“Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you.”
–Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), author of “My Utmost for His Highest”
I spotted the above cactus while scurrying to 7 am Mass this morning.
By the time I emerged from church it was already kind of incredibly hot!
I am going to use these hot summer days to learn something, or a few things, new.
After I posted the other day about my YouTube channel, for example, I thought, Oh maybe I should actually learn what a YouTube channel, and is for, and how you make it look nice.
This all brought up deep resistance. I think I should know how to do things or learn things or feel my way on my own (pride). I’m not interested in probably 97% of what’s on YouTube (pride). I’m afraid I’ll get first overwhelmed, then obsessed (based on experience, a very real fear).
I like to forge my own path.
Okay, fine. But there’s a very thin line between forging your own way and sloth. There’s another thin line between not wanting to sell out and not wanting to risk failure and rejection. I would way rather sit on the sidelines judging the “marketers” while feeling smugly proud of my own relative obscurity. There’s a kind of dishonesty at the core that, lately, has been making for a certain degree of discomfort.
So yesterday I went on YouTube and searched “how to make a good youtube channel.” What came up were all these videos of earnest, engaging, enthusiastic, young men wearing backwards baseball caps who were just incredibly helpful!
They were all like, “You have to be adding something of value to people’s lives. You’re taking up people’s time and energy: what are you giving or offering them?” How great is that?
The next thing they all said was, “Find a niche. Figure out one fairly narrow thing upon which you want to focus. No-one, unfortunately, is interested in the meanderings of your daily life. You can’t be all things to all people.”
Also great: so sensible, though I never would have thought of it myself (obviously). And that you can’t be all things to all people applies across the board to all of life.
Then they went on to offer all these other bits of wisdom that I, too, have picked up in the course of my earthly pilgrimage, though in my case it’s taken about 40 extra years. They talked about wanting their first video to be so perfect, and being so crippled by fear, that they put off making it for months (I took the opposite tack, but the underlying fear is actually the same). They talked about being patient, about being willing to put in tons of work, about starting small, about not being obsessed with the numbers, about being yourself and not trying to copy or imitate anyone else.
I learned what a thumbnail is, and a tag.
But mostly I learned how much I have to learn, and about the depth of my arrogance.
But all the YouTubers also said you have to make a ton of mistakes, so no harm done. But I am going to put some real work into learning to make a decent video, and I’m also checking out the possibility of a podcast, and my thought is to narrow my focus to The Vocation of the Artist–which is a very roomy subject and basically would allow me to have long conversations with all my dearest friends.
So thanks for bearing with me as I continue to Connect All Us Exiles!
Because I can hardly imagine a greater secret joy than that.