4.

My youtube channel turned four today and I feel very, very strange about it.

By the time most humans are four they can talk and walk and go potty and do, y’know, people stuff, and they’re becoming people. But I still feel like I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what it is I’m doing. Yesterday I looked through my uploaded videos, and it sort of shocked me how little sense the journey I’ve come on has made.

 

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1: August 27th 2009 – August 27th 2010

The first video I ever uploaded was a 2:07 clip shot on a webcam of my best friends in the whole world excitedly dancing around the playground of the apartment I lived in at the time. It was the summer before sixth grade and we were having a goodbye party for one of my friends who was moving away. At the time I’m sure I felt very grown up, but looking back at it made me feel like the video immoralized the last real grasp I had on childhood.

I spent that whole first year uploading little skit videos with my friends. They amused us at the time and are cringeworthy now. Gradually these videos became more complex, with, like, editing (wow) and the first video I’m willing to call a ‘short film’ was uploaded around this time. The shots were amateur and the acting was awful, and the whole “wow ok I want to make movies that is a thing I’d like to do with my life” thing didn’t really click until 8th grade, but it’s interesting to see how much being on YouTube while growing up nurtured my interest in film. …Even though it created more cringe material for future me than I’d really like to admit, but if you look back at your art and don’t cringe, I think you might be doing something wrong.

I think July 10th, 2010 was the day I uploaded the first video that I can look back on and firmly tell that I am a full blown ~~tween~~ in, and that was around the time I started to wean off my attempts at this “humour” thing and just vlog.

Also I’m pretty sure I started wearing a training bra at this point so my SPIRAL INTO WOMANHOOD is obvious.

2: August 27th 2010 – August 27th 2011

One year down. I had 26 subscribers. PURE UNADULTERATED SUCCESS.

I uploaded a video on 10/10/10 that kind of amazes me, because my demeanor is actually fairly similar to how I act now, I’m just so unbelievably awkward looking, and my editing is terrible. That year was the height of my awkward phase, so it’s really great that I uploaded the infamous Slut Shaming and Why it’s Wrong then…

I haven’t really talked about the impact of that video on, well, my whole life basically, and I won’t go too in-detail here, but  it almost dumbfounds me how out of the blue its entire creation seems in retrospect. I’d never, never, never uploaded anything at all like that video before. There is nothing in my uploaded videos that could indicate that I’d ever do something like that. And then suddenly I just did. And I think there’s a kind of beauty in that, in just making a video about something you care about for no other reason than because you wanted to. I had 33 subscribers at the time, it’s not like I thought anyone would really see it. I wasn’t setting out to become a Big Bad Feminist Vlogger (watch out). I mean, the editing goes completely downhill halfway through it anyway, who would want to watch that? And yet it resonated with (at the time of this writing) 662,281 viewers. Which is insane for several reasons, the most prominent of which is that I don’t even think I fully understood what I was saying at the time. Part of why I wrote that script out was to help myself understand a concept that was so new to me, this form of opression I’d been socialized to not even notice. It was weird.

3: August 27th 2011 – August 27th 2012

The first video I uploaded in my third year involved me dancing around downtown with ketchup. Solid way to start, honestly. I also ranted about school, hit 100 subscribers, and uploaded A L T A I R, which is kind of a landmark video for me. As you can tell from the spaces between letters in the title, that was the first video I’d ever made with the intent of creating art. And I think it sort of worked out? That was when a lightbulb went off in my mind saying “yo. Dude. You could maybe do this legit film thing,” and that led to a lot of uploading of similar videos throughout the year. This was definitely the year I got serious about improving my filmmaking.

A Storm in New York and Always On were my way of remembering my whirlwind two day trip to Manhattan to be on Anderson in January when the slut shaming video was really picking up steam. I was still hella awkward looking at that point, which leaves me a little embarrassed, but it also makes me kind of happy to see how jarring it is to watch a dorky-looking kid smack down people with the unholy hands of feminism, you feel me? It’s hilarious.

This was also the year I decided starting Other Zine was a good idea (it turned out not to be, but you live and learn).

4: August 27th 2012 – Today

This is the year of “I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with this youtube channel and I’m not sure how I feel about that.”

Most of what I upload now are short and slightly uncomfortable vlogs, and film-y type things. I wouldn’t call myself a feminist vlogger at all, but that’s what most people think of me as. I have no clue what I’m doing. I’m not sure I ever did.

And, as is obvious, I decided to write this whole reflection out instead of make a vlog about it, which I think says a lot, but I’m not exactly sure what.

