10 years ago yesterday, I lost my grandmother. I still remember the day she died, like it was yesterday. She was taken by the horrible disease that is Alzheimer’s, and it was one of the most awful things I have ever experienced. I was only 12 at the time, but I was old enough to know what was going on, and that my grandmother was dying a slow and painful death.
She died at age 72, which is far too young. She never got to experience any of her grandchildren getting married, nor did she meet either of her two beautiful great-granddaughters. It’s been 10 years, and so much has changed. We have all grown older, most of us have finished high school, or gotten married, or even moved overseas. Not all of us have gotten wiser (Sam) but we have all achieved things I hope she is proud of, and I wish she had been here to see.
My grandfather turns 89 this year. Yesterday marked 10 years without his beloved wife, and although he is getting old and starting to forget things, he remembers everything about her. He talks about her in the most beautiful way, like she never left us.
I was so young when my grandmother died, that sadly I don’t have many memories of her when she was healthy. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was younger, and her Alzheimer’s got progressively worse as I got older. I do remember her once referring to Dad (her son-in-law) as the “Lawn- Mower Boy.” I do remember her laugh as Grandad chased us around the house with a toy snake, and I do remember her telling me apples are best when they are a little brown, as it is when they are their juiciest (which is a downright lie, but I would have believed anything she had said.) At least all the girls in the family have inherited her honking laugh.
I miss my grandmother a lot and I hope she is proud of me.
P.S I just thought I would add in the end here that I am 100% pro euthanasia. Until you have experienced what my family experienced, watching my grandmother die a slow, and painful death, you cannot judge. People should have the right to choose. My grandmother was a strong, proud lady, and I know she would be horrified if she knew how she went in the end. Nobody deserves to die like that, or witness it.
To me, happiness is:
- Coffees and cuddles on a Monday morning.
- Coffee and alcohol in general.
- Being at home with the folks and Sam, aka little shit, if he is there.
- Walks on the beach, Summer or Winter.
- Shopping with my best friend (the only thing we are good at together heh.)
- Cat cuddles with the furry baby.
- Driving along the motorway, singing along (horrifically) to my favourite songs.
- When new make-up arrives in the mail, if it ever gets here #apartmentproblems
- Finishing work early on a Saturday!
- The sun coming out and Summer coming back ☀
“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.” – Victoria Morgan
2017 has been a strange year. I am a creature of habit, and for the past 16 years I have always had something to do after January, originally it would be going back to school, then after school it was going back to university.
I should probably mention that I have had a wine, it was only one but it may of well been three because my grandmother’s wine glasses are the size of a small swimming pool. Off I go with my spiel now.
2017 has been the first year where I haven’t had anything to go to, and as an anxious little possum as is, this has definitely tipped me over the edge.
This year has completely thrown me out of my comfort zone, and I’m still undecided on if I like it, or if it will end in me crying in bed with chocolate and wine for a week, like the first week of university.
In the first week of 2017, my nearly three-year relationship ended, leaving me without the only familiar thing I had going in to the new year.
But it was for the best, my relationship wasn’t normal and it took me a few weeks, a new guy, and my forever patient friends to realise this. 2017 has definitely been a year of firsts!
It’s been the first year not having something to go back to, it has been the first year with a new guy since 2014, and it’s been the first year I got a tattoo. It is also going to be the year I graduate, hopefully leave the country for the first time, and the year my best friend gets married.
I feel weird, and not like myself. Or maybe I was in such a daze I just didn’t know what was normal for me anymore. Or maybe its the wine. It’s like the time I went on the jab for all of about 5 minutes, but had to go off it because I was suddenly Shrek and a bridezilla mixed into one.
If this is my normal, I think I may actually like it. It’s kind of like an out of body experience. Anyway, to get to my point, 2017 is shaping to be a good year and I am looking forward to the feeling of not knowing what is coming next. I also just got my eyebrows done so new year, new job, new eyebrows and a new man! And probably a new wine problem, but meh.
P.S The photo might look cute but I’m not facing the camera because I was a tomato #unfitasf
- My body does not like gluten, I might love donuts, but my tummy does not.
- Appreciate everything.
- Don’t over think and don’t worry about things you can’t control, you cannot please everyone.
- Automatics might be easier to drive but they are also easier to drive into a tree. And flower pots.
- Brothers will always be taller even if they are younger.
- You need to see the world. Even if it takes you 50 years to get there.
