So here’s the thing. I woke up to a msg, from a so-called friend, who watched a beauty video of mine from the blog, (which I also share as a WhatsApp story of about ten seconds, at times).
So the msg read: “Yeh Kya Hai ” 😑
(Which translates to : what is this? 😑)
This is still a friend, or so, who knows: Woh kya tha!
(Which translates to: what that was!)
For someone who has watched a few of my blog videos, ( I am assuming) .. He knows I collaborate with beauty and fashion brands and weave content, with as far as my creativity and production value allows me to go. And if he hasn’t watched enough of the videos, he was certainly one of the first ones to know about my blog website: chicanextdoor.com. (Cuz I remember he calling me out of the blue, and asking..”what’s new?”) And if not that, he was certainly someone to shoot me an email introducing some family member of his, in the mail loop, asking she’d like to showcase her line of some fashion accessories on my social media platform. (Let’s say, I didn’t even have an elaborate platform then. And I quoted an amount, that made her run, and never mailed me back. Ever.) Now, I’d like to say Proudly, but Humbly: That I am working very hard on growing the blog, and the results of me working on it for the last two years, show every single day.
So now, I do have a small, but growing platform, where I have had the opportunity to collaborate and work with some amazing and huge brands like Adidas, Maybelline, Nashi Argan, Wella Hair, United Colors of Benetton, Redbull, Loreal Professionel, Garnier, Daniel Wellington, Plum, Tag Heuer, Jockey, Speedo, Avene, Bblunt, Smashbox Cosmetics, Nyx Cosmetics, Kaya Skin Clinic, Pure Sense, Engage Deo, Kama Ayurveda, Dr. Jamuna Pai, to name a few.
Can you imagine how cool it is to film videos or create content for these big names, for my Instagram page? The amount of Creative liberty, satisfaction and feeling of making something from scratch, with your mind, and expertise? Especially, when that is what you genuinely like doing?
If you can’t, let me give you an example of one of the fun collaborations. Imagine: Adidas’s team calling you up and, asking for your shoe size, and if you wear a t-shirt in small ? Or if a medium sized gym pant fits you well? Now, that they have the size of what will fit me, they will curate a newly launched pair of Ultra Boost shoes, keep a goody bag ready for each one of the amazing bloggers/ influencers that they have collaborated with, and will throw a fun evening for you, with their hard work to promote the new shoes. During this fun evening, you get to exercise with the best names you can think of, and there’s a cool DJ playing some fun music, and there’s healthy food and drinks, all by the sea side. This is the fun part of my job. At times, I create content around this fun, while having fun, and then I get paid for it, for doing a fun job. (I call it fun, because I enjoy the hard work part of it as well!)
Let’s face it, I can’t be depositing goody bags in my bank account. So, it is obvious I will charge a certain amount, for my creative services. Just so you know, I started with working on a barter basis. Even if the product was worth Rs.400, I’d give a video, worth production value of easily, Rs.30k expenses, bare minimum. ( I come from a television industry set up. So I aim for quality.. which could very well, lead me to bankruptcy. Also, just to be clear, of course, I have more than 30k in my bank a/c! ) I would work on barter, and at times, even now so, only, to get the opportunity to collaborate with a brand of my liking, in the hopes of working on a commercial deal, with them, in the un-certain-near-future. Also, it added to my profile.. and my list of collaborations and associations in the beauty and fashion industry. Mainly, beauty though.
Now, that you know, how my blogging/video blogging has been for me, let me take you back into this early morning Whatsapp conversation, with the so-called friend. (Still friend) Am I confusing you? You’ll figure it out.
So back to:
“Yeh Kya Hai? 😑”
(which translates to : what is this? *Straight face*)
Now, when I saw this on my iPhone screen, at 8 a.m.. I suddenly remembered, someone, who once told me: “I saw your blog.”
Me: “What do you think of it?” ( it was only a small website back then, about two months old.)
To which, PAT, I got a reply : “Its SO LAME !” and he laughed to end the sentence. TO MY FACE. We were at the dinner table. I took a sip of my not-Martini, Martini. Just for dramatic effect. And gulped it, like my respect choked halfway, in my wind wipe. You wouldn’t feel it, until you’ve felt it.
Let’s just say, I called for it. The website MUST have been lame, or whatever. But, “I” asked him, what he thought of it right? ! And he was Entitled to his opinion!” But there is something called Diplomacy. Sugar coating. Or not being as sharp as a knife. Anyway. This coming from ME, sounds stupid. I mean, I AM THE knife.
The word, “LAME” is what ignited me to work hard on it. bLAME it on me! (See, what I did there? ) I am that person, who will spring back, the minute you try to suppress her or put her down. I know my worth. And most of the times, I do not believe in wasting time, trying to justify that about me. I simply put that energy into my work, and working harder, or just adding a few repetitions to dead lifting.
