I have spent an embarrassing amount of months now trying and failing to make even one weekly Youtube videos. Or, any Youtube videos, at all. To anyone reading this right now, who makes videos regularly and thinks nothing of it, I’m sure that sounds silly. I’ve always thought that about people who say ‘oh, I wish I could dress like you do. But I just couldn’t pull that off.’ It sounded so hollow and silly to me. Of course you can. Buy the pink hair dye. Lift your arms, flap a little, think happy thoughts and pixie dust. Lace up the combat boots. Go out there and be anything you want to be. But now I feel it. That creeping dread, a paralyzing fear.
It tenses my muscles. It sparks the nerves in my fingers and they twitch over the delete key. I can’t believe how easy it looks from the outside – just turn on the camera and talk, right? It’s the imperfection that gets me. I hate the idea of making anything flimsy, anything less than my vision. I want it all to be exactly the glossy, ethereal daydream I keep in my head. And of course it won’t be, because art is never about making something glossy and perfect. It’s about trying to make something, and failing, and trying again, and maybe letting the failures molder a little, but there is a glimpse there sometimes. A glimpse of the magic you tried to make. I used to see it all the time. I’d finish a post, slam the submit key, and know in my heart I had written some *good shit*. The conclusion glowed. The words rang out sharp. Comments and emails would roll in. It touched people. Connected people. I had made something alive, something that stirred.
And yet today what I can only feel is a deep sense of paralysis, a certain kind of waking sleep, when you can’t yet move your limbs.
[Click here to watch the original vlog! They didn’t have video thumbnails when this video was made… so I made an imaginary one!]
I just watched my own low-budget, crappy vlog from, God, maybe five years ago, and it was so incredibly better than what I think I could muster today. I’m watching this scrawny pink haired girl with awe and wondering where it all went. Can I snap my fingers and be her again, weird sweater/rockabilly skirt combo and all? I’d give up these pomade eyebrows for an ounce of her innate guts and charisma. I talked right to the camera as if there was a real human there, without any of that crushing emptiness that currently happens when I switch on the camera. There’s no tiny voice in your head that says ‘this is stupid, what do you think you’re doing, who do you think you are?’ I wasn’t shy, I didn’t stutter, trail off, or use any lengthy cuts. It’s my own hair, no giant wigs to hide my naturally fine strands, and fairly little makeup (it’s true – youth and its invisible pores are surely wasted on the young).
I just look like myself. My twenty two year old self, I think, encased in digital amber. WHY is she so less fearless than me? What creepy shadow of edging fear has grown in me since then? Past me can talk about anything. Current me stumbles over what to say. Current me wonders why it’s so dark on the set. Current me is judging the throw pillows in the background. Current me wants her to smile bigger, joke louder, sound fuller, start every video with HI GUYS WELCOME BACK TO MY CHANNEL and past me just smiles and says ‘hi i’m victoria suzanne sit back, take a chill’ and I scream internally again, WHY is this so easy for her? Why are the articles so easy for her, how does she update three times a week with these deeply optimistic fairy tale thoughts, with princess ideals, with badly photoshopped pictures of her hair and her dog covered and heart stickers, and where is that girl now?
Is she judging me for not posting regularly, as I am judging her for those roots, for that lipgloss, for those ridiculous heart stickers. Is she still chasing her Neverland shadow, and I’ve locked mine up? Should I take all these sticky feelings and try to turn them into art like I used to, without hesitation, and spread it all out for you like sloppy peanut butter sandwiches? That’s what she would do. She was fearless. I feel like I’ve disappointed you, with the more moderated and minimalist thing I’ve become now. But more so I feel like I’ve disappointed her. She used to be a fairy princess. If she’s still in there? I wonder if I’ll ever know. I guess she won’t be if I don’t try to wake her up. True love’s kiss. Clap if you believe.
As of 2018 I will have been writing my blog for a decade. It’s been entirely full of ups and downs, hospital stays, hard nights, things I’ve shown the Internet and you, my dear readers, ever loyal, and things I’ve never told anyone. Ten years is a long time to keep at anything, let alone keep writing at the same pastel-pink blog. It’s crazy to expect Lolita Charm, or Parfait Doll, to stay the same after these years. I’m not the same. I’m not eighteen, or twenty two, or even twenty six anymore. I’m sure I’ve rebooted and restarted and hiatus-ed a million times between then and now. That’s to be expected, too. But I keep coming back to this space, to one of the longest and greatest things I’ve ever created, and sometimes back to that past girl. She reaches out from the pages like Dorian Grey. I don’t always agree with her. She can be naive, high-horsed, or sometimes just plain wrong. She still gets her fan mail though; letters written to 2008 blog posts in the form of snarky comments, or adoring tweens who are hoping she’s still going to post better pictures of her DIY canopy bed.
You can watch her in the video above, if you like. I’m not sure if she’s still here or not. I guess I’m off to find her, but then again, I think she’s always been looking for me too. Here’s to another decade of pink, fashion, and fairytales, no matter what they may look like, in Neverland or New York. Thank you for reading along with me – and always, as I do, hoping for just one more installment.
(Psst… for more OOTDs and photos from this rose quartz cave, make sure to follow @victoriasuzanne on Instagram!)