For years, I’ve felt like I’ve been hiding myself. Too afraid to do the things I’ve always wanted to do and to just create. One of them was starting a YouTube channel.
When I was younger, I would grab my dad’s digital camera and record mini vlogs of our family trips to the states and edit the videos on Windows Movie Maker. I burned DVD’s, decorated their peel on labels before proudly presenting them to my family. I would make skits with my friends spending hours finding the right song, the right transition, the right title cards you name it. I even created a room tour of my high school bedroom. This, was my very first video I uploaded onto YouTube so that my cousins in Viet Nam could watch it. I felt so creative and most of all, I found pure joy and fun in it.
When I started university I started to get self-conscious and spent so much time and energy worrying about what people thought of me. I decided to delete my two YouTube videos (the room tour and an “artsy” one of me in our backyard and garden). Now I just have the memories of making those videos.
During this quarantine, I found myself thinking about high school Julia. By grade 12 she had grown into a new sense of confidence and didn’t give a damn about what people thought and she let herself dream big too. I thought about her creativity and fearlessness, something that over the years I’ve felt that I’ve pushed away and lost. I knew, deep down, I’ve wanted to create videos and just share this with others. But saying it out loud to anyone felt well… ridiculous. I was so consumed by my fears and self sabotaging thoughts of “is this good art? is this bad art? will people think less of me?” With that questioning, I realized, I prevented myself from exploring all the ways I could truly express myself. Isn’t that why I fell in love with making art in the first place? Because it allowed me to express myself in whatever way I chose?
I felt like I had/still have this division between my art practice and what I want to put out into the world– that my art should only be for certain platforms or that creating videos for youtube isn’t art. But that’s baloney. And I have to remember: we are multi-faceted people. I am multi-faceted. Whatever I create, it’s still art. That’s how I see it at least and that’s what matters most.
So I’m taking a leap! I hope my channel like this blog platform, reflects my many interests from travelling, art, storytelling and more. I know that future me, is going to appreciate it watching these memories again.
I recently published “a solo day in paris” which was filmed over a year ago. Editing this video brought back quite a few memories and creating again has been refreshing. I feel like it’s nourishing me if that makes any sense. This is what’s bringing me joy and fun right now which is desperately needed.
Of course, I still have those doubts and those worries. They don’t ever magically disappear, but I can make them “quieter” by paying less attention to them. I’ve been learning, or rather relearning, to see myself and my own self worth by listening from within and rekindling the creative fire that’s been tucked away for far too long.
Thanks for reading,
Ps. Yes, it’s been three years since I’ve published anything on this platform. Although, I do have about 40 saved draft posts. I may publish a few of them as is – unpolished and incomplete as timestamps from the past.