- My mum is one of my best friends.
- So is my cat.
- Although vegetables are disgusting, they will make you feel healthy which is always good if you have spent all weekend drinking wine and eating chocolate.
- I do not like studying. It only took me 16 years to figure that one out.
- If you find someone you connect well with, never let them go.
- High school dramas often don’t matter in 5 years’ time. Believe me.
- You do only live once, so don’t waste a day.
- Parents might have stupid rules but it’s only because they care. Dads do know if a boy is bad news. They aren’t just saying that to be annoying.
- Growing up in the country is the best thing ever. I am part girl part cow.
- Blasting music when your sad does make you feel better. Especially songs with swear words in them.
- I cannot live without coffee.
- Family is forever. Family comes first.
- Old music is better then new music.
- Believe in fate because it is a thing. So is positivity.
- Fuck what people think of you. Do what you want and what makes you happy. Live the life you want to live.
Ask any 14 year-old who Zoella or PewdiePie are, and 90% would know. Ask my Grandmother who they are, and she would ask if they are an All Black or a movie star.
They are neither, but they are Team Internet royalty. You only have to Google them to see the extent of their internet empire.
Team Internet really is a thing now. Vloggers (video bloggers) are fast becoming a huge thing. So are beauty gurus and people who video themselves phoning their mum to tell her they’ve been arrested as a prank.
YouTubers can get thousands and thousands of view a day, and thousands and thousands of dollars from it too. Team Internet is made up of people who have made a career out of putting their lives on the internet. They can make millions just from posting a video a week.
To start out though, you need to be skilled with a camera, have good editing skills and a fairly good knowledge of social media. But the thing is for most of these YouTubers; everything is free. You don’t even have to leave your house. Super famous YouTuber Zoella has well over 10 million subscribers, and over 8 million followers on Instagram. That’s the population of New Zealand twice.
Zoella started out as a beauty guru, posting videos of herself putting make up on her face. Now she has two books, a huge beauty range, and two super successful channels on YouTube. She also owns a house that is worth $3m in New Zealand dollars.
But like Zoella and most of Team Internet, local YouTuber/Journalist Jeremy Smith didn’t set out to gain lots of followers, or fame and fortune. He just wants to do it as a hobby, and enjoys the challenge of uploading everyday. His friend Ben, who he originally started his channel with, has helped to keep him motivated.
“Videos are so engaging with people these days, particularly those of our age.” Jeremy says.
He says as a Journalist, having the skill of being able to work a camera, and editing software, always comes in handy. He would love to be able to try out a drone one day, as he advances his video skills.
Workwise now he is just “floating” do a bit of everything. “I left being a journalist about 18 months ago, so I wanted use YouTube to keep the skills sharp.”
Jeremy posts small videos a day, from artistic time lapses of his hometown Cambridge, to challenges, or just general chats.
“I like seeing what I can do, in normal environments, like walking down the street. I like the wow factor where ordinary can become pretty cool.”
Jeremy set himself the goal to make a video of some shape everyday this year, purely to keep his skills and keep developing a love for videos. He mostly enjoys shooting random little bits of his life.
“I wanted to see what I could do.” Jeremy says.
Jeremy and Ben originally started with a channel they just “dumped” stuff on. He films on his iPhone, because he doesn’t think it’s the equipment you use, he thinks its what you can do with it.
A highlight so far would have been when the riders from the Red Bull Ride were in town recently, and Jeremy got to shoot them riding in a local BMX rider’s backyard.
“I’ve had some cool opportunities from doing YouTube, because people know that you have those skills.”
YouTube seems to provide a lot of opportunities. As most people will know, the nightlife in Hamilton is a rather large scene and is definitely a popular place to be.
Leighton Clarke has capitalized on this, working as a photographer/videographer in many of the popular clubs, which has lead to him having big breaks with large events in Auckland.
With three thousand likes on his Facebook page, Leighton’s Life, he’s becoming a familiar face around Hamilton.
Along with this, he set himself the challenge of making a video a day, for 366 days of this year, and his since of humor and fun personality have appealed to many of his viewers. And as Leighton has found out through his work on the Hamilton clubbing scene, people love it when they can be spotted in his videos.
Leighton and his partner Kayla both enjoy making YouTube videos and credit their friends and subscribers as their motivation to keep going.
