I yearned to be liked, sometimes it ached in parts of my body that it shouldn’t
a lump which no matter how hard I swallowed was still there. I felt it in my feet as I twitched and flexed whilst I scrolled through people the same as me – doing the same things as me but being liked more.
The desire to be liked was so strong that sometimes my sentences were laced with desperation.
When I started making videos filming my day and creating content for my YouTube channel there was a hope for me. At least this is how it felt.
A place to experiment with my personality allowing myself to change and be molded by my own hands. I found myself impersonating other people, borrowing thoughts and trying to conceal my troubles from a small group of strangers who I thought could fix me.
To be liked and accepted felt like me new tonic. A new improved version of me.
When I was a little girl I used to play a game with my sister (I may have told you this story before so excuse me if I am repeating myself) Anyway we would play a game in the kitchen where we pretended to be presenters of a television show. I can’t remember what we called it but I remember how we sat on the kitchen stalls to reach the microwave pretending it was our screen. I did my hair before ‘filming’, tied it up into a neat ponytail scraped off of my head and placed a large velvet hair band just behind my hairline.
The guidelines existed in our make believe set up but the script wasn’t always adhered to. Outbursts of laughter filled the kitchen as we played up to our pretend audience, making silly voices and impersonating our poor family members.
This went on for hours.
Looking back at our kitchen performances not much has changed since then. I was always seeking validation from somewhere even if that validation was something I made up in my mind my imagination gave me a platform to create a character brighter and slightly more charming than my own authentic day to day ever so slightly moody character. There was room for me to improve and evaluate myself in a mirror like form.
I was just a little girl then but my thoughts were not content with being restricted to the quiet times in my room bouncing off the walls in my head. I guess I wanted to test my ideas in a way that felt bigger than they did when they were confined.
I practiced talking out loud for a long time and often recorded speeches onto an old cassette player that belonged to my sister, it was a big plastic thing with grey twisty knobs and cat stickers that were folding at the edges. These episodes soon became little rehearsals for the outside world where I was at times too afraid to be myself.
I often wonder what happened to those tapes.
After some time just like the microwave performances and the cassette diaries, my YouTube channel came to a stand still. I felt there was a fine line between enjoyment and addiction for me. I was guilty of being a slave to the likes, the followers and the praise it was as if I needed it to feel more of a person. This was not sitting well with my original reason to start something creative online.
I formed a detachment and soon I was spinning around in circles searching for meaning in everything. The living part wasn’t important to me – not unless I could take the meaning and spread it around for everyone else to view.