So back to WhatsApp:
“Another LAME video of me.” (Now, You know where this is coming from. This so-called-friend didn’t. But he kinda pushed me to reply with these words, cuz his TONE, or the words that I read in his message, especially with that STRAIGHT FACE, didn’t make me think any different of him, from him. (the other guy.)
Also, I put a lot of thought into my text messages. And I read deeper, into a coma, or two dots, or a full-stop and all that. So, much that , at times, I end up writing on Microsoft word about a message I receive over WhatsApp. At times, about 2000 words. Anyway, I thought, if I replied to him, with what I did, it would be the End of the conversation and I wouldn’t have to text further. At the most, he’d sent me a LOL, or a hahahah , or a LMAO, or even more, a LMFAO! Cause I never expected any better out of this person.
He is the kind, who posts food pictures on Instagram, in a collage form in 2018. To be clear, he posts one post, which has 5 or 6 different dishes he ate, in collage form with white borders around every dish. We have the Slide feature, on Instagram, now, in case you didn’t know. In my eyes, as a blogger, or a person who likes to click pictures, or someone who loves beautiful looking food pictures, or someone who’d just like to click 113 angles of food for that one decent looking picture, his pictures look like, he basically ate SHIT for dinner. I’ve never confronted him on that. Cause basically, it’s like pouring water on a duck’s back. This, is a person, who will probably sit under a swing, when a child is swinging on it. You get the gist.
“Too many of those, you’re making off late! 😉 ( of course, we are still referring to my LAME video) Try and do stuff, that will bring more credibility instead.”
“Yea, I get paid for these videos. And I am getting what I’d like:)”
Again, I thought he’d get the hint to not tell me that my choice of job for me, is mine, and NOT HIS! Also, who is he to decide the credibility of what I do?! Or of what anyone else does?
“You are a sensible individual, that I’ve known.. do you find the money, worth the image these videos project?”
One: We spoke twice in 2016. Once in 2017. Never in 2015. Once in 2018, which was this morning. I am assuming, you know, what he means, by “I’ve KNOWN You!” I may have done the counting wrong, but it could be a lesser number, if not more. Definitely.
I was still trying to be polite with the jerk.
“I’m not sure, you are fully aware of what I do. Of what the ENTIRE video is about. (he saw ten seconds) So, like I said.. I love what I do, and Sensibily so..:) And I get paid, for what I love doing. So it’s definitely self- assuring, rather than NOT making my income. Like, it doesn’t make sense to me, why would you give a lecture in a classroom. But if it works for you, I am happy for you.” (My point here, was to tell him that I doubt your capacity as a teacher. And also to tell him, that it’s your choice and if it is working for you, good for you. But I guess he just wasn’t smart enough to pick that.)
“Well, as long as you are happy. Teaching, is a lot more credible. And the platform, you teach at, more so. So if you doing this with a publication with massive credibility, I’d see the point. More money too.”
All that I ‘heard’ here was: “My job, is MORE CREDIBLE than yours. And your IMAGE, in the videos sucks.”
(I am thinking, by IMAGE, he probably means, that I have been a decently-successful actor for 6 years on TV (again, success is subjective), and now I am not working on TV, but making videos on Instagram… or something like that. But, again, the point here is: CREDIBILITY. And IMAGE.)
The conversation..did go back and forth until I reached a point, where I said, “Appreciate your concern. Thank you.” And, I never saw two blue ticks after that. It’s been only 9 working hours. We are on the tenth hour, as I write this.
Now, if you know me, when I say “appreciate”, I don’t really appreciate. It’s more a word for formality-sake. But if I mention, “Really appreciate”, I really do appreciate!
The point, I am trying to make here is, what a judge-MENTAL lot some of us, are! Who gives one the right, to judge someone else’s decisions? Whether in matters of profession, relationships, or as simple as a decision of not making a decision! You will never know, what makes one, take/make certain decisions. Or what are the options one has, to choose from? When everything starts to become perfect for one, he/she tries to nit-pick in someone else’s. And there is something as basic as, dignity of labour. Which I was taught in grade 2. How ridiculous is it for one to judge or just set a credibility benchmark for someone else’s profession or dreams?
So, I’d just like to say to those who are trying to make their dreams come true… No matter how tough it gets, no matter, the support you get or not, from your friends or your so-called friends, Keep Going. Believe in Yourself, and Work hard,. Every single minute. There will always be someone, who will try to bring you down. There will always be someone, who will never be happy, to see you happy. And there will always be someone to laugh at you and to make a mockery out of you. But, put YOURSELF above the opinions of others. Know what you want, and do what it takes, to get what you want, without ridiculing someone. Have faith in your dreams, and keep at it. Don’t give up. You’ll get there.
As they say, “ When the going gets tough, the TOUGH get going.”