Social media, YouTube and Instagram give you a window into someone’s life. You can spend so much time listening to someone, hearing about their life or seeing photos of them that you think you know them. Feel like you’re friends.
But… YouTube and Instagram and other social networking sites are a curated glimpse at someone’s life. It’s a small piece of the puzzle that makes up who someone is.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my scrappy reach and wondering if I am really giving the best – the whole picture or if I am holding back big parts of myself.
So today I thought I’d share some random things about myself. I’d actually really be interested to know if you knew these things, which ones you knew and which ones surprised you. So if you’ll indulge me… please leave a comment. XOXO
Things you might not know about me:
1. I film all my videos on my iPhone.
2. I have a teaching degree.
3. I am a Christian. My faith and relationship with God really is the most important thing to me and I truly think it makes me who I am.
4. I work at a company called Plan to Protect. It’s a global abuse prevention, training and consulting firm. We help churches, schools, daycares, camps, sporting leagues and organisations that work with children, youth and vulnerable adults prevent abuse from happing and protect those who are vulnerable and their volunteers/staff. I’m the director of training.
5. I collect vintage cameras, stamps, and Hippos. I know it’s a completely random trio but I love them.
6. I am allergic to kiwi. Who knew a fuzzy green fruit could be a death trap.
7. I’ve been to 21 different countries. My favourites are Bolivia, Uganda, Italy, Ireland and Scottland.
8. I am actually kind of embarrassed by my YouTube channel. To be honest, I hardly ever tell people about it. Whenever my family, who thinks I’m a YouTube mega star (their words, not mine), tells people how many subbies I have I get so embarrassed. I don’t love attention.
9. I started my YouTube channel to overcome fear. About two years ago a friend and I were talking about all of the things I was afraid of doing. The list kept getting longer and longer. I stood back and read over the list and realised my fears were holding me back from life. So I decided to start trying to overcome my fear. This has lead to a journey of self-discovery. I’ve dyed my hair pink, pierced my nose, tried axe throwing and started a YouTube channel. I’m so glad I did – it’s helped me grow, get out of my comfort zone and unleash passions I didn’t even know I had.
10. I struggle with an anxiety disorder. January 25th is a day to chat about Mental Health, so I thought… well I should speak about mine. About 7-8 years ago I was diagnosed with Agoraphobia – a social anxiety disorder. I struggle with large crowds, unfamiliar public places and attention. Even though it was recently diagnosed it’s been something I’ve been struggling with since high school. I use to have 3-4 panic attacks a week – at sometimes multiple times a day. I was afraid of leaving the house… afraid of people… afraid to go anywhere or do anything. I was imprisoned by severe anxiety disorder and it was taking over my life and I couldn’t hide it anymore. Some days were so hard I couldn’t even get out of bed or I’d spend a week inside my apartment unable to leave. Finally, I reached out and asked for help. I started seeing a counsellor in University and eventually a clinical professional who diagnosed my anxiety as Agoraphobia. Giving my fears a voice and a name was the beginning of a journey towards hope, healing and coping mechanisms. I received treatment, support and help. My faith has actually made a huge impact as well. The more time I spend with the Lord and the more time I spend in the Bible the easier it is for me to face the world. I still struggle with severe anxiety and some days are worse than others… but I can confidently say I’ve only had 2 panic attack in almost 5 years. And it’s not because I haven’t left my house – I have. I travelled for a year and a half with the African Children’s Choir throughout Canada, the US and the UK living in a different home almost every other day. And for the past 3 years, I’ve been the Director of Training travelling, teaching and speaking about Plan to Protect. And for the past 2 years, I’ve put myself out there on YouTube and social media sharing my scrapbooking. Eight years ago when I was living in my apartment alone, afraid, and unable to speak about my severe anxiety I never would have imagined I’d be capable of doing these things – my world was shrinking and my anxiety and panic attacks were taking over my life. I truly believe we need to shatter the wall of silence, we need to let those with mental health challenges know that they are not alone and we need to break the stigma. People with mental health disorders are people and they need a voice! Perhaps you’re like I was, suffering in silence – don’t let agoraphobia, anxiety or other mental health concerns make your world smaller. Reach out… ask for help…and break the silence.