VidCon 2015 was amazing! I actually went into the weekend and conference thinking that this might be my last one. I was feeling really stale in my content and discouraged by the last few years of ever increasing fangirl mania so I wondered if this would be a massive waste of time and money. I wondered if I would actually learn anything new this year since last year as an Industry attendee, I felt like I was really just having the same information I already knew shoved down my throat.
But I was oh so very wrong.
This was undoubtedly my best VidCon yet! I took a lot of risks this time around, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of them worked out. If you read last week’s blog post, you know I went from staying alone in my own hotel room to staying with four strangers and sleeping on an air mattress which is way out of my comfort zone. Obviously, since I’m writing this blog post, I didn’t get murdered in my sleep. I definitely learned that air mattresses leave you FREEZING in the middle of the night because your body heat can’t collect in the soft mattress to keep you warm, but as far as putting four people in one tiny room with one bathroom, we worked it out well. I got to hang out and brainstorm channel ideas with one of my best YouTube friends, The Josh Speaks. I only see him once a year, but it’s like we pick up exactly where we left off which is awesome. Now we just have to stay accountable to one another in our channel endeavors in the next year! I tried out VidCon’s new Creator Track and it was completely worth it! The panels were awesome and very focused on small time creators like me looking to grow our channels and our creativity. And the fangirls had to stay on the first floor! Hallelujah! I met up with a Madi 2 the Max for the first time for an interview on her channel and started a friendship and partnership that I think has a lot of potential for the future. And finally, beyond just the inspiring and informational panels, workshops and discussions with fellow creators, I also made sure to do fun things like seeing movies (i.e. Paper Towns and Insurgent), attending VidCon Prom, and spending Sunday at Disneyland making even more new friends.
So what didn’t I do at VidCon?
Something I definitely didn’t do much of at VidCon was sleep. I started out well with 8 hours that first night because I forced myself to go to bed by 10 pm (especially since I’d been awake for 24 hours straight with the 3 hour time difference). But after that first night, it went downhill because there was always something interesting going on even if it was just a fascinating conversation. By the time I got to Disney Day at the end of the convention I only slept 3 hours beforehand and an hour between getting back from Disney and having to be up again to catch a flight. I’ve never felt my body rebel against me so much. When I woke up after that hour long “nap” between 1:30 AM and 2:30 AM on Monday morning, my body just didn’t want to work anymore. I was trembling so terribly that I didn’t know if I was going to pass out, throw up, or fall asleep while standing. It was awful! It fortunately wore off by the time I made it to the airport, but for a while I was really wondering if I had finally pushed my body too far.
Even though my body wanted to rebel against my lack of rest and sleep, my brain kept telling me “But sleeping is a waste of your short but valuable time at VidCon! That’s the struggle for many people—especially creative types. We need a certain amount of recuperation time, but we also have so many ideas that we want to implement that we can’t always find the time to sleep! This VidCon, I definitely learned that I do have a limit when it comes to lack of sleep, but I also learned that I can push my body a lot harder and farther than I thought possible. I certainly hope not to make this a regular occurrence, but it made VidCon worth it this year. I feel like I really squeezed out every last drop of interesting, informative, and fun during my trip.
So I’d challenge you to do something crazy too. Get a little less sleep in order to have new experiences or build your dream. It doesn’t have to be every day for the rest of your life (since you have to sleep eventually or you’ll die.) But at least for me, understanding that giving up a little sleep here and there for the sake of becoming a better creator and artist is absolutely worth it. Maybe this seems like a no brainer for you, but for me—someone who struggles with chronic illnesses—taking care of my body has to come pretty high on my personal responsibility list. But it’s actually quite liberating to not do it. To think about your dreams first. So don’t sleep yet, follow your dreams instead!
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