I Think I Need to Come Home


Hello YouTube ! Or Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram. We post natively in the modern day. Today marks 10 years since the first
time I posted a video on my youtube channel. I’d like to go back a bit and
talk about that person and who they were and how we ended up here and why I
haven’t posted a video in like a year. When I posted that first video, I was 17
years old, and I was very afraid. Of what? Of everything, in short! I had always,
growing up, identified as a fighter in some way shape or form. I was a fighter.
Whether that was me being relentlessly scrappy on the sports field,
or an extremely vocal goalkeeper screaming at defenders who were much
taller than I to get them organized. I was also the shortest in my class, and
naturally that created a complex within me. In the school
pictures, I was the one that was like in the front of the line. That was me. I did
that. I always felt that something was, like, stacked against me. Like I had to be
resilient and I had to survive. I had to overcome. That was always in there as a
kid. For the first time in my life, when I pressed upload on February 10th of 2010,
after editing that video for over 18 hours because I had no idea what I was
doing, I felt a sense of control over my life that I never had. Ever. In my life
And that video is bad by any metric. That video is extremely bad. But I was so proud of it. It was something that I had made, something I created from
nothing, and worked very very hard on. I was so excited. I shared it with every
single person in my life. I always loved to make people laugh, to make them feel
good. That’s still the case to this day. It’s something that is really important
to me. I want to make people feel good. It was never about me. It was always about
other people. I wanted to help. I wanted to fix things. I wanted to make people
feel better. I wanted to make them laugh, to make them have a good time. I kind
of wanted attention through that, but I wanted attention to like a facade in front of me. Because how dare
you actually try to attempt to perceive me? I’m a creature of the
night. I’m unknowable. And how dare you try to
perceive me? All I knew was that I didn’t feel good a lot of the time. In my heart.
I didn’t really feel safe. I felt uneasy. I felt behind and I didn’t
want anyone else to feel like that. And so I spent all of my energy trying to do
two things: trying to make people feel nice and better and happier, and also
trying to avoid how I was feeling. It was all avoidant. It wasn’t about actually
dealing with it or fixing myself. It was about fixing other people, focusing on
that, having a great time, and getting that dopamine hit of attention when I’d crush joke. That worked. That worked, you know, my whole childhood. That worked in
high school. That worked, you know, for a very long time, until it didn’t. And it
really stopped working. I went away to college and hit a wall. I got very very
sick. I was in a very toxic environment that failed me institutionally in a lot of
ways. And I came out of that basically on the verge of death. Not to sound intense
or anything, but yeah. When I was healing from that, and getting sober, and trying
to piece my life back together, in a way it all kind of felt natural, you know? I
grew up a survivor. I grew up a fighter. I grew up resilient. That was the narrative
I wrote for myself. It was as simple as winning. It was losing. It was overcoming
all odds and having that nice movie montage moment where all of the pain
suddenly became worth it. It was really easy to slot recovery into that
narrative. My videos started playing a really significant part in that. I used to describe it this way, as a feedback loop. It’s like, I wanted to
be a better person, so that I could make better videos, so I could be a better
person, and so on and so forth. And it would feed back on itself and then one
day I would be happy. And the thing that came to represent that happiness was
moving to Los Angeles. I went very very
hard during that time. I was working full time, making two videos a week. Those
videos we’re really intense, and I was just going. I was going real hard. I was
going so hard, and all of a sudden I had enough money and I felt like I could
move to Los Angeles. And I started the road trip. And then I moved out here and
then… I got everything that I worked for. I accomplished the thing that I set out
to do, the thing that I had in my mind and in my heart
symbolized winning in the end. The thing about life is that it keeps going until
it doesn’t. My life kept going and I had no idea who I was anymore, you know? That
narrative didn’t fit. It didn’t really fit the mold anymore. I really wasn’t
sure what my place was in it. I wasn’t really sure what my place was on YouTube
either, you know? I had a lot of friends who were being massively successful, like influencers, getting all these brand deals and blah blah blah. And I
tried my hand at that. It just wasn’t authentic to me and it
felt wrong. It also felt like, in a way, I never really planned for that. I started feeling a little bit alienated from my own
community. And a lot of that was self-imposed, you know? I just felt
like I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it. So when I would go to
parties or whatever, and people would be like “What are you working on?” I wouldn’t
really have a solid answer to that. And I just felt shame. I felt embarrassed.
All the while I was still giving so much of myself, and those things were so
important to me. You guys were so important to me. Having those
conversations and talking about these things. It was also very very
intense, like life and death stuff. It’s freaking intense and you shouldn’t take that lightly, cuz none of it is light. When I moved out here and I
accomplished the biggest goal that I had ever set for myself, a goal that I had that I had built from scratch and achieved, I didn’t feel pride.
I didn’t feel happy. Ididn’t feel energized and excited for whatever the
next phase was. I felt lost. I felt like that fighter identity that
carried me for so long just didn’t really fit anymore. I wasn’t really fighting anything anywhere. My life was going well.
All the things that I had fought, I had defeated. And I had nothing left to fight…
or so I thought. I started fighting myself. I started really
