“I believe the second half of one’s life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it.”
I grew up with YouTube.
As a millennial, I watched its birth and wholeheartedly consumed the daily uploads of gamers and vloggers. YouTubers such as Marzia, Jacksepticeye and Cathrin Manning, all very different in content and personalities, who would keep me company after work so I could forget how my dreams and aspirations for a cute and fun life seemed to be going down the toilet.
I worked in hospitality but often I was too poorly to even leave the house thanks to Endometriosis. But these YouTubers also inspired me. I wanted to be them. Be a YouTuber.
But I was so bad at it.
The first EVER video I made for YouTube was in 2006 aged 22. It was a montage of game trailers from Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children backed to the epic song Chop Suey by System of a Down.
It was instantly flagged as copyright and taken down. Which sucked. I spent hours getting the edits perfectly in time with the song and thought it was a masterpiece. I quit there and then after one video. I didn’t upload another video after that until was 30. I was retraining to be a Makeup Artist and wanted to document a trip to London as a Makeup assistant for a fellow student who was building her portfolio.
I remember thinking I’m too old for this. Nobody is going to watch an “older woman” showing them how to apply makeup. Uh, how I wish I could go back and shake myself. This is what I’d tell her:
Nobody is watching.
I don’t mean they WON’T watch you, rather they are so absorbed in their own failings and self-judgements, like you are right now, that they don’t care if you succeed or fail.
And even if they do watch you, perhaps pass a cutting comment or two your way, it is only a reflection of them and where they are in their life at that very moment.
You are not their thoughts and opinions.
Everyone starts at the beginning. Everyone begins a fool. And people who aren’t kind to beginners have forgotten what it’s like or they’re one of those overly confident people who like the sound of their own voice. Never mind them.
I’m telling you I want you to fail, not because I’m a meanie but because it is the ONLY way you’ll learn and blossom. There are no shortcuts, no hacks or workarounds.
You have everything you need right now to begin. The rest will come with time and patience.
I love you, now go make me proud.
My Cozy Gamer Era
I believe you’d call this self-parenting. I think we millennials have needed to do that a lot as we’ve grown up in an age that our own parents had no experience to pull from so could not offer us guidance. I’m talking about the digital age. I’m fortunate because I remember what it was like to leave the house and be uncontactable but also how to code (even at a basic level) from my MySpace era.
So I’ll continue to read this letter to myself as I move into my next stage of life.. what I’m calling, my cozy gamer era.
Being a makeup artist never panned out for me. I got too sick and couldn’t continue my studies so I didn’t make any more videos either. Instead, I holed myself up inside my tiny home, with my boyfriend and our cat to play all the video games I wanted to play but never found the time to.
Making Family My Priority
Time passed but I never lost hope. I just went on a bit of a side quest. Shifted my focus to what was more important to me – family and our survival throughout my poor bout of health. Work took precedence for both my partner and me. It felt like I had a new job every few years, never feeling settled or able to make solid friendships with people who had similar interests as me. All I wanted to talk about were video games, because they were such a source of joy for me.
Gaming connected me back to when I was a child playing on the Nintendo Entertainment System and later the PS1. Discovering a new game to play was better than going out and getting drunk or gossiping about who cheated on whom at the work Christmas party.
I’d play Disney games like Kingdom Hearts, kick butt in Final Fantasy 10 2, and make friends with a bird named Goose in Animal Crossing Wild World.
When I met my fiance he introduced me to Halo after which we discovered Destiny together. A game that ultimately began my descent into the world of Twitch Streaming.
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On Becoming a Twitch Streamer
Would you believe I got affiliated in just 7 days! I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
Most streamers will stream to zero viewers for years, sometimes never getting affiliated. I was incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a community at that point who cared about seeing me succeed. It was very humbling.
But then came the fall. After 2 years of being a Twitch Streamer with 400+ followers and a good-sized subscriber base. I quit. I convinced myself that I was never meant to do this content creation thing.
That I was too old to be a gamer.
Apparently, it is my destiny to fail at everything. So why even bother anymore?
Just go to work, sit behind a checkout and scan groceries for entitled customers for the rest of my adult life.
Well here’s the thing – recently, I had an epiphany. I’m actually setting myself up for failure before I even begin.
Every time I hit rock bottom I blame it on age. Like a number has some control over my entire life and the higher it gets the harder I fall.
- I’m too old at 22 to be a YouTuber.
- I’m too old at 30 to be a Makeup Artist.
- I’m too old at 37 to be a Twitch Streamer.
These are the thoughts that repeatedly bubble to the surface every time I have a bad day.
But at what age do I think I won’t be too old? My age isn’t going to suddenly, and quite freakishly, start reversing. I can’t go back in time like Marty McFly and tell myself to get a grip so I can change the course of my future. This is real life, my life.
Why should dreams have an age limit?
Why can’t a 39-year-old, a 45-year-old, or even someone in their 50s enjoy gaming? We watch movies, read books, and enjoy hobbies that span all ages. So why not gaming?
So here I am, just a woman, aged 39, sitting before you sharing all the games that get me through the hard times.
I want to shatter my own limiting belief, stare it in the face and say.
You’re never too old to…
Start a Gaming YouTube Channel.
And that’s why I’m beginning fresh. Not just to share my gaming experiences, but to build a community. A place where we can all belong, regardless of age. Where we can share our triumphs, our funny fails, and maybe even some tips for fellow ‘late bloomers’ in gaming.
Aging can be unkind and cruel but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t punish ourselves for something we have no power over. We cannot control the flow of time any more than we can control who chooses to watch our videos.
I refuse to hide my love of gaming due to my fear of being too old anymore.
If you’d like to start a Gaming YouTube Channel this year I recommend having a skim of my post, ‘Start a Cozy Gaming YouTube Channel (in 2024)‘ next.
Watch the full video here
- You’re not TOO OLD to Start a Gaming YouTube Channel - February 3, 2024
- Every Cozy Game I bought in 2023 on Nintendo Switch - January 27, 2024
- Unlock Your Best Year Ever in 2024: A 90-Day Guide to Transforming Your Life - January 5, 2024