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My First VLOG & My Growth List

GUYS.. I am so weirded out seeing myself being on camera. I especially hate hearing my own voice. I can barely even leave voicemails. It’s so SO weird. Anyone else feel the same?

I’m a person of extremes, and I sway back and forth between these extremes. It’s all or nothing. An example of this is I either care too much what people think that it inhibits me from being myself or I don’t care at all and end up hurting people in the process. I know that somewhere in between is a happy medium where one can be mindful of others while having confidence.

This past year, ever since quitting wedding photography, I felt like I lost my self-worth. I had incredible travel experiences and got to explore a lot of new hobbies, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I spent most of my year feeling insecure and caring too much about what other people thought. I guess I did put a lot of my worth in what I do. I never liked answering people when they asked me what I am doing with my life now, because it made me feel like a bum to say I was taking the time to do some soul searching. The truth is we’re very fortunate to have the savings to quit our jobs to pursue new dreams. Jacob’s new dream is youtube, and me? I’m still figuring it out. When the circumstances change and the time comes to support our future kids, it’ll be a different story. But right now, I’m having to teach myself that it’s okay to take time off. It’s okay to not know.

I read an article lately that inspired me to create a growth list. A growth list is where you list out your fears or things that make you uncomfortable and you complete them in order to reclaim your freedom. Who wants to live in fear for the rest of their lives?

My Growth List (Start Date Mar 5, 2014)
  1. Be on a youtube video
  2. Watch the entire video with the sound on (SO uncomfortable).
  3. Look at the camera next time.
  4. Talk to and take a photo of a stranger.
  5. Try a class 3 hike.
  6. Hike Angel’s Landing (April 15, 2015)
  7. Attend a new meetup by myself.
  8. Take an improv class.
  9. Take a speech class.
  10. Kill a spider.. even if it is with one of these. :P

Today I am crossing off the first item on the list. I posted up my first vlog (click on photo below).

my first vlog youtube and growth list.Pin

It wasn’t much of a success, because I struggled with talking. PERIOD. And looking directly at the camera. But the point is, I did it! So be it if I look or sound like a complete idiot. I know I can always improve upon it next time. Somehow I forced myself to be comfortable with being in photos. It’s unfair for a photographer to ask someone to do things in front of camera they’re not willing to do themselves, so I had to make it work. Now, I am going to make this work.

With enough exposure, these fears actually can be overcome.

What’s a fear you have that you would put on your growth list?

I’m thankful for firsts. I’m thankful that I allowed myself to be in this video. I’m thankful that I can make the decision to change and grow and live in more freedom each and every day. Cheers to finding a happy medium! This is week 25 of practicing gratitude on my blog. You can see all my other gratitude posts by clicking on the banner:

This is week 24 or practicing gratitude.Pin

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. i don’t know how i missed this post.

    look at the camera!

    and did you write jacob’s dream is ‘youtube’? i know what you mean but for people who don’t know yall, that sentence just looks like um… he has nothin’ else going on in life. (when i grow up i want to be a youtuber?!) =P i kid. i know what his dream is (I think?) but i’m just picking on your writing =P

  2. Annie Montgomery

    no, I am toootally the same way. every time I hear my voice, it always takes me aback. ‘that CAN’T be what you hear?!’ haha am I missing it? when I click on the photo, it just wants me to pin it. s.o.s. ;)

    1. esther julee

      Isn’t it so weird how different you hear yourself and others hear you? I fixed it just now! I’m using a new pinterest plugin which changed them all to be like that.. so now I have to go in and manually change them. OOps!! Sorry about that & thanks for letting me know!

  3. You two are the cutest! I was smiling the whole time. I can’t wait to watch your vlogs :)
    I never thought about a growth list before, but I think it’s such a great idea. I think for me, what would be on my list is, just to talk to people more… in Japanese that is. There are some coworkers I would love to get to know better over coffee or dinner or something, but I’m just so afraid to ask sometimes just because my Japanese is pretty much preschool level. Ah!

    1. esther julee

      Thanks so much! :D I think I know how you feel. I am really hesitant to even order anything at restaurants in korean. I’m sure your coworkers would love to get to know you better if you went up to them first! :) I feel like a lot of asians are more shy and keep to themselves. Hopefully, we can both grow in these areas!!

  4. Jennifer Chong

    HA! I don’t know if I saved the video “bloopers’ of my happy birthday esther.. but I should send them to you. listening and seeing myself is the worst.

    1. esther julee

      I wanna see!! :) I think we did 4 takes.. and most of it was just really bad. I was barely talking too! haha

      1. Jennifer Chong

        I dont want it to go viral lol jk
        I can show you this weekend.

  5. Oh my goodness! So cute.

    I love that your contributions were “I’m Esther” and “I hate…. you”. Perfectly awkward and adorable.

    I am now listening to other videos of yours in the background, loving the birthday messages. I love how the videos have allowed me to learn more about you in a few moments than I have in over the last few months I’ve been following your blog. so much love in these videos. Looking forward to seeing more.

    1. esther julee

      hahaha thanks! :) i felt super awkward for sure. Thanks for watching my videos. :)

  6. Erika

    You are sooooo adorable! Haha! I loved the vid!

    And as for the stuff you’re talking about in this post, you KNOW I totally relate. Yes, it’s hard sometimes to have the answers that people seem to want to know for questions like that. People ask, “What are you doing now?” instead of asking: “How are you growing? What are you learning?”

    I think the idea of a growth list is totally cool. Hmm, ways I could grow? Well, I’ve just started this week but definitely being more physical. I think thinking less about myself in general (just leads me around in circles) and being more generous and open with others, especially my friends. I also think I could grow by continuing to stick with things even when they are hard.

    1. esther julee

      haha thank you!! :) i’ll take the compliment! hopefully, it won’t take too long before i can actually make some eye contact. lol

      that’s a good list for growth. :) i could work on all of those same things. i like the idea of having it written out and crossing them off. i think it will help me realize that life is always fluid and we can always change even when we feel stuck.

  7. shoutingchow

    This is awesome and I love the video. It’s so you! :) I agree we should be strong and not care what others think but I know it’s a lot easier said then done. I’m glad we have each other for support :) I can’t wait to see your next video!

    1. esther julee

      :) maybe you should write up a growth list too and start knocking them off one by one!! i think it will be good for us to let go. also reading the article made me realize sometimes we’re so wrapped up in ourselves wondering what other people think of us, that we forget that other people are doing the same thing. haha

      1. shoutingchow

        hmmm maybe … i’m not good with all these list things like you are :)

        yea actually that was one of the biggest take away from that article – wondering what other people think when they’re also wrapped up in their own world. i’m trying to remind myself, who cares if i get call out or make a fool out of myself. those people probably won’t remember me in an hour. i’m slowly learning to let go and not care what others think :)

  8. Melissa | Dash of East

    HA! Loved it! Now I really, really miss you guys. Looking forward to seeing more videos, especially with you (Esther!) in them :-D

    1. esther julee

      We miss you too and the talking panda. :P haha I’m working on it!! Hopefully, I will get more comfortable after a few of them.

  9. Jessica Angeles

    You’re so cute! I’d be totally nervous too, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it! Obviously I subscribed! So excited to see what you guys come up with!

    1. esther julee

      haha Thanks!! :) & Thanks for subbing! I hope I do get used to it. I still haven’t watched and listened to it yet. :/

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