The Girl Behind the Videos
A WORK IN PROGRESS
I started this “blog” before I began my big abroad adventure a little over a year ago. And here we are, a year later, and only two entries. I can’t say I'm surprised, though. My inability to write down my thoughts and depict my feelings through writing is one of the main reasons I love video so much. Video has become my version of a diary for the past 4 years. With that being said, I still want to try and keep this blog going and, hopefully, post more frequently. Writing has never been my forte, so please bear with me if you choose to read on. I don't think my life is particularly interesting/inspiring/captivating or any of those strong adjectives that describe someone who usually has one of these, but hopefully I can put something together that at least I like.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
Hometown: Benicia, Ca
School: Cal Poly SLO
Major: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration with a Minor in Integrated Marketing and Communications (its a mouth full)
Family: I have two older sisters, who are my best friends and role models (typical, expected, and cheesy I know), and my parents who adopted the most adorable Rottweiler on this planet last year so they're cool too.
Hobbies: Photo/Video if you couldn't tell. I've played soccer my entire life so it's up there on the list. I enjoy a good documentary, stand-up comedy special, or vine compilation. I'm always down for a sunset viewing or coffee break and if you have a long board please let me embarrass myself by trying to #shred !!!
My stress relief: I would say my top three are... editing a video, lettering, and the power of prayer yo.
Favorite show: the Office always
Favorite book: the people who know me would laugh that this is even a category for me. BUT The Husband's Secret
Top three artists: Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, Mac Miller
The Girl Under Construction
*plays some fire background music*
“Let's do this.”
Hello my loyal fans, followers, and friends I sent this link to to read for grammatical errors. Nice to see ya again!! I landed in Prague about a week and a half ago and have been trying to find time to sit down and write for a while but its been the most hectic week of my life (not to be dramatic).
With only 10 days posing as a local here in Prague, I feel like I’ve simultaneously done and seen so much yet not enough. I’m currently in the process of trying to cram a semester’s worth of the Czech language into two weeks. It’s brutal but I’m getting there! Dobry den!!
On Friday, my friends and I were getting ready to go out to this really fun club/bar that’s known for playing some throwback bangers on Friday nights, so it was supposed to be yet another fun night in Prague.
We were all standing around talking when one of my friends saw on Twitter that Mac Miller had passed away. I was shocked. How could an artist who I’ve grown up listening to be gone already?
Then, the wave of “he’s a celebrity Katie, you didn’t know him” hit me. But as I started to think more about the specific songs he’s produced and what they’ve meant to me in different stages in my life, the thought that I shouldn’t be upset because I didn’t know him faded. Being a person who loves to sit down and edit/create something for people to enjoy, even if it’s just for my friends or family, I really appreciate him and all of his work.
I think the reason I was so upset about Mac’s passing was because I thought of him as this happy, fun, talented artist but never knew just how much he was struggling. I know how easy it is to put on a smile and hit everyone who asks with a good ole “I'm fine” just as much as the next girl. And hearing that Mac passed brought my own struggles with mental illness in full circle.
This past winter was a tough one for me. I’ve struggled with depression since my sophomore year of high school, but it had never been this hard. It’s difficult to think back to that time and describe my day-to-day emotions because I think my mind has blurred out that four month block of time and chalked it up to just a shitty time to be Katie Lovelace. I do remember how lost I felt though.
I’m fortunate to have amazing friends both at school and home who I know would support me through anything and everything, but I see now just how hard it is for me to take the support they so wanted to give me. I let my pride stop me from seeing a therapist, going on medication and from talking to those close to me about what I was struggling with. I hid behind my humor everyday and I’d like to think I did a good job of masking how I felt, but ultimately it's what made me feel so alone.
It became a part of my daily routine to call my parents crying about how miserable I was. My life had quickly become a cycle of feeling sorry for myself and hating who I was. I remember sitting on my bed everyday after class wondering how I had let my life get so far out of my control. By the end of February I was ready to give up. And finally the option to leave Cal Poly was brought up.
Growing up I was always taught to never quit something until it’s done. I absolutely despised putting on that freaking girl scout uniform, but I wasn’t allowed to quit. I hated coming in last place every swim meet, but I wasn't allowed to quit.