 

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Here is a list of some of the things I did two days ago in no order:

  • Worked on Opalside
  • Wrote rap lyrics
  • Played the Sims for like 3 hours and wondered if I’d be an entertaining host for a Let’s Play series, then decided that no, I wouldn’t, because my entire simming experience relies on cheats
  • Cried
  • Sang to myself
  • Illegal things (not bad ones, calm down)
  • Wrote poetry
  • Did something I’ll upload on my beauty channel soonish

I’ve been thinking a lot about What I’m Going to Do With My Life and What I’m Going to Be When I Grow Up and How the Actual Fuck Am I Going to Graduate and What On Earth Will I Study in College and How Will I Get a Job That Doesn’t Make Me Want to Die More Than I Already Do, but mostly The Future is Really Scary, and I keep wondering how all the weird shit I do with my time will translate into that. There are so many different things I want to do, and I want to do all of them at once, but I don’t know how I’d manage that without breaking. And is it even possible to be a musician/poet/art magazine editor/filmmaker/makeup artist/E.E. Cummings anyway? Can I do that? Is that a thing? How would I make money off it so I can pay for the Tiny House (or maybe just studio apartment, I haven’t decided yet, it just needs a hairless cat in it) I want to live in one day? Provided I can even stay alive long enough to get there with this fucking brain demon called depression and his pet dog, anxiety, living in the penthouse suite of my body and not paying rent. hOW Do U DO THE “”LiFE”” THING????????¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿?????

It seems like four years, once you’re older, doesn’t always mean too much. No matter what, any year will bring you countless things– not all of them good– but I feel like it makes more of an impact when you’re still young and figuring out what exactly it is you want to do in life, and who exactly you are. I’m fifteen. Four years is ~26% of my life. Did I spend that well? Do I like who I’ve become and who I am becoming? I don’t really know. And maybe that’s a depression thing, and I know I’m just having some slight teenage existentialist angst problems, but Sarah From Four Years Ago probably wondered about some of the same things. While I realize the immense pressure to specialize and worry about careers so early in life does more harm than good, I’m still affected by it, and it almost makes me a little sad that I’m still essentially lost in life.

Aaaaaaaaand now I sound like an 80 year old man who regrets his whole life. I’m not, I’m just confused about how I feel about the past and the future.

i know one day

life won’t be so

hard, but that

doesn’t really make it

any easier right

now.

 

I’m sorry this got depressing– it was unintentional but happens a lot.

Thank you for reading this and caring about the things I say and do and generally making my life a little more interesting and a little less scary.

-Sarah

 

 

ode to the cellphone pic

Question: why does everyone hate cellphone pictures so much?

I constantly hear people making fun of “iphoneographers” and using the word like it’s some kind of slur. I just? Don’t? Get it? I mean, the rise of smartphones is one of the greatest technological happenings ever. It’s brought so much into the palm of your hand and the pocket of your jeans. Snapping pictures on cellphones is convenient, and I know that convenience isn’t really a concern for most photographers, but I find that more and more of the little moments in my life that make me feel like being alive is, like, actually a good thing are captured on my phone. Yeah, having a cellphone doesn’t make you some bigshot professional photographer, but I honestly think it can be a decent little step to getting there.

So screw it, not only is this my ode to the cellphone pic, it’s a little glimpse into my world this summer. Everything below was taken on an HTC One V or an iPhone.

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26/05/13: my boyfriend and I explored under the SkyTrain tracks and found a shopping cart on the way. Good time.
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17/06/2013: joking around with one of my best friends– a bunch of people think we’re dating and we like to egg them on
16/06/2013: went vintage shopping with my friends only to find this FUCKING TERRIFYING HEAD while leaving the store
various days: viiiiiiibes. It sucked and then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong (that title omg), an E.E. Cummings poem, a page from Crackers and Honey #5
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24/06/2013: Went to White Spot for milkshakes then McDonal’s for smoothies with my favourite people. Healthy choices.
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08/07/2013: Science World adventure.
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08/07/2013: The exhibit being held was about the science of sexuality which is the only reason we went. Here we’re pictured daydreaming about penises… The film was about conception and the couch was comfy, what can I say.
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08/07/2013: There are really cool art installations in the outdoors area of Science World and I was particularly taken with this red balls one. I mean, GIANT RED BALLS. GUYS.
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12/07/2013: Obligatory pizza picture.
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12/07/2013: perfecting the art of the fake drunk girl selfie ✿♥‿♥✿
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20/07/2013: late night Vancouver Island wandering
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23/07/2013: I saw Avenue Q with Nick and it was frickin gr9
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28/07/2013: I just. Every time I hang out with this woman I’m amazed by how much she belongs in an artsy teen movie or a Rookie spread or something.
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13/08/2013: Spent the afternoon and evening downtown with a bunch of lovely humans and pretty buildings.
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aaaaaaaaaaand lastly I’m not even going to explain this one, it’s just to bother Nick, not gonna lie.

There ya go. That’s what I’ve been doing with my time.

I may hate summer (because sweaters > sweat, I’m a winter girl), but it’s given me some pretty great moments.

Let’sbehonestthoughIreallyjustlovemyiPhone. AndbyiPhoneImeaniSelfieTaker.