“It means a lot to me to have a following, your subscribers are key, without them I’m stuck. I don’t know how I’ve managed to keep posting everyday.” Leighton says. “I actually got into making YouTube videos because of Kayla. I saw her one day put her phone up on the window sill and record. It is still on her YouTube to date actually. So she was my inspiration.”
Leighton is also inspired by famous YouTuber Casey Neistat, who is known for his short films and creative videos, which has earned him over 3 million subscribers.
“I just wanted to make a video everyday and it just kind of happened.” Leighton says.
Another part of Team Internet that is fast becoming the most popular job out there, would be the good old beauty guru. Many YouTube beauty gurus started out like Zoella, just putting on make up in front of a camera, but now many of them own their own beauty lines, and are rich beyond their wildest dreams.
A good example of this is Kiwi beauty guru Shaaanxo. Shannon Harris, aka. Shaaanxo, started making YouTube videos as a creative outlet whilst she was studying and working in a deli.
Now she has her own brush and eyelash line, and has collaborated with massive make up brands to create her own make up, all because of YouTube. Shannon has nearly 3 million subscribers on YouTube and she doesn’t even have to leave her house.
Being a beauty guru is every teen girls dream, with thousands of beauty videos being uploaded to YouTube everyday. To make it big in the beauty world though, you need to be fairly skilled and at least know how to apply fake eyelashes.
Kayla Watts is pursuing the beauty guru dream, and her passion for it is obvious.
“Makeup has always been a passion of mine. I always had questions from my friends like “how do you do your eye makeup like that?” So I decided to show them using videos.”
For now, Kayla and Leighton are just normal people, with normal jobs. When they aren’t recording themselves and putting it on the internet for fun, Kayla is a retail manager and Leighton works at Countdown.
While Leighton and Kayla might not yet be Hamilton’s answer to Shaaanxo and her boyfriend and fellow Vlogger Hamish Kennard, the future looks promising.
“It’s definitely more of a hobby for me, however if it turned into a career later down the track I wouldn’t be disappointed!” Kayla says.
“It would be dope as if I could do it as a job, but right now it is a hobby, I love it so much. However, like Kayla said it wouldn’t be a disappointment if it become a job in the future.” Leighton agrees.
But as most people who have attempted YouTube would know, its quite hard to make a career out of it. Whilst both Kayla and Leighton don’t make enough money off YouTube to live off it yet, they both think it would be cool if they could one days. But for now, it will stay a hobby.
“It all depends on your view count and adds.” Leighton says. “I would have to be getting a couple of thousand views per video to notice but yeah.”
However, Jeremy, Kayla and Leighton all agree, if you set out to make yourself famous on YouTube, or you’re just doing it to make money, it’s not the right way to do it. Passion and drive is a must.
“You don’t want to go down the sell-out path.” Jeremy says.
The main thing that is obvious with YouTubers, especially the ones who work jobs as well, like Jeremy, Kayla and Leighton, is their dedication to what they do.
Their commitment to uploading and making new content is admirable, as well as being able to juggle jobs and life in general. It’s a great time management skill to have and their enthusiasm for their hobby is obvious throughout.
Whilst New Zealand might not produce as many famous YouTubers as America and the UK, the love for YouTube is obvious and the passion for their hobby is amazing.
People are becoming more and more open with their lives and Team Internet is fast taking over. But after all, as these awesome local YouTubers have shown, its not about the money, its about the passion.
And as Jeremy says; “Anyone can do it.”
I’m not a fan of Winter. The only positive of Winter is my birthday is in June. If I lived in the northern hemisphere I would literally have no reason to live, and would probably spend the whole season in bed with YouTube and Skittles. And Pringles. If they were gluten free. To be honest I do this most of Winter anyway, only leaving bed for work and tech. And food.
I hate winter because it gets dark earlier, its cold, there is not as much sun and my room always smells mouldy. Especially in the flat. A few years ago my room flooded in Winter. You can see where I’m going with this. I just don’t like it. I live for summer, I’m just that kind of person.
So, since I am determined I am not going to have a shitty Winter like last year (and the year before, and before..) I have made a few positives:
– I can crack out my ripped jeans.
– My 21st (which will not be a raging party, but still.)
– Baths, always nicer in the winter but are a dick to get out of when its cold
– I appreciate the sun a lot more when it comes out
One day I will be in Malta where there is 330 days of sun, and I will be a happy but burnt little possum.
That’s as far as I got. Thank god for fake tan.