After four whole months of nothing, I actually uploaded a vlog on my personal YouTube channel. It was inspired by a conversation I had with friends during a gathering, as well as the sheer need to upload something after weeks of absolutely nothing. This vlog gets a bit more personal, but it does have something on the current state of affairs with both the blog and the YouTube channels.
In the meantime, I hope to make more of these vlogs. It doesn’t seem so hard—just shoot some B-roll, then add voice-overs to it. I’m not exactly Casey Neistat, but I’ll see what I can do with that since I do like this style and I can come up with good enough ideas for vlogs that don’t involve me talking in front of a camera.
By the way, I’m well aware that I may be misusing the word “externality” in this vlog. Just bear with me, I thought it was spot-on when I was writing it. It seemed to fit.
Things I Learned Making This Vlog
First of all, I need less shaky footage. Perhaps I should use my main camera instead since that has image stabilization, or perhaps I need a gimbal. I don’t know if there’s a gimbal that can fit my camcorder without being too conspicuous.
The thing I’m concerned about is how quickly I can make one. It’s not to say that I just want to churn vlogs out, even if I have nothing interesting to say. However, in order to get myself to do this more regularly, vlogs have to be easy to produce. It seems like taking B-roll to go with it is the best approach—something that plenty of YouTubers have known for years.
Other than that, this thing I did on a whim turned out fine. I guess I should make more vlog. Yeah, I definitely should.
As I was getting home from a brief but much-needed gathering with friends, I thought about some of the conversations we had over pasta dinner. Being seated at a table full of mostly 30-plus year olds, conversation drifted to more existential topics, specifically that of externalities and hindrances.
It wasn’t necessarily the main topic, but it had the theme of dealing with people who somehow keep blaming externalities for mistakes, hangups, obstacles, and missed opportunities in life. Talked about maybe a couple of individuals with this tendency, as well as certain scenarios that stick out. It’s one of those conversations that draw out a host of thoughts and emotions, mostly along the lines of not wanting to do the same.
Pointing the finger at other people is unavoidable since we all have to deal with different kinds of people from different walks of life, backgrounds, and upbringings, yaddah yaddah yah. Everyone has a different perspective on things, but what really matters here is how consequences—foreseen or unforeseen—are taken to account, whether they’re just charged to experience, they slide like water off a duck’s back, or taken more seriously than necessary.
For some people, that third option is what they go for every single time. They focus too much on those external factors; they always look out instead of in to understand what went wrong. It has to be something, whether it’s someone who betrayed them, their parents, their haters, the government, the Feng Shui in their house, whatever. It’s always something, and I’ve been hearing way too much of it over the years.
“But what about me,” I asked myself while I sat in this bus, waiting for it to get moving. I did have certain moments when I’d just blame various things for getting derailed. With most things, I tend to blame depression, social anxiety, stress, laziness, physical illness, and so on for getting in the way. I also tended to blame my living conditions, my obligations, the people around me, and episodes of bad luck for crashing and burning over and over again.
And it turns out that not only does that attitude consistently keep you from sorting out your problems, but it also makes you an energy vampire. As you keep blaming externalities for all the hindrances in your life, you tend to externalize that attitude to other people, and it can slowly but surely drain them of their patience and good intentions. You become toxic and reliably unreliable. That’s something I am kinda familiar with; I’m sure there were times in my life when I had a bit of that reputation.
I then thought about how it relates to my personal endeavors—basically, this thing. This blogging and YouTube thing. I can blame my lack of videos on this channel and the other channel on things like work and a subpar Internet connection, which I have over the course of this year, but I had to realize that there were bigger problems within. Those externalities can be dealt with, and many do. Plenty of content creators make more stuff with much less tools and resources than I currently have. Compared to them, I have plenty with tons of wiggle room.
So why no videos then? Maybe I’m just afraid of hard work? Of actually grinding past my shortcomings? Of confronting fears and pushing past my anxieties? I’m notoriously lazy; people who know me personally get that. When I sit down to write a script or a blog post, I start off great with tons of ideas and hammer down thousands of words. Then I sit on that draft, the days pass, the doubts pile up, and before you know it, it’s two weeks later and I’d decide that it’s not worth finishing anymore for some reason, then I either delete it or just go on to do something new and the cycle continues.
I rarely finish anything. Videos, blog posts, stories, even work and school projects. Sometimes, I don’t even finish my food because I’d have second thoughts about eating since I’m fat these days. I wouldn’t finish watching YouTube videos and movies because either I get bored or just don’t feel like it. I’d sweep the floor and wipe tables, then stop midway and end up not finishing chores. Whether big or small, I neglect to finish them all.
Then I’d blame it on the heat, the rain, not feeling well, my mother being there, work, the noise outside, being in a bad mood, the incessant itch in my left ear, whatever. Thinking about it, I do that a lot indeed.
So what about this? This thing you’re watching, if I actually manage to finish it.
As I write this, planning to record the voice-over then putting it over video footage of me commuting home on a late Saturday night, I question my commitment to finishing it. I dread how fruitless it can potentially be, how few people will ever bother watching it, much less finish it. I dread the reactions, or even more the lack of reactions. Whatever I do, I feel like putting out this vlog is a lose-lose.
But then again, I’ve turned these thoughts into a video. Despite all those thoughts, I made a thing. I can keep promising myself that I’ll keep making these, but I’m only shooting myself in the foot if I just keep promising. I’ll just have to make these just because it keeps me busy; because it keeps me from wanting to kill myself.
But then, thinking about the indifference or negative reactions can also make me want to kill myself. There’s no escape.
If you’re watching this, I’ve just taken a baby step towards conquering that self-imposed lack of discipline. So, yay. Now, I’ll just have to upload it, which might take at least two hours since my Internet is shit.
I tried to do something different with this vlog. You think it’s actually good or am I still an untalented pretentious hack?
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