I have seven drafts/versions of this post and a handful of half-written ones on my phone. Every time I actually go to put it together, I struggle to find the words that I really want to say. Sometimes the drafts made me sound way too crazy (this “final” post probably does too), and other times they didn’t capture the emotions that I wanted to convey. Casey started following me on Twitter last week (I nearly died) and it reminded me that I needed just to get this post out there.
Done is better than perfect, right?
Last July I was not doing the greatest. Life wasn’t horrible, but I was not feeling my best, and I was struggling internally with things. Even though summertime is my favorite time of year, I wasn’t feeling it. At some point, I started watching Youtube videos. (Read: I was watching way too many Youtube videos.) It felt like I was wasting my life away watching other people live theirs. I think consuming content is normal, but it shouldn’t get to the point where you’re not living yours. For example, reading is incredible… but reading a book about traveling the world isn’t quite the same as creating your own adventures. Same thing with Youtube.
One of the channels I got hooked on though was Casey Neistat’s. He was daily vlogging, and I had months of vlogs to watch. It was like discovering a great television show with nine seasons of episodes to binge on Netflix. If you’re unfamiliar with Casey Neistat, he’s a super big Youtuber. He set the stage (and raised the bar) for a lot of vloggers out there. You may recognize his video of him snowboarding behind a police car during a blizzard, the infamous video about bike lanes in NYC, or his recent review of a first class seat on Emirates. Or even this (very inspiring) Nike ad he did.
(Funny enough, I blogged about his collaboration with J. Crew years ago before I knew who he was.)
While I was watching his videos though, I wasn’t just passively consuming them. I started to get really inspired by what he was doing. The more I learned about him, his creativity, even his life story, the more I felt like I could take back control of my own life.
Watching him create amazing content made me want to create better blog content. While I don’t think I realized it at the time, even watching him exercise influenced my workout journey. Seeing how much he fit into one day, including spending time with his family, made me want to maximize my daily schedule.
My blog and I are nowhere near the level at which Casey is, but I related to quite a bit of what he was doing, and it helped me see what I was doing through a different lens, a new perspective.
I don’t want this part to come off the wrong way… and I think this is why I keep getting hung up on publishing… but I get emails all the time from girls saying that I’ve inspired them in some way. Though it’s always flattering to receive an email like that, I couldn’t quite grasp why someone would find me inspiring. I feel like a completely normal, flawed person. Not someone worthy of inspiring someone; I’m just getting through life like everyone else.
Even as I watched Casey’s vlogs, I had to keep reminding myself that he’s merely a human too. Strip away his camera, take away my laptop, leave behind everyone’s cell phones that we’re watching and reading from, and we are all essentially the same deep down. We all have fears, frustrations, hopes, and dreams. We all hurt and love and everything in between.
The title of this post kind could be considered click bait. Honestly, I don’t think Casey changed my life so much as his content helped me dig myself out of my funk. It was a lifeline to rediscover the good in life. Instead of just wasting my life away watching what he was doing, I feel like it put a fire under my butt to do better with my life.
I’ve always been careful about what I put online because I know there’s influence. While I hate the term “influencer,” there is some truth behind it. I see the influence beyond just telling someone what to buy. Someone can influence an unhealthy lifestyle or, as I hope to do, a healthy one. I like to show the imperfections in my life as well as the highs because that is what life is all about. Rebounding from setbacks, overcoming obstacles, and enjoying the wonderful experiences life has to offer. I used the experience of how I felt about Casey’s content as a mirror to reiterate what’s important about how I handled mine.
If it’s not clear from the post so far, I’m kind of obsessed with him. If you ask any of my friends, they’d agree that I can’t go two hours without a Casey reference (or Harry Styles, ha). A part of that is that I just think he’s always doing cool things worth talking about and sharing. And another huge part is that I feel like I owe a lot to him and his channel for helping me out of a rough summer.
Last September when I was on Nantucket with friends for the weekend, I spent about 45 minutes telling them about Casey’s videos. (This was peak obsession time for me because I was feeling more like myself by then.) I wrote down a list of episodes one of my friends needed to watch, in order, when he got home from the trip. For a split second, I thought about how weird it would be if Casey were also on Nantucket. I always look out for him and his boosted board when I’m in NYC, but it was such a crazy thought that he’d be on Nantucket so I immediately dismissed it. The next day I was taking a Boomerang of the harbor and, out of nowhere, Casey walks up.
Side note here: I think I need to do a separate post about putting things out into the universe because I SWEAR IT WORKS.
I’ve met a number of celebrities throughout the years because of blogging, and it’s always exciting, but I have never fangirled like I did meeting Casey. The whole thing was insane. I truly didn’t believe that it was real life; I assumed I had fainted and was having a weird dream or something.
As if meeting him (on Nantucket of all places) wasn’t weird enough, he asked if we had a particular Canon lens since his was broken and we had ours out. Then I remembered that he has a drone and our charging station was (🙄) left behind… so I asked if we could borrow his charger. He forgot his charger, but we had full batteries… and well, it all worked out. He vlogged about the day and included my Youtube channel in his description box, and I had the nicest people reaching out to me over the next few days. I also learned that so many of you watch his vlogs because I got tons of texts, DMs, and Snapchats saying you spotted me in his videos!
He was very kind and edited his vlog to make me look less like a crazy fangirl. He did confess that he was so desperate for the drone chargers that he would have been nice to me even if I was carrying a twelve-inch knife, so there’s that. In contrast, here was my version of events, tears and “is this real life” and all.
This post got a little long and feels all over the place. Again, I’m going with the “done is better than perfect” motto for it. I’m hoping you followed what I was trying to say here, and if nothing else, maybe you have a new Youtube channel to become obsessed with!