April 14th, 2016
I received this comment on my latest post.
Clearly, I took the chance to reply, and now, write a whole post about it.
It’s not so much that I’m upset, but rather that I want to use this to bring up a subject I care about.
Growing up, my passions were art, fashion and writing. The main thing about me is that I’ve always been a creative kid. I loved art, my drawings and paintings were often chosen to display and I felt like I had something I was really good at.
From very little, all I knew was that I wanted to have a job that would allow me to be creative, it didn’t matter what it was, as long as I could have fun experiencing with things, allowing my creative side to come out.
In middle school, when I had to pick to which high school to go to, I instantly knew art and fashion were the subjects I was drawn to. Although writing and Italian literature were something I was very good at, I still wanted to pursue art school. Unfortunately, back then, my parents thought that art would waste my talent for writing and languages in general. So I followed their suggestion and ended up picking something in the middle: tourism and economy. This means that my knowledge for subjects I wasn’t to keen for became something I just had to learn, leaving my main passions aside. I studied English, French and Spanish, and quickly enough I discovered something about myself: I loved speaking French, I had a talent for it, and I enjoyed learning a
bout the culture. I also enjoyed more and more things related to travel, which before never really crossed my mind. To this day, I get all excited when I get to plan a trip, and not just if it’s for me, but even for other people.
So by picking a school that wasn’t really the perfect match, I enlarged my interests and learnt things that I wouldn’t have if I only pursued art school. And after years, I am grateful for that. While in school, I hated it for the first few years, I wanted to change. But eventually I went through with it, and now traveling and speaking foreign languages is something that dominates my life.
The bad side of this is that I never had the chance to fully developed my true interests, on a professional level. All the things I make, just come from my own skills and knowledge, as I was never taught the basics.
This is why, after high school, I signed up for university, picking Art History. It was my chance to learn what I had been craving for so many years.
But I believe that wasn’t my path: that summer I met Felix. As you all know, my friend Daizo found his videos and shared them with me. We eventually met up after a few months; I remember him hitting 10’000 subscribers while visiting me in Italy.
At this point of my life I had two options:
- Go for the “easy” road. I would go to school, get my degree, possibly move to Paris and work in the art field;
- Give all that up and follow my instinct.
Not going to lie. After spending weeks thinking about it, I texted Felix saying I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t possibly risk everything for something I didn’t know how it would play out. I had an easy, clear life path ahead of me, and it seemed silly to let it go.
A few days after, the realisation came to me: I didn’t want to be afraid just because I didn’t know what to expect; I wanted that excitement in life, even if it was going to be harder.
And so I packed my bag, said goodbye to my family, my friends, my pets, my car and my “planned out life”. I bought a ticket to Sweden, without knowing for how long I would stay, and rented a tiny flat in Partille with Felix. The rent was very low, but seemed so high for us: he was only getting started on Youtube, I was leaving my CV everywhere I could while dog sitting lots of dogs at the craziest times of the day and night. It was difficult, but we were trying our best, and we were happy and grateful to be together.
The first Christmas approached. I met Felix parents for the first time, who gave us some money as a gift, which we decided to spend on Maya.
Right after that, I made the decision of opening my channel. I didn’t address the fact that I was Felix girlfriend in the beginning, because already then I didn’t want to just be associated with a person, especially if I didn’t do the same kind of thing. I wanted to simply have a corner where I could share things with people. Eventually I gave in and allowed Felix to be in my videos; he was a massive part of my life, and there was no way I could stay detached from it. Unfortunately this meant that since the very beginning, and probably for as long as I will be online, most people will really ever recognise me as “PewDiePie’s girlfriend”. Not that I mind covering that role, I just always wished that people would address me like any other person – for the individual I am.
I talked about this topic over and over, so I’m not going to stay on it for too long, although it always hurts to see how no matter what I achieve, completely on my own, I will always being associated to Felix and my success will be partly credited to him. Surely, I’m well aware that being who I am helped, and I am grateful for that, but I also believe that if people stick around is because of what I have to offer.
The saddest thing is that not only random people that came across my online profile act this way, but even big companies and the press only see me that way. They don’t focus on my potential, they focus on who I’m with. I had so many press interviews that were just trying to get a scoop or juicy details with my relationship with Felix. That’s all they care about, and it’s low to reach out to someone just so they can ask about somebody else.
The worse thing, recently, is how my book has been marketed, heavily pointing out how I’m PewDiePie’s girlfriend – when my book has absolutely nothing to do with it.
All of this to bring to attention how, no matter how hard I try, anything I achieve never seems to be credited to me, fully. And it’s exhausting. It’s almost as if I have to keep proving myself, showing that I’m just as good as any other person. If you compare me to other Youtubers, on a professional level, I always stick to my upload schedule, I always come up with ideas for my content, I have a clear voice and vision, I put as much effort as anyone else when it comes to putting together and editing a video. And that’s just a small part of what my job requires.
Do I excel in anything? No. But do I fail in anything? No.
I just do my best. I do what makes me happy.
You will never get top quality content from me. I’m not a perfectionist, I’m just a creative person. To me, this means that over having the perfect and most beautiful video out there, I prefer to constantly come up with new ideas and content. Creating is the keyword here. That’s what I love to do. Sometimes is raw, sometimes is polished; other times is silly, while others is meaningful. Anything that I’m feeling will translate in my videos, they don’t need to be the greatest masterpiece.
Because I’m not a masterpiece, I’m a work in progress. And I like to be this way, because that means I will never feel like I’ve reached everything I want, as I always have new interests and I keep growing as I learn.
I wouldn’t want to be great at something, because I prefer to be able to enjoy the many different aspects that life has to offer.
Society tells us that we need to study, find a job, make a living to support our families.
I had so many sleepless nights over this, because I never felt like I was the kind of person that could pick something specific when there is so much to learn, experience and love. When I go after something, that could be a writing a book, drawing a painting, filming a show, designing a collection… I do it for me. I don’t expect success and greatness, what I’m after is personal growth while achieving dreams and goals.
I’m extremely happy with all the decisions I made in my life; nothing ever come easy for anyone, but you can make the best out of each situation if you let your passions guide you and truly follow your heart. I regret nothing and I’m so glad life brought me so much joy, but I keep working hard and never take anything for granted. If my life is shaped the way it is, it’s thanks to the way I am. I could have easily taken a safer route, but taking a chance was such a better and more satisfying experience: now I not only get to work in the field of my dreams, but I don’t need to worry about picking a certain topic to focus on. I can travel, paint, write, film, edit, design and create anything I wish… all at the same time! And it’s certainly not to fall under a label, as most people think – it’s in fact the opposite. I want to be seen as more than just a writer, or a fashion designer.
I have more depth and layers than that, which a label wouldn’t capture.
Even if people push me to do something or be a certain way, and criticise me for “sliding” and not being able to pick a field to excel in, I’m completely okay with how I’m building my life and I’m looking forward to achieve new goals, as well as learning and experiencing as much as I can in life.
Don’t limit yourself to something you know because you are afraid that otherwise you won’t succeed. Don’t do something just because you are expected to from other people.
Enjoy the process of discovering yourself, it’s way more rewarding.