answers that surfaced were, YouTube was a place I turned to most the past two years when I didn’t know what was going on in my life. I had no understanding or place to go or anyone to talk to or way to get a handle on any of it.

I inched my way forward to articulating my experience through the help of various, wonderful, and informative YouTube channels. Channels of people and communities who mirrored back a version of my experience, my feelings, my struggles, and educated me on the why of it.

I was in denial as I became more aware and informed. What I learned online made my world make sense.

The portals of kind and straightforward faces offered me support any time of day I needed them. They shared their experiences and pointed me to additional resources and books I’d never have considered reading before this experience.

In addition to checking out a few counselors, YouTube channels and blogs were where I went most during my long dark night of the soul to find help, inspiration, people who knew what I was going through. People who lifted me up, gave me new perspectives and knowledge, and, kept me from killing myself. I was broken and nothing made sense. Nothing. Made. Sense.

These online communities let me know I was not insane and not alone. They guided me and helped me make sense of what absolutely doesn’t make sense to awaken to for the first time at roughly 40 years old. You know how we think we pretty much know it all by now? I learned: I know nothing.

Absolutely, nothing.

The foundation I thought I stood on never existed.

And then, I learned a lot of weird shit. This weird shit I learned was the language of my experience. YouTube taught me how to articulate a new language to label and define my experiences that for so long existed invisibly in front of me, ungraspable.

I want to be part of the community that helped me more than the handful of counselors I met who couldn’t help me because they didn’t fully understand the nuances of my experience. I want to be there for others like me desperately searching for understanding in the wee hours of the night, peering through tear stained eyes, snot covered, and drowning in tissues when reality is choking the life out of us.

YouTube and blogs are always there and available for us when clarity can’t be found in our immediate world. A simple search away when we need inspiration, insight, a good laugh, or to see there are others out there who articulate what we can’t yet name.

What I needed most and desired most the last 20 years was connection. Real, honest, and true connection with others on a deep, loving, spiritual, and even humorous level.

And, now, it’s time to use my physical voice. This part of my journey was shown to me by a special woman I met in Charlevoix a few years ago and so this is how I’m going to do it. Baby steps, because I’m scared. Or, I might change my mind and take giant steps just to get over it already.

Sometimes my inner voice can be pushy and sound like Gwen Stefani: What ya waiting what ya waiting for? Take a chance cuz you might grow.

And, well, she should be pushy because, once, I betrayed her. The biggest betrayal of my life. I turned my back on her when she was bending over backwards to prevent me from committing a long-term mistake.

I wrote an article for elephant journal that at one point after it was published was viewed by like 26,000 people. It’s since lowered because of the various online algorithms or something. Anyway, that success ripped me open and threw me off kilter. The comments I received were so honest and open and the people who commented connected with what I wrote. Real people, just like me, actually read me, connected and commented. You’d think I would have felt good from that, but it scared the shit out of me. Sent me on another odd existential crisis of sorts for about a week. I realized what a responsibility it is to share our stories. I had never touched it like that before or even considered it. I didn’t know I’d feel vulnerable, seen and raw and pained by the connection and the power it holds.

We need to show people where we’re at with our own shadows and pain and joy and light. We need to show where we’re falling or failing and where we’re succeeding as we make our way through difficult times. We need to share how we’re getting through our disappointments and grief and how we’re moving forward and our lessons learned from our struggles. We need to offer our hand to others in the dark, maybe even grab them and shake them, to wake them up and let them know they’re not alone.

It’s our responsibility to reach out and connect. The nuggets of information we hold may be the magic key that stops someone from giving up during the struggle when they’re so close to opening that last door that will set them free from the pain. This is our evolution.

I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it anyway.

{Video finally posted. I speak about “shifts” there.}

P.S. I assume it’s obvious I’m awkward and uncomfortable and there are many flaws, like, I need note cards to keep my focus, better lighting, maybe a touch of makeup and to stop twitching around and bugging my eyes out and…So many more flaws I could list, but… I’m new at this, so please be kind and bear with me.

 

 

 

 

 

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