You guys may well think I’m silly for writing this post, but I’m going to anyway. I have thoughts and I need to get them out. I’m a firm believer in writing down your emotions rather than bottling them up.
Anyway. If you’re tired of my complaining about not meeting Jack, then I won’t blame you for scrolling away from this right away. Feel free, or you can carry on reading. But not only am I saying the obstacles that are in my way, I’m also writing exactly why meeting Jack matters so much to me. I’ve broken it down so hopefully it’s easier for you guys to read.
I know I’ve posted about this a billion times before, but I feel the need to do it again. I kind of stop thinking about it, and then something reminds me again. I see gifs from PAX, I read about people meeting him. I’m happy for everyone who does, but I’m reminded that it hasn’t happened to me and maybe never will. I feel selfish for thinking this, but I can’t help it.
Just wait, it will happen, I hear you say. But that’s easier said than done, for a number of reasons. If it was just as simple as being too young to go on my own or whatever, then yes, it would only be a matter of time. But it’s not.
First of all, I can’t afford to go to conventions (particularly so if they are in another country, and I’m yet to find one in the UK that Jack goes to). I currently don’t earn, and even when I do it won’t be much - musicians often don’t earn much at first, and I’m not making anything from YouTube “yet” (I hope I will but it may never take off for all I know. I can’t rely on it).
Then there’s my current mental state. Going to a convention would be difficult thanks to my wonderful social anxiety. Just the thought of the crowds, the people around me while travelling… And I imagine that travelling, and the convention itself, would take a lot of energy - possibly too much for my depression to handle. Maybe I could push through it to meet Jack, but I don’t know; would it be worth risking putting myself under too much pressure?
And that’s not all. Oh yes, there’s more. Getting to another country is difficult for me for another reason. I can’t do it by myself. Yes, I’m 21 years old and I don’t know how to go through an airport by myself. I feel stupid. Not just because I’ve never learnt how, but also I struggle with things like that. I always have. I’m particularly brilliant at getting lost. My anxiety loves it, not.
And there’s more. Since I’ve started watching Jack, I’ve been at university/college so I haven’t had the time to go away to conventions. Once I leave here in a couple of months time (*panics*), I will be focusing a lot on YouTube, and probably having to find a job (yawn). And until I find one and have money, I can’t go even if I have the time.
This may well sound like I’m making excuses, but honestly… I’m really not. I wouldn’t. This is something I need to do in my lifetime, it’s a dream of mine. Jack is my hero. I have no reason to make any excuses. These are all genuine barriers to one of my life goals. Obstacles that feel insurmountable. And it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart to think that I may never meet the person who began to turn my life around. It breaks my heart to think that I may never get to thank him in person for what he’s done. It breaks my heart to think that I may never be able to hug him. He feels like a long distance friend - or even family, if I can say that. Jack means the world to me. More than he’ll ever know - but if I meet him, I can get closer to expressing it than I can from here.
I have thoughts about what I would do if I did meet Jack. I already know that I will make a folder or something of stuff I’ve made for him (fanart, poems, etc) and I’ll give it to him. And, of course, I’ll give him the biggest hugs he’s ever had. I’ll do my best to let him know what he means to me. I’ll tell him about how he’s inspired me and that my YouTube channel is beginning to grow thanks to him giving me the courage to make more videos. I was anxious to go on camera, but he made me brave, and now I love it immensely and want to do it for as long as possible.
Jack is not just a YouTuber to me. He’s been a counsellor when I’ve needed advice and someone to care. Jack has been a friend when I’ve felt alone, believing in me even when I didn’t anymore. He’s been a beautiful green light in the pitch black void of depression and anxiety, the hope I needed when mine was all gone.
He’s been like an annoying older brother who makes stupid jokes to make you laugh - which means even more to me as one of my older brothers, who made me laugh a lot, is no longer with us. He’s been someone to watch playing games now that I can’t watch my brother play them anymore.
He’s been a lullaby when I couldn’t sleep, cradling me with kindness and wrapping me up in smiles and laughter. He’s been a soothing voice amongst the painful noise of life. He’s held my hand when I’ve been hurting, wiping away the tears from my eyes. He’s started to heal the cracks in my heart and mind. When I was starting to lose sight of anything good in life, having less and less reasons to smile, he showed me that things weren’t so bad after all. He taught me to genuinely smile again.
And Jack is the reason why I found this wonderful community, and have made amazing friends who have made me feel cared about. You guys have made me feel less lonely despite the isolation of social anxiety and depression. Without Jack, I probably wouldn’t know any of you exist.
And that was just him being cheeky can you imagine him actually TRYING to be sexy? Can you fucking imagine being near that? I’d faint on the spot. I’d be dead. All the love in the world to @carwoodbury for making this holy grail of a gif.
Beverly Gooden is a writer who started the hashtag #WhyIStayed in response to the media’s tendency to blame survivors when prominent stories on violence against women emerge, such as the video of Ray Rice violently attacking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an elevator.
#WhyIStayed has drawn attention to the complexities of the domestic violence cycle that is so difficult for many women to escape. Gooden’s campaign allowed her to share her own story of the abuse she survived. She states, “I tried to leave the house once after an abusive epiosde, and he blocked me. He slept in front of the door that entire night. I had to plan my escape for months before I even had a place to go and money for the bus to get there.”
Gooden’s message has resonated with thousands of other Twitter users who have used the hashtag themselves to share their own stories.
Read examples of their tweets and learn more about violence against women via Mic.
We blame society, but we are society.
We say it’s horrible, but we created that filth
They blame our generation, but they forget who raised it
We blame everyone for the mess we’ve made, not just our generation, all generations, for letting this get too far.