I’m still here, I promise

July 14, 2018 ♥ Posted in: Journal by Kristina Horner

I figured it was well past time for me to write some kind of blog post, since my content has been very, very sparse this year. 

Hello! This is me back at work, wearing clothes I bought in Japan.

It’s sort of amazing actually — for the longest time I felt like I had been making videos for such a huge portion of my life that I really didn’t know how not to make videos. I had all these extreme notions that video-making and being a YouTuber defined a huge portion of my existence, and it turns out — that was just bs guilt I was putting on myself.

Once you strip away the false obligations, the needless stress, the sense that you owe people something, it’s surprisingly easy to not do something. As soon as I stopped making videos, it didn’t take me long to get very used to having one less thing on my list of stuff to do. I hate to say this, but I hardly miss it at all.

Here’s something I’ve learned in the past year:

I started seeing a therapist, who early on, asked me to divide up my time into 4 buckets. Work, Family, Friends, and Things for Me. She told me to guess what percentages of time each of these buckets was taking up in my life, and I’m pretty sure I said something that sounded very reasonable and balanced.

Then we actually divided it up, I was shockingly wrong. Doing this was such a strange experience — I kept trying to put things like YouTube, blogging, social media, and costume-making in the “Things for Me” box, because that’s the way I’ve always viewed them. But my therapist wouldn’t let me. 

“Those things are work,” she said. “They belong in the work category.”

“But they not my job anymore,” I argued. “They’re hobbies.”

“But do they take up energy? Do you feel tired after you do these things? Do they drain you creatively? Do they take up time you could be spending on other things?”

I felt called out, I felt seen — and not in the good way. “I like doing this stuff. I do this stuff for me,” I tried again, a bit less certain.

“Do you?” she asked me. “Do you make YouTube videos for you? Do you post on Twitter for you?”

I paused. Did I? Were all of these hobbies, this incredible amount of time I spent making things, was it because it energized me? Or because I felt some sort of obligation to do it, like most work?

When did making internet content become akin to eating my proverbial vegetables?

“Let’s start here,” she told me. “How much time do you spend… taking a bubble bath. Exercising. Watching TV. Coloring. Going for a walk.”

Let’s just say it was an embarrassingly small percentage of my time. But the knowledge that those things do have their place and should take up a percentage of my time made them vastly easier to do. And knowing that some things I had convinced myself were enriching and necessary were just more work I had convinced myself was ~so important~ was… a wakeup call.

So that’s why I’m over 2 months past my wedding, but haven’t posted many pictures, haven’t made a big blog post about it, or even sent thank you cards yet. Because those things are all work, and there’s a time and a place for them, but maybe it’s next month. Or not at all. Or maybe tomorrow. 

Since I got married, here’s what I have done:

  • Went on an amazing honeymoon with Joe to Japan and and Hawaii, and we still dream about it just about every day
  • Went camping twice, once with my family and once with a large group of friends. On the friend camping trip, we played a lot of board games, and by ‘a lot of board games’ I mean I was part of a group of 4 people who played 7 games of SeaFall over 2 days which probably amounted to over 20 waking hours of our trip
  • Found out my org at Microsoft was being dissolved, which catapulted me into a rigorous job search almost immediately upon getting home
  • Took on a massive house clean-out project, which has resulted in most of my weekends being spent moving things and rearranging things and throwing things out
  • Spent a lot of time with my friends. So many of them did so much incredible stuff for Joe and I to make our insane wedding dreams a reality, and now we’re trying our hardest to repay them by being the chillest, most agreeable people we can be

I’m looking forward to figuring out what my next career step will be, spending even more time on my book, trying to be a yes-girl when it comes to fun things going on with my friends, actually having time to do BookTubeAThon this year, enjoying a few upcoming trips to NY and SF, and of course, there’s this year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s lucky number 13.

Joe and I on a hike in Hawaii.

I’m trying my hardest to get ‘back to normal’, even though I really have no idea what that means anymore. It’s been pretty incredible discovering it every single day, with Joe right by my side.



Becca says:

I’m so happy you posted! I don’t expect regular blog posts from you, but I do check back from time to time so this was a nice surprise. I’ve been a regular follower since the tail end of your 5AG days, so it feels like you’re a friend, and therefore it’s been really cool to see the trajectory of your life through social media. I’m glad you’re taking time for you though, and I definitely respect that you’ve scaled down what you share. Congrats on getting married and I wish you all the best in everything else!!

Kelly says:

Agreed. I’ve been following you online since near the end of 2008 on 5AG. I was pleased to see you post, but I’m glad that you’re finding a good balance. Congratulations on your marriage. Good luck on your job hunt, just remember you might just MAEWIN!

This comment made my day, haha.

Samantha says:

I’m happy for you, Kristina! Finding that balance is HARD, especially since there’s so much pressure to be “productive” all the time. Good luck on the job search!!

Jenny says:

I just graduated college and started a full-time job, so I’m going through a very similar struggle of finding the right balance between the time buckets. It’s also really hard to learn how to have free time alone and not feel guilty for not filling it with “productive” activities. My first step has been to go to the movies by myself and not wait for anyone to ask me to go, since I love watching movies. 🙂
I’m so happy for you! 🙂 & Good luck in your next career move, any company would be so lucky to have you.

Mallory says:

Hi there! Thanks for posting. To reiterate what Becca said, I have followed you quietly on YouTube and your blogs since about 2010 when I was just starting high school. I thought (and still think) you’re so cool, and I’m so happy to hear how well you are doing. I think it’s fantastic you are taking more time for yourself. Best of luck in your job search!

Kristin says:

Can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks when you visit NYC<3! And I'm so happy for you and Joe!

Jennifer says:

Like the others have said, I’ve been following you for a while and I’m glad you are finding a balance that works for you. You continue to be an inspiration for me and I don’t need daily posts for that. (I don’t have time to watch weekly videos even anymore.) Best of luck in the job search!

That actually is really helpful to think about. If some of you are even too busy to consume consistent content, then why not just quietly work on the things I actually care about?

[…] Kristina Horner • Kristina is an OG YouTuber that I remember from when I was just discovering the breadth of YouTube in college (~ 2012). I’ve love going through her backlog and seeing what awesome stuff she was doing from a young age . (Oh, how I wish I had her confidence and good humor growing up!) I discovered she had a blog a couple of years ago and decided to follow it because she talks a lot more about her writing there, and we share that interest. She doesn’t vlog or blog much these days, but I’m still holding out hope she’ll find a way to come back and have fun. […]

Kelly Ransley says:

I have definitely had very similar conversations with my therapist and being “exposed” like that I think is hard for everyone at first. I am glad to see you are making strides to make yourself more of a priority in “productive ways” (as my therapist would say).

Good luck with the job hunt. I hope you find something that allows you to be fulfilled and balance your life.

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