K PCE IT

-Sarah

 

identity visuals

I’ve been thinking about IDENTITY. By which I mean, what is an identity? What defines us as people– our sexualities, the places we’ve lived and loved, our aesthetics, our favourite foods? Is identity something you’re born with or do you grow into it? Is it fluid? Is it fate? Can you choose who you become? Who even ARE you, anyway, at the core?

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clockwise from top left: victor enrich, peter garfieldli hui, alex colville

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clockwise from top left: kate lyn sheil, jenny holzerandrew volk, steven reinke

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clockwise from top left: ximena forero, still from the wizard of oz, sid blackli hui

coming home

The pictures below were taken more than a year ago, on June 19th, 2012. Looking back on them was a bit of a nostalgia trip– it’s weird both how unchanged I am and how much I’ve grown. I’m posting them now because 1) they kinda fit the vibes I’ve been feeling lately, and they give me some inspiration, and 2) I still love these photos, there’s just so much adventure to be had on a humid summer night at a park not far from home.

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Alaska, 2013

cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship’s amenities are a part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way. Transportation is not the prime purpose, as cruise ships operate mostly on routes that return passengers to their originating port, so the ports of call are usually in a specified region of a continent. There are even “cruises to nowhere” or “nowhere voyages” where the ship makes 2-3 day round trips without any ports of call.[1]

In late June, during my last week of school, my family and I went on a cruise. Even though personally I find the idea of a “nowhere voyage” super mysterious and romantic (probably because I’m a pretentious fuck, but whatever), my mother chose to go with a trip from my hometown of Vancouver, BC, to various points in Alaska, like Icy Strait Point and Hoonah, Juneau, various glaciers that I’ve now forgotten the names of because I’m not very worldly, and just a wonderland of beautiful mountains engulfing us as we swept by then on a 12-deck ship.

My mental state’s kind of a mess at the moment so I can’t honestly say I had the best time, but I shot two rolls of film with a trusty Pentax K-1000 (claaaaassic, am I right?) and I’d like to share my favourites.

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We fan ourselves on deck ten,
the sun smearing yellow slabs of light in our eyes.

You know there are cruises that don’t stop at ports;
they go nowhere
—my friend informs me.
But I need to be moving towards something
at all times.

He won’t call me back;
he says he’s drunk but he misses me.
—the other one whines through a smile of toothy lament.
We all nod in counterfeit agreement.
Within each nod exists a gated community.
This is love. A false sense of security.

Everybody who so much as glances overboard
contemplates jumping.

All Lounge Chairs Are Collapsible, from freshlysqueezedpoetry

1st

I always feel like the first post of a blog, first entry in a journal, first note taken in class, should be something consequential. Meaningful, y’know? Important.

But I had a blog before. The same blog, basically. It just got hacked (by a hacking group from Bangladesh??? WHAT??? I laughed for like ten years when I found out I s2g, not a hyperbole at all) and I got forced to scrap it and try again.

The first entry in my journal is never really more important than purchasing it in the first place, finding the journal with the perfect line width and texture and page size, then decorating it (every single one of my journals since I was 13 has been decorated– my favourite so far has the words “DO NOT FUCKING OPEN THIS,” with letters snipped from various magazines, glued on the front).

I’m taking a grade 10 English class this summer, getting it over with and whatnot, earing my four credits and abiding the education system that I loathe so intensely, and we took notes on various literary terms. Like metaphors. Which I already understand.

Doesn’t mean anything.

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For our first assignment in the aforementioned English class, we had to pick a line from a list of quotations– they were referred to as quotes in the actual assignment sheet, but they’re called quotations, DAMN IT, AND THIS IS AN ENGLISH CLASS, GET IT RIGHT— and respond to it in any way we saw fit. The one I went with was an Alfred Lord Tennyson one, “words, like Nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within.” I wrote a shitty poem in response (mainly because I didn’t wanna write a paragraph, let’s be honest here), and not all of it was very good but the one verse I actually liked is as follows:

See, words,

even when strung together in lines,

even when they’re “about you,” or “I don’t know, not that good,”

even when wrapped in the red string of fate and handed to you as a gift,

they are not yours.

They will not mean to you what they meant to their author.

And maybe that’s for the best.

John Green talks a lot about books belonging to their readers, not their authors, and words and sentences being up for interpretation, and I think that’s a really cool way to look at things. Like, my boyfriend’s written a few poems about me (they’re pretty great, but I’m a little biased), and I’m never ever ever gonna know what exactly he was thinking of when he wrote them, even though they’re about me. I’ll never get the same message out of them as he does. I’ll never understand them they way he can. They’re not my words. I can interpret them however I want. They can mean something to me if I let them.

When I talk about wanting a blog post to mean something, I guess I’m just hoping I’m poetic enough to slap someone in the face with ~~deep thoughts~~ or whatever.

So does this post mean anything?

I don’t know.

I think the point here is that that’s kinda up to you.

 

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