At the time of this writing, tomorrow will mark the end of my husband’s 10 year-long vlogging journey. He has aimed a camera at himself every day for ten years straight, marking his thoughts in a video diary without fail. No matter how mundane, no matter how trivial, and with almost no filter and entirely no script.
And I have to admit, I’m relieved.
A lot of my relief stems from the fact that my husband is an extremely creative person, and his creative talents are wasted on aiming a camera at his face every day, in my opinion. The videos he created with his friends in the UK were entertaining. I think that his vlogs with the “There, I Said It” segment would make a great podcast. His TikTok channel, where he cosplays as his own version of the Master from Doctor Who and creates fun little vignettes by himself or with others, is doing extremely well on the platform and illustrates that his creativity can be rewarded. The man is an entertainer. A showman. He’s a voice actor — a good one –and clearly wants to perform for people, and vlogging doesn’t strike me as performative.
I’m also going to chalk up a lot of my relief to just growing up at a different time. A time when social media wasn’t even a twinkle in anyone’s eye. When the closest we got to stream-of-consciousness sharing posts were done in GeoCities home pages or LiveJournal posts. I didn’t grow up living the idea of making content or disseminating everything about myself, and I’m still slowly acclimating to the mindset even though I still stubbornly refuse to be a dispensary for content biscuits.
He has grown up with this, though. He’s lived this. For ten years of his life, it’s been something he’s just done and shared. It was never about the viewer count or subscription numbers on YouTube, though I suspect there is some frustrations there in not really hitting great strides in those avenues. It’s just always been a facet of his identity. And even though I am relieved it’s coming to an end, I also have to admit that I’m astonished that he’s done it. Ask anyone to do anything for ten years straight and you’ll probably be laughed at.
And now that facet of his life is coming to an end. He feels sad. I feel astonished. It’s been a journey for him and it’s something that should be celebrated. I suspect he’s reading this right now — who wouldn’t want to read something someone else wrote about themselves — and while I’ve ever been hands-off since vlogging has been his baby, I’d like to extend some suggestions.
Don’t make this a eulogy; the end or death of something. Mark this occasion as a celebration. The crossing of a finish line. Don’t make this the finale of a part of yourself, but the opening of new avenues and new ways to create. Aim that focus — the focus that made you create vlogs daily for ten years — at something truly creative. Be the entertainer and the performer you want to be. You do great things when you focus.
This isn’t the finale. It’s the close of a chapter to yield a new one. Take advantage of that.