AUDI IRL | Worrying sucks.

What could you do less of?

Worrying.

About everything.

So much of my work relies on the attention of other people – algorithms are god in this creative climate and it can drive a person off the deep end looking at analytics too often. I used to find myself wondering if it’s even worth it to make audios when there are so many of us repeating the same scenarios, tropes, and occasionally even dialogue. I fell into the trap of watching everyone else around me and worrying about how to replicate a version of their success.

In my Reddit days if I had an audio with a thousand upvotes followed by an audio with 30 I felt like a failure. In my early YouTube days I would refresh my stats obsessively and compare myself to others. My confidence was coming from the wrong place – I was worrying too much about how people perceived me. I didn’t know how to draw boundaries or lines between my offline life and my online persona.

Most of my life has been about making other people feel good. I was raised in a single parent household – my parents divorced when I was still in single digits and my mom relied heavily on me to help raise my sister. I learned how to anticipate everyone’s needs and adjust my behavior accordingly. My job for much of my childhood was to make things easier on the people around me.

Worry is woven into my fabric, I don’t know who I am without it.

When I started dating I would worry constantly about my boyfriend – something he very much took advantage of. When he began abusing me I worried what people would think of me and that was part of what compelled me to stay for so long. When my nephew was born I worried something terrible would happen to him and would wake up crying from nightmares about never seeing him again.

I had to go to therapy to learn it’s ok to worry about myself first. It’s not selfish to look out for your own needs, whether it’s work- or life-related. I (mostly) no longer worry about how I’m perceived. With work, I post what I like and if it does well, awesome. If it doesn’t, that’s ok – I get the most pleasure from the act of creating and anything extra is nice but not necessary. With life, I show up as I am and respectfully voice my feelings and opinions and if folks don’t like it that’s all right with me. Someone’s treatment of me is a reflection of who they are and has nothing to do with who I am.

I used to make audios to make other people feel good. Now I make them to make myself AND other people feel good. I used to center my life around everyone else’s needs, and now I center my own. I still worry, and it still sucks, but I’m better equipped to manage my stress these days.

And if all else fails I take an edible and write.

Categories IRL