Well hello, internet, I guess I couldn’t stay away for very long. Different format, maybe, but there seems to be some part of me that loves sharing my life with strangers everywhere.
Starting in October of 2010, I had a Youtube channel centered around makeup, fashion, and shopping. That was who I was, then. I was stuck in an awful controlling relationship with no friends in real life, no actual hobbies to speak of, and a whole lot of spare time. Then I discovered the Youtube “beauty community.” A whole group of girls who loved to share fashion and makeup videos, to show each other what they’d bought–the great sales they’d found, or the items they’d splurged on–and to give their opinions on the items they’d purchased. I decided that this was just the thing for me.
I’ve always been told that I have a gift for public speaking, and here was my chance to put it to good use. I started recording videos in my bedroom as I slipped into what can only be described as an ultimately harmful addiction to clearance shopping for clothing and makeup. Of course I started with the best of intentions, I was going to show these girls that not everything had to cost full price. That you could find cute, fashionable clothes if you were willing to dig through the clearance racks or thrift store bins. But anything I enjoy doing, I do enthusiastically and wholeheartedly. This wasn’t some harmless hobby on the side. This was the highlight of my day. This was my purpose in life. If I didn’t show these people all the cheap stuff they could be getting, who would?
Clearly, I never had it that bad. I’m very thankful that these lessons in life came early and with no lasting damage, perhaps besides the memories. I could have gone thousands of dollars into debt, but while I spent far more than I should have, I never spent money I didn’t have. I could have been completely alone after breaking off the relationship, leading me nowhere to go but farther down the hole. I could have been addicted to something far worse and physically harmful than spending money to save it. I could have.
It’s still not easy. I’m still not perfect. I still pass things in the drugstore and excitedly plan which colors I’m going to buy and do a review video on, only to have to stop myself and remind myself that I don’t do that anymore. That I haven’t really made a makeup video in over a year, and there’s absolutely no reason why I would start doing that again. I still shop, but I shop smarter. Rather than buying 25 things at the thrift store for $2 each and never using them, I’ll buy 2 or 3 things for $4-5 and use them once a week. Rather than obsessively buying every shade of every piece of makeup at the Dollar Tree, I have 4 eyeshadow palettes from my collection that I’ve used almost exclusively this entire past year I’ve been away at college.
I don’t want to dwell on the past anymore. I’ve spent the past year missing the enjoyment that doing Youtube videos used to bring me, yet I was terrified to venture into that again and risk anything. Risk letting down my subscribers. Risk falling back into old habits that are clearly nowhere near gone. Risk coming back to an entirely changed “community” that no longer focuses on sharing honest opinions, but is now centered on paid sponsorships, dishonest endorsements, and wasteful spending.
I want to be me again. I’m the treehugging fashionista who wants to save the whales as much as she wants to buy cute new shoes. The creative scientist who is equally enthusiastic about conducting research projects and inventing new sewing patterns. I tried very hard to narrow down my field of interests to something specific and purposeful, but that’s not me. There is no one subject that fully captivates my interest, and I think that most people aren’t so one-dimensional as to only find a few things of interest. So please, feel free to ignore my posts rambling on about anything you lack any interest in, but I hope that I will write about something to interest you, to arouse your curiosity, or to inspire your creativity.