Yesterday, I got on stage in front of 60,000+ people in the middle of Central Park.
I should explain - All 60,000ish of those people were there to see the Jonas Brothers, and Metallica, and Mariah Carey, and Rosalia, and a bunch of other artists perform as part of the 2022 NYC Global Citizen Festival. Also, there were 50 other people on the stage, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas (!!!) did almost all of the talking, so our job was to stand there for about five minutes as YouTubers committed to climate action (and ideally not embarrass YouTube as a company).
Regardless, it was not something I could have imagined myself doing a year ago, or even a month ago (or even in the days before, since YouTube didn’t actually tell us we’d be doing this until we got to NYC on Thursday night). And it made me reflect on how much I’ve changed and grown over the past year.
One year ago, I’d just gotten back from a week-long vacation. I didn’t know it yet, but I’d also be entering the longest and worst depressive episode I’ve ever experienced. The following eight months or so are honestly a bit of a blur in hindsight - I spent every day feeling like I was wading through a thick, dense fog, struggled to get any work done, cancelled plans and trips, and rarely left my apartment.
Anhedonia, or the inability to experience pleasure, characterized most of that period of my life.
I can’t say what exactly caused the fog to clear a few months ago. I made some intentional choices - changing my research focus to make it more compatible with my values, starting antidepressants, spending time outside most days (especially on the days that I didn’t want to), and finding online co-working groups to help me get back into a work routine.
But, there was a clear before and after, a period of about a week where the fog steadily lifted, and I started to actually want to do research, and make videos, and read books, and see my friends, and travel, and leave my apartment, and do all the other things that I hadn’t been doing that year.
One year later, and the fog is still there most days. But it’s a lot thinner and a lot lighter, and I can wake up in the morning and acknowledge it without letting it overwhelm me.
And in standing on stage in front of 60,000 people, I was certainly excited to have had the opportunity to be there, but I was (and am) even more excited for what’s to come now that I feel (mostly) like myself again.
P.S. - Here’s a YouTube clip of us on stage! I’m all the way on the far right of the stage, which didn’t have stage lights, so you can’t really see me. 😂
☀️ This Week's Snippets
❤️ Meeting New Friends! - I was in NYC for YouTube's Creators for Climate Action event, and I met so many amazing creators and activists who are way more qualified than I am to speak to sustainability and the climate crisis. I'm including a bunch of them below - highly recommend giving them a follow!
- Shelbizleee (YouTube)
- inspiroue (YouTube)
- Tiffany Toh (Instagram)
- Sage Lenier (Instagram)
- Aime Maggie (YouTube)
🧠 Quote of the Week
☀️ Catch Up With Me!
Have a great week!
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