I was beginning to hate my life and the person I was becoming in SLO.
I was more than ready to quit.
That tough love that can be seen in a lot of my childhood lessons, is something I am most grateful for.
The thing that really kept me in SLO, was knowing that I would be going to Prague in the fall. If I dropped out of school, I couldn’t study abroad. Prague quickly became this sort of beacon of hope for me and I ran with it all through the rest of winter quarter.
A P R I L
On a Thursday, I got a text from a good friend of mine asking if I wanted to go to bible study with her the next day at 7 am.
I was hesitant. Not only because of the time, but because I felt guilty of how my relationship with God had veered off in my life. Normally when I slip into an especially bad case of “I absolutely hate my life," I turn to God and let the power of prayer work its magic. But this time I didn’t and I was nervous about being in a room full of strangers at seven in the morning talking about something that felt so distant from me: my faith.
Nonetheless, I went.
And boy am I glad I did. Dusting off my bible and talking about my beliefs, questions, and ideas about my faith felt like a literal breath of fresh air. So I sketched up a new game plan for how I was going to try to make this next quarter better.
I prayed a lot.
I talked to my friends/family about how I was doing.
I got in the gym.
I started working harder in school.
And I felt lighter.
(yes I lost 23 lbs no fuckin biggie) but I felt lighter in the sense that the weight of hating who I was had finally lifted. And things suddenly were getting better. A professor saw something in me and gave me the confidence and guidance to pursue video. I made dean’s honor roll. I got an internship. I got a job lined up for when I got back to school. And… I met a boy.
(My feminist guard is already up because I want to explain this in a way that doesn’t come off as “a boy made my life get better” so keep reading I’ll do my best.)
I hadn’t had a boy really take interest in me since high school. Plus, the only relationship I had to go off of was the most typical small town relationship storyline thinkable: sophomore dates senior quarterback. Senior graduates and dumps sophomore… sophomore gets her heart shattered into a million pieces (I swear I’ve heard this played out in so many country songs.)
Anywho, the point is I really didn’t know what to do when it came to relationships and finally I had a guy come into my life and show me I wasn’t the awkward, ugly, weirdo my mind had convinced me I was. It was nice to see that someone wanted to take me on dates, do nice things for me, and make me smile.
I learned a really important lesson through it all that has given me clarity on a lot of other people who have come and gone in my life. God plans each and every individual and moment in our lives for a reason - a friend who woke me up at 6:50 am every Friday for bible study, a boy who made me see I wasn’t actually a disgusting creature that repelled all love, and an acceptance into a program that symbolized hope for my future.
After things in my life started to turn around I became more passionate about video than ever before and I was finally feeling confident about my work.
Ahhh confidence… a concept that had been so foreign to me for so long.
It feels amazing to create something and be proud of it. I know how much time and effort goes into making a video and no matter how many views/likes/comments it gets I honestly don’t give a fuck anymore. I love my videos for myself.
Hearing about Mac Miller’s passing, triggered the memories of my own pain this past year but it reminded me of how important it is that I’m here and in this beautiful city. Going into this program, I felt incredibly fortunate for the opportunity but being here now and trying to recount my struggles back in the winter, makes me even more grateful.
Finally I am in a headspace that allows me to go about my day without the constant disappointment in the person I am. I’m not going to sit here and say I’ve mastered the art of self-love, because I haven’t. I am here, though, to say to anyone reading this who might be struggling with similar issues, that things will get better. But you can’t sit around waiting for them to. Talk to someone. Write it down. Get out of your room. Be proactive in trying to love the person you are. For me, talking to those closest to me and talking to the man upstairs is what helped me most, but everyone’s different. I think it’s so important to recognize what will get you through and to know the resources you have available to you.
Being in this city I see so much beauty around me every day and I am surrounded by people who make each day a good one, nay a great one. I am full of anticipation for what these four months will bring me and I hope I can create things that capture the emotions I feel along the way.