going at it, repeating all of those really ugly cycles of abuse that I
had lived through. I was like, “that’s all I know,” so subconsciously I started being
really mean to myself. It’s been like four and a half years that I’ve lived out here,
and I really have continued to feel that way, which is sad to me, you know? I
don’t deserve to feel that way. You know what? None of us deserve to feel
down on ourselves, especially when things are going pretty well. Why am I talking
about this? Creating videos started reminding me of all the things that hurt
me, and so the idea of doing it started hurting me as well. I walked away from it. I
walked away from the best thing that ever happened to me. I walked away from a
vibrant, wonderful, diverse, intelligent empathic, just amazing group of people
congregated around things that I have made. I put it on the back burner and
I decided to get a job and focus purely on that and really think in the
present. I often describe it as shrinking my ambition a little bit. I describe the
past couple years of my life, and I’m hoping I’m near the end of it, it’s like
my chrysalis. I’m in the thing turning myself into goo and
metamorphosizing. Getting a little lost in order to get myself found again. And I
found a lot of really amazing things. I really have. Like, you know, I found a love
for cats. I went from being allergic to cats to having two cats that are the
loves of my life. The joke that I often make is that I’ve spent the last several
years literally transitioning into a crazy cat lady. Anyway, I’m sure many of
you know the story of Socks. But then there’s also Sneakers who was found in a
parking lot by a construction zone and then ended up in my house and now in my
heart. All right get out of here! Get out of here you guys!
I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate with other people outside of
myself. I’ve been a bit of a homebody for my whole life and through a lot of
the work that I’ve been doing, I’ve really kind of come out of my shell in a
way. And I can interact with the world a lot more effectively than I ever have. My
self is emerging and revealing themselves to me on a daily basis and
it’s nothing short of magical and wonderful. So when I talk about all of
these things and all of this pain, it’s not all bad. I don’t look back on my time
on the Internet negatively. In fact, I do quite the opposite. I am so proud of
what we all did together over the years. I’m so proud of the opportunities that
I’ve had, to be able to do so young, especially given where I
started from. It’s amazing. It’s so good. I think about all these things, you
know? I think about the past. I think about the present. What I want and all of
these really good things that are happening to me. And something that I’ve
only recently allowed myself to understand is that my heart is kind of
missing. I’ve felt stuck. I’ve felt silent. I’ve felt very very tiny, like three inches
tall. And that’s sad to me. A really interesting way of thinking about
emotions for me lately has almost diminished their role. If you’ve known me
for a while, you know I like feelings. You know I have many of them. You know the
feelings that we all have collectively together are very very big. They’re very
large and they happen all the time. I used to think that feelings were truth.
They were everything to me. My entire experience was based on feeling. Feelings
were the most honest things that exist. They are the most human thing that
exists. Everything is about emotion. Everything is about feeling. What I’ve
come to learn, as I’ve grown up, is that feelings themselves are not answers on
their own. They’re not answers.What they are, they’re clues. They’re our body and
our mind telling us what we need. The tricky thing about that though is that
they don’t just tell us outright. They’re real sneaky about it. They
give it to us via emotions that are fed through a lifetime’s
worth of filters, whether that’s experience, whether that’s just the way
that we’re wired. And all of these core feelings get fed and all of a sudden
they come out as things like anger, or sadness, or hopelessness, or fear. And our
job is to translate. So we’re downloading zip files, encrypted zip files, that are
like what we need. And we have to hack it. We’ve got to figure out how to
decrypt these, so we can read what the actual message is. My life is going
pretty well, but I keep having these experiences in my reactions. Those
experiences are so extreme. They’re so big. They’re so, just, massive and I get
crushed by them. And I think I’ve figured out what my heart’s trying to
tell me. I think I need to come home. Home for me is an interesting
concept, but this is the closest I’ve ever felt to home in my life. You all.
These videos. The conversations. The ideas. The putting together of thoughts
into a video. All of it. That’s home for me. Art is home. And I need to
go home because right now, in the present, I have everything that I need. I’m doing
much better than I think. I think that’s true of all of us. I think that a lot of
times we feel broken down, we feel victimized, we feel completely beaten up
by the world, and we just look in the mirror and we feel completely dejected
and worn out. That’s what the world wants us to think. And maybe I’m
tapping back into that fighter mentality, but I refuse. I keep going. We
have everything we need, I think, so long as we keep putting one foot in front of
the other. So long as we keep trying to be a little bit better today than we
were yesterday. All these things that I’ve talked about over the years, that
all remains true. So I think I’m gonna come home a little bit more often and
share with y’all. See where it goes. See what happens, just cuz I miss it. For
those who have stuck around, I am so grateful. You know, I feel so silly that
I’ve almost forgotten- or not necessarily forgotten, but almost blocked the ability
to emotionally resonate the connections that have been made
through this. And I’m really grateful that y’all exist. I’m really grateful
that you guys want me back and and everything. I don’t know what shape
any of this will take, but I’m excited to find out. And I think that’s really all
of it. Anyway enough sappy crap, okay? I’m done, okay? No I’m not. I look forward to the next time that our paths will cross
again and in the meantime. Thanks for watching.
you’ve just become this much more awesome.

