One Year on YouTube
In four days I’ll have officially been a YouTuber for one year.  I’m really proud of myself for seeing this through.  It’s amazing to look back and say that, barring a few exceptions, I’ve kept up with posting on a weekly and biweekly basis.  It’s been a challenge like no other for this self-titled self-expression enthusiast.

Much of my adult life, made ends meet by doing something I wasn’t crazy about in places I often times despised because I needed money to survive.  More than that, as someone with PTSD and a child abuse survivor I wanted to show I was capable of being a well-adjusted adult.  I’ve only begun to realize I’ve spent far too much time with that chip on my shoulder.  The way I tried to show everyone (most of all myself) that I was a salvageable human being was to pursue a desk job as soon as I could.  My goal then, as it is now, was to be self-reliant.

However, this pursuit wasn’t so that I could buy the nicest things emblazoned with shiny hardware effectively showcasing en vogue brands on handbags or cars.  For me it was about an attempt to experience freedom and liberty in it’s truest form.  

For over fifteen years I lived in a situation where I was beaten, slept behind locked doors and when I wasn’t at school I was burdened with chores and babysitting from 5 a.m. until I was allowed to go to bed only after I had completed all of the household cleaning each day.  I’ll tell more of that story one day soon.

My pursuits are alike but dissimilar all these years later.  Now I’ve taken a step back, lucky enough to work with my significant other, and put my skills to use without feeling like I’m selling my soul or trying to keep it cobbled together as PTSD ravaged it.  I took a year to go to college at age thirty for the first time in my life.  I’m still not financially stable but I’ve come to the realization that I’ve obtained many interpersonal skills through my hard fought progress in the business world and with my mental disorder.  Things have changed in that I want to make those things work for me and others in a way that makes sense and embraces who I truly am instead of what I feel I must be.  I’ve had to realize I will never be a person without my mental disorder.

The things that are of the utmost importance to me in my life would be that pursuit of independence (creatively and financially) and to turn the horrible things that happened to me, that riddled me with chronic PTSD for the rest of my life, into something of value and beauty.

Here’s where it comes back to YouTube.  In the past year I’ve started to find my voice with our Survival + Culture tagline.  A tagline I picked because I felt it properly described my drive to talk about how I survived and how I’m trying to turn my life into something more - art even.

I had been blogging and writing for years but I was quickly realizing that popular writing had taken on a different form.  Quick bite sized articles spliced into five tips laden heavily with screenshots of Tweets.  I wasn’t keeping up.  I’m still not on Twitter as I probably should be but YouTube was something I knew I could do and now I’ve fallen in love with it.

Over the past year my channel has forced me to take a long hard look at myself.  I mean this in two ways.  Literally, as in my god, this is how I look on camera?!  Also metaphysically, as in what can I provide to the kind people listening to what I have to say?  The growth that has come due to these questions and that task has been immeasurable.  It’s made me declutter myself and driven me to do the work.  

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing what’s ahead.