''The hardest step she ever took was to blindly trust in who she was''
The Girl Behind the Videos:
As I wrote out that title I laughed to myself a little. It's so dramatic and I love it. Anywho. I've been in beautiful little sleepy Benicia this summer and it has been a much less glamorous and fun-filled summer than those past. Since I've been home though I’ve run into a lot of people from high school who knew me as the panther pride, student government, soccer player who came from the private middle school. When I graduated High School I was just starting to get into editing videos and was still a long way away from seeing the meaning in a photo aside from likes on Instagram. I’d like to say I’ve done a lot of growing up and changing since being that girl I was in high school. I could (and will) write a whole other “blog” on that subject so I won't dive into that quite yet. But, as I’ve been running into these people, a lot of them have mentioned that they enjoy my videos and it looks like I love Cal Poly and am having such a great time. One girl even told me she was jealous of my life and how fun it looked. I’m not typing all of this out to boast about the compliments I receive, just wait, you shall see the meaning to the arrogance. Being the polite and quick-to-end-a-social-interaction-with-someone-I-don’t-know-well person that I am, I smile and thank them for the compliment. But I wish that people could see “the girl behind the videos” (as dramatic as that is). The videos are highlights of tiny moments of days that usually clump together in my mind. They show my friends and I laughing, being adventurous, and “loving life” but thats because thats what makes a good video. If I made a video of me crying to my friend over a boy in a Fraternity house pantry, and then panned to me sobbing in the middle of the library after I spilled my water bottle on my laptop the night before my last final (crying is a key dramatic trend in my life if you didn’t pick up on that)... OR if I showed my dumb ass hitting a parked RV in front of my house… it probably wouldn't paint the accurate image of who I want people to “know” me as on social media.
After a rough freshman year of not really knowing what I was going to do with my life, or my time at Cal Poly, I chose to stick to video. After being the girl who wore her leadership class polo on Fridays, led the student sections, and was driving her big brown truck around Benicia, I was lost as to what my claim to fame was going to be. I rushed in the fall of my freshman year and was “dropped” from every. single. sorority. oh yes, you heard that right folks… EVERY SINGLE FREAKIN SORORITY. And lucky for me club soccer tryouts were during that same week, and by the time I started emailing the coaches about winter tryouts, ya girl was out of luck. So, I lived it up in my dorm and made some pretty amazing friends, and yet… halfway through my freshman year my dorm was shut down and everyone was scattered across campus in open beds. I lived in a fucking study lounge the rest of the year people. All of these friendships I had made suddenly ceased, except for the handful of people who were placed where I was. I made the most out of my freshman year and looking back I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But, I still made a video that only showed me at the beach, partying with friends, hiking, ATVing, and doing all of that fun stuff. I look at the video now and remember all of those great days shown, but if I try to think about all the other hard ones, I realize that, you know what, my freshman year wasn’t perfect, my sophomore year wasn’t even perfect, but thats okay. The rough days of failing midterms, gaining freshman 20 (campus dining did me beyond dirty), and feeling like no guy would ever look at me, led me to the beginning of a journey of growth I didn’t know had started (again I will get more into that later!!).
I guess my long-winded explanation for the dramatic title and over-sharing is that yeah I love the hell out of my life but on some days I hate it. I hate my body. My personality. My brain. My everything. And yes, I only show the good parts on social media but I think that's kind of how it is in the real world too. If you first met me, you’d see a happy freckle-faced girl who seems to be enjoying it all, but the people in my life know that sometimes I need to drown myself in copious amounts of cookie dough and binge-watch stand up comedy to hide from the fact that that day fucking sucked. But that's ok too. Nobody’s life can be summed up in 60 seconds of clips synced to chill edm music on Instagram. Or if it can be, I’m doing it all wrong and lemme know. I just want the few people who read this to know and remember that social media is just a cover page to who people are. I’ve spent far too much time wondering why my life/body/fashion/academic achievements can’t juuuust be like that persons. Social Media is tricky and I haven’t figured out the exact way to go about it. For now, I just know that I LOVE making videos and showing people how funny my friends are, and how beautiful some of the places I’ve been are, and I know that for now, those are still going to be the videos I create. Yeah, one day I want to make videos that provoke thought, incentivize change, and enlighten viewers but thats for way down the road… So stay tuned :)
"Don't be in such a rush to figure everything out. Embrace the unknown and let your life surprise you."