About the author

Comments

  1. I always love seeing an upload from you. I really loved the video and loved hearing from you. I cannot express via youtube comment how much I needed to see this tonight. Thank you, genuinely.

  2. missed you so glad to see you again
    keep taking care of yourself
    i believe in you

    thank you for being a voice when i didn’t have one. thanks for being a great inspiration.

  3. It is so wonderful seeing your face and hearing your voice again. I've loved your perspective and your general vibe for so long. It's like a warm hug from a friend that you haven't seen for forever.

  4. Ugh you feel like a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and I didn’t know I missed you till I saw you again. Keep up the videos, we like seeing you around 🙂

  5. I have so much appreciation for you Connor! A very informative and well put video! I hope that you have someone in your life who can put their arms around you with a deep love who gives you the perfect amount of encouragement and respect and helps push you to achieve your goals! Sure, some of us can achieve all by themselves. But many need just the right individual to encourage them in just the right way! I am always happy to hear what you have to say each and every time! I'm here to continue supporting you and encouraging you along your life's journey! You seem to be doing a very good job of getting your life sorted out and going in a direction that is bringing some semblance of satisfaction to you and your Heart! Always with full respect for you Connor! Much Love from the American Heartland! Mark in Iowa.

  6. Just woken up to this and didn’t realise how much I needed to hear all of this, it really resonated with me and I’ve been through a similar journey, especially through the past few years. I’ve been watching your videos for around 8 years now (wow long time) and I always admired your content and honesty about your journey and it’s such a joy to see you back again. Thank you for putting such a big smile on my face this morning, we missed you and we love you. Welcome back, Connor💛

  7. Welcome home Connor ♥️ thankyou for letting us in on your thoughts and feelings. I really needed to hear these messages today.

  8. Oh I have missed you so much. You are the first person I remember watching and I feel like I grew up with you. Welcome home. <3

  9. I’ve been watching you for longer than I can remember. I always looked forward to your videos and I’m so glad to go back and rewatch and catch up! These last 2 years for me has been really rough and I haven’t been staying up to date with my favorite creators as much as I used to, but today I decided to check my subscription box for the first time in a while and saw you and thought “woah, I missed them. A lot. A LOT.” So I’m glad to see you.

    Sorry in advance for all the comments I’ll be leaving on the last dozen videos of yours

  10. I hate this idea of "you have to be working on something productive, otherwise you are shameful and not contributing anything". bullshit. I found a quote recently by Henry David Thoreau "There is nothing not even a crime more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, to life itself than this incessant business"

  11. Welcome home Connor <3 I have been following you for a while now (I think since you were still in Baltimore haha) and I just can say I'm really glad you are back 🙂 You helped me accept myself as bisexual and I would be forever really grateful for that.

  12. I think you a mindreader, you just said everything that has been on my mind lately… Welcome back! It feels like I am meeting a friend that I have not seen in a long time. I have missed you and your content and I am happy that you are in better space now!

