I Got Good At Feeling Bad // “The Competition”

I’ll explain this picture below. My article in Time magazine, circa 2006.

About nine years ago, I started vlogging on YouTube.  It was a new concept back then, people making videos about their lives, and back then, there was a sense of community.  I had a small following to start, and it increased as I posted more and more content.  Some of my content included silly little movies that I cobbled together from various clips.  Some were montages of events, like a vacation, or a hayride at the pumpkin patch.  But most were just talking, unloading my wealth of young adult emotions, my novice concepts of the world, and ultimately my frustration with myself and those things around me.

People watched and listened and gave me much-needed feedback.  Viewers served as an objective third party and they often had kind words to impart upon me.  After months, however, there was a shift in viewership.  I received many comments about my relatability.  I was able to connect with people in ways that  I couldn’t have anticipated.

Ultimately, I was thanks for being brutally honest and making people feel less alone.  And I was cool with that.

The vlogging brought on an onslaught of new experiences, such as a Time magazine feature and a YouTuber meet-and-greet that was surreal and wonderful.  And then the attention became overwhelming after Time magazine and a front page feature.  I deleted my original account and became an internet recluse.  And then I started anew. I still vlogged and still connected with people, but on a much smaller scale.  A scale that I was comfortable with.

The video about includes an ex-boyfriend, embarrassment, dancing, jump cuts, montages, and younger versions of everyone.  It’s sweet, i guess.  Going through my YouTube channel has been a weird “blast from the past.”  Maybe I’m lucky to have an online time capsule.  It’s pretty cringe-worthy now.

I say all this because my frank, candid vlogs became blogs in later years, and in those blogs I found readers who could relate.  I couldn’t figure out what was so relatable.  Talking about my feelings was something I did to blow off steam.  But I connected.  Years later, I’m still thanked.  Still a concept I need to adapt to.

I suppose my strong suit is describing my emotions and how life events affect them, as well as whatever lessons I learned from those life events.  It all comes from years of being overly critical with myself, talking out my feelings, hearing/reading my own words, and figuring out what to do with them.

There’s a song by Kimya Dawson called “The Competition.”  In it, she describes the internal war she deals with; feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and trying to cope with or overcome these feelings.  I first listened to that song eight or nine years ago, and the message still rings true.  The internal voices fanning the flames of self-doubt are more quiet now, and can ultimately be ignored if the mood is right.

What strikes me most, now more than ever, is the last verse of the song.

“Now people send me emails that say thanks
For saying the things they didn’t know how to say
And the people in my head still visit me sometimes
And they bring all of their friends, but I don’t mind
I play my guitar like lightning
When I sing I like it when you sing too, loud and clear
Different voices, different tones, all saying “yeah, we’re not alone”
I got good at feeling bad and that’s why I’m still here
I got good at feeling bad and that’s why I’m still here
I got good at feeling bad and that’s why I’m still here”

Maybe I “got good at feeling bad,” in the sense that describing my depression and demons became key to my survival, and as a result, it related to the struggles of others.  All I do know is that I’m still here, despite everything.  And guess what?  So are you.  And that is pretty cool.

Your song of the day is “The Competition.”  Stay strong, friends.


Author: Leila

Just another case of arrested development.

One thought on “I Got Good At Feeling Bad // “The Competition””

  1. I enjoyed watching you on YouTube! I think you’re right about all of us being an outlet. For some of us it’s blogging. I’m glad you’re doing that and it’s a reminder to me that I have to keep it up too. I used to post everyday but it’s now more like three times a week and usually one of those is a picture post.

    Thanks for the nudge and for letting us see and hear you!

    Liked by 1 person

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