Every YouTuber gets this comment at some point in their career, I’m sure: the dreaded “you’ve changed” critiques. Over the past year or two, I’ve been getting this comment every now and then. Today I wanted to sit down and write a little bit of a personal post for you, to tell you about how I’ve changed (because I know I have), and why.
Let’s start by stating the obvious. I started making YouTube videos when I was 15 years old, in the height of puberty, the age at which you’re often lost, looking for your identity and place in the world. You guys caught me just at the end of my gothic and fantasy-obsession phase, then saw me though my brief Japan-craze, and then witnessed as I slowly calmed down and became more neutral, toned-down, and comfortable with the “mainstream world”, I guess you could say. You’ve seen me grow from an anxty teen into a much more stable and confident young lady.
If you read my story of how I experienced high school, you might understand a little bit better why I changed and why I’m happy about it. Like I mentioned in that post, I’d started out a very naive person, and went through a lot of disillusionment in my teens. I felt like I could finally see the world for what it really was, without the “goodness filter” that’s held before a child’s eyes, and I wasn’t happy about what I was seeing at all. My peers went about spending their teenage years and exploring the world in a completely different way than I was comfortable with, and I decided pretty soon that I didn’t want to be part of popular culture.
However, it’s human nature to want to belong somewhere. Have a group of people to call your own. Something to associate with and reflect on. As much as I wanted to not be part of the mainstream, I found it hard to reject everything and be completely alone. Imagine my relief and happiness when I discovered the world of fantasy, and the subculture that comes with it. I’d finally found a group of people just like me, that shared my interests, beliefs, style, everything! And since I didn’t have these people directly around me, I started visiting gothic & fantasy festivals religiously.
I was so happy to have found “my people”, that I completely threw myself into this world. I lived and breathed fantasy, neofolk, romantic goth, and everything to do with it. It was my new comfort zone, my base, my starting point. And of course that had to shine through in my videos. The lifestyle practically oozed out of my pores, and although if you look back, I didn’t make that many outright fantasy-themed videos back than either at all, my whole air of fantasy-ness must have been what attracted a lot of like-minded viewers.
However, as time progressed, I slowly learned to accept the world and society for what it is, and accept that I’m going to have to live with it for the rest of my life. I grew tired of being loudly and obviously against everything, I grew tired of having walls up all the time against random insults from strangers on the street, tired of always attracting unwanted attention, tired of feeling defensive, negative and resentful all the time. I learned to live my own life, according to my own values, but along with society, not against it.
My hormones subdued, puberty ended, and I didn’t feel the need to express myself so intrusively anymore. Who I am is my own thing, and nobody has anything to do with that. The way I dress won’t change who I am, and to be completely honest, it’s so much easier to look “normal” and not have to fight battles every single day. I got lazy. Something that may also have contributed is that the search for “my people” ended. I’d found my main person, Robbert, and in uni I found a bunch of like-minded people that shared my views and interests. I wasn’t looking for connections through clothing anymore, I’d found all the connections I needed.
As I stopped clinging to the goth & fantasy world so desperately, I rediscovered old hobbies and interests that I’d had before the big disillusionment. As a kid I used to love glitter and glamour, everything pink, playing classy and ladylike. That’s not something new, it’s something that’s at my core. It was there before the goth & fantasy, but I’d rejected it for being too “mainstream”. Now I’m comfortable with it once again, and after having read all of this, I hope you understand why I’m less comfortable with what you guys call the “old Loepsie”.
“Old Loepsie” wasn’t in too good of a place, was hiding from the world and needed a safe spot for comfort. I still love fantasy now, I still like the music I used to like and the books, poetry and art that I used to love. It’s just that now, it’s not the only nor most important thing in my life anymore. I don’t need it to be. I’ve become reacquainted with the aspects of myself and my interests. I’m more emotionally stable, comfortable and rounded now. That’s why it always does hurt me a little bit when someone says they liked Old Loepsie better. She may have been more interesting and unique, but I like New Loepsie better myself. I feel better within my own skin and I feel better withing this world.
As time progresses, I’m sure I will continue to change and develop. It’s only a natural process, and I consider it a positive one, certainly in my case. I know people that comment how much I’ve changed probably don’t mean to hurt me and it shouldn’t affect much at all, but maybe now you understand a little bit better what happened over the past few years, why I used to be who I used to be and why I’ve changed.
Also, thank you for supporting me. For watching me go through all my phases and watching me grow up. Thank you for still being here now that I have grown up, and thank you for always being supportive of my work and me personally. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.