Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it? It’s weird to be sitting here and writing this post, the feeling of writing out of pleasure is truly foreign to me now. Not quite sure how to begin this or how it’ll come together. I probably have thought about what I would say in this final post for months, but now that I am actually sitting here doing it, I have no idea how to start this. But as selfish as it sounds, this post is more for me than anything, I need some closure. So here we go.
This whole journey started back in the summer of 2010. I had just graduated from grade 8 and was about to start high school. I had just really began my obsession with this website called YouTube, you may have heard of it. I was very awkward and some might say “artsy” (but we all know when people call you “artsy” they are low key saying you’re fucking weird) kid, and I think that’s why I was so obsessed with watching these videos of people who were kinda “artsy” just like me. Out of pure boredom and a desire to keep myself occupied outside of school, I created my very first YouTube account. “First” you say? Yes, first. I have a few random YouTube accounts floating around the internet that I refuse to tell you about, because I’m sure that I will kill myself out of pure embarrassment if people found out about them. Side note, if you know these account names, I beg you keep them to yourself. Thanks.
“This desire to film videos on the internet for strangers was to fill a void in my life that so desperately needed to be filled”
With my first YouTube channel, I had no idea what I was doing. I filmed crappy videos on my PC’s webcam and uploaded what I thought were really funny skits, I pretty much wanted to be the female Shane Dawson. But after months of doing this I realized I wasn’t funny, my career as a comedian was over. Shocking. Then I got into my “beauty guru” phase, where I thought I was going to be the next Michelle Phan or Bethany Mota. I actually stuck with this concept for quite sometime, 5 years to be exact. Here I was, filming myself putting makeup on my acne covered face, pretending I knew what I was doing. Oh Jackie, you poor, poor thing. I knew I was never going to be famous, but for some odd reason that didn’t stop me. Because I realized the goal was never to be famous, this desire to film videos on the internet for strangers was to fill a void in my life that so desperately needed to be filled.
“I was for the first time ever not comparing myself to other YouTuber’s, I was just Jackie and I was happy with that.”
So fast forward to the summer of 2016. I was interning at a company I had no interest in working at, I was posting less videos on my channel because I had no desire to film anymore, it was a rough summer in regards to creativity. But at this time, I had also just went vegan. Maybe it was the increase in veggies, but one day something just clicked in my head. That August, I started working on my newest and was to be my final YouTube concept, The Jackfruit Vegan. For anyone that knows me personally, you know that I’ve always loved cooking, it was the one thing in my life that has always remained constant. Cooking was and still is therapy for me and I had fallen even more in love with it since eating plant based. So the idea of starting my own cooking YouTube channel just made sense to me. And out of that, it led me to starting my first ever real blog. I was publishing videos and blogs posts on a regular basis, connecting with my small but amazing audience. I was for the first time ever not comparing myself to other YouTuber’s, I was just Jackie and I was happy with that.
I had never been someone to tell people about my YouTube channel, (never even really talked to my parents about it) but here I was telling classmates, friends and family all about The Jackfruit Vegan. I was so incredibly proud of this project I had started, because I was sharing with people the real Jackie. This new found creativity consumed my life, all I wanted to do was film, edit, and write about food. I would sit in my 3 hour university lectures and think about what I was going to cook next or what my next video would be about. I finally found my voice and I felt truly whole for the first time.
I kept up with this for two years and was thrilled by the positivity I was receiving. But the summer of 2018 rolled around and things started to change. I had just graduated university and I was on my way to Seattle where I was just about to start my first “big-girl” job. Things were moving, and they were moving fast. But I thought, the one thing that will remain constant and keep me sane is my blog and videos! But sure enough, it wasn’t like that at all. After a long day at the office, I’d come home, cook myself dinner and before I know it, I was off to bed. I began spending my weekends trying new things and meeting new people. I’d forgotten what it was like to hold a camera or write a blog post. I felt guilty, but at the same time I had no desire to do anything about it.
This past winter my sister, Alison, came to visit me in Seattle. If you don’t know this, she also had a food blog and she had just moved to the US like me. We were talking about where we were in our life, and how much has changed in these past few months. We talked about our blogs and how we had both stopped sharing content, and my sister said something that had really stuck with me. She said how her blog filled a void in her life and it helped her in a time where she really needed it. But she has accepted that she no longer needs it anymore and it’s fine. Although we like to tell people we are very different, my sister and I have weirdly a lot of things in common and this was one of them. I started The Jackfruit Vegan when I was unhappy with work and school. These platforms shaped me into the person I am today, they gave me a voice and creative outlet. But now I don’t need them anymore, and that’s ok. It was tough coming to terms with this, but I have learned that some things just run their course and you move on.
So here we are. These past 8 years have been insane but some of the best years of my life. I can look back and be happy with the work I’ve done. You’ll never know how happy it made me when I would get a DM from a reader or subscriber telling me how they made one of my recipes. The thought that I could be apart of your lives in a very small way was everything to me, so thank you. I hope that this post has provided you with an explanation as to why I’ve been gone. Know that I am happy, I’m learning new things about myself, and of course continuing to cook for myself and the special people in my life. I don’t know what lies ahead for me, what the next project will be, but I’m sure it’ll be an interesting journey getting there.
Thank you and keep hustling,