  13. I ate my breakfast while I watched this video. I always like watching happy, calming, or wholesome things to start my day. You're like a warm cup of tea. The honesty and kindness is so comforting to my soul it gently warms me up inside and makes me feel alive from my day-to-day grind. And even though we don't know each other directly, the little space you created on this platform for people like me feel like I'm coming back to my home planet where I can be surrounded with similar souls like me. As soft as we are, we also like to every now and then kick it while go in an existential crisis. Because feelings bruh. Feelings. And it's nice to cut to the chase. We all came here with a mutual understanding of each other to just be open. I personally like how you can articulate these feelings so thoughtfully and true to get a good conversation going and plant perspectives in my head for me to reflect on. And I always know you're someone who cares. That means a lot more than you know. I really am grateful for you, your wisdom, your kindness, and your strength as a fighter to keep going. How lucky are we to cross paths with you, because in your own way your spreading love to those you touch. I hope this message finds you well. Also, cat people for the win. I wouldn't mind if you featured socks and sneakers more 👍

  14. Connor, I'm so grateful to be able to hear from ya!! So much of what you said touched me, and opened myself to what is going on my life.
    So happy you're coming home 💖

  15. I’ve been a fan since high school and our stories are so similar. Your works are so on time for me and what I’m going through. It’s like you took the words right out of my head and made sense of the pain. Thank you so much.

  16. Really liked how you described feelings like clues and that we're supposed to figure out what they mean, considering where they come from, the experiences, history, and all. That's something I've always felt but never put it quite that way. I like to say that feelings/emotions are a different language that we have to learn how to speak in order to find/be our true selfs in this world. Sometimes its fucking hard and exhausting, sometimes it's really beautiful and gratifying. I'm looking forward to your next videos and to hear about your own "emotional language". xx

  17. I didn’t realize how much I missed your voice ahhh! Welcome back! I look forward to seeing your face more often 😊

  18. i usually don't comment on youtube videos, but people aren't usually this honest and personal in youtube videos, so i think i might this time.
    after 3 years of watching your videos i would like to thank you. thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, for making me (us?) not feel as lonely and alien-like, as i sometimes feel when i'm submerged in my inner self. thank you for the insights and different ways to look at struggles and formulating your thoughts the way you do – i find it helpful, contrary to the use of the same old words describing complex human feelings. so thank you for grounding me a lot of times and thank you for giving me hope all of the times. 💜

  19. I think I have watched your videos since 2017, but I’ve never commented before, because I’m not that good at communication and tend to overthink what I should write. But I have always enjoyed what you make and some of your videos have helped me a lot to reflect on my own life in difficult times.

    So I just wanted to put that out there now, thank you and I’m looking forward to new videos from you whenever you feel like making them.
    🖤🖤🖤

  20. you know after this extremely long day it feels so comforting to finally come to a new Conner video i missed his voice so much

  21. Great video, I really like the idea of art being a home, I've struggled with that word "home" a lot but that just clicks, I immediately started thinking of this series of drawings I've done that I didn't even know was a series at first, but it's really important to me.

    I feel like your videos always make me think and get introspective, so thank you for making them, and thank you for being awesome.

  22. i intensely admire your ability to be earnest. i don't know how you'll take this compliment given i only know you through your virtual presence, but i struggle to be earnest even online. i shroud my big emotions in so much humor that it often goes over the head of perceptive friends who know me really well. you inspire me to be more honest, not only that, but you unknowingly provide me with the tools to do so by putting so many intangible things into words. you strike me as someone who writes poetry in the notes app, and i mean that in the kindest ways. sincerely (for once lmao), a fellow big emotions non binary person trying their best.

  23. thank you so much for everything you do. I’m glad you’re back. your channel is so important to me. just thank you💛

  24. There are youtubers that I watch multiple times a week out of habit and with barely any connection. But even if I haven’t seen you in a year, the connection is still there, it’s like you never left but with this added need for more because I’ve missed you. Welcome back💞

  25. Alienation is the emotional estrangement of people resulting from the mechanical and predetermined nature of their economic relationships with one another. Without social goals determined cooperatively and individually, people become cogs in a machine they have no control over.

    Never stop fighting. We have a world to win.

  26. very happy to see you :). my eyes were glued to the screen just now. very interesting what you said about feelings and ZIP files, will definitely think about that some more …

  27. Sometimes we cannot take parts of our survivor and fighting self into a new, thriving part of our lives. And that's hard. Thank you for coming back. We are so glad you are here.

  28. damn I hadn't realized I had missed you like this
    you make me have big thoughts and feel SO comfortable with being me, because you're you and it feels so close to who I am a lot of the time
    if I weren't so tired I'd have more smarter things to say.
    you're great

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