What to Keep While Keeping On: An homage to home videos

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On the desktop computer at my house, there are plenty of saved videos from when I was a kid. These videos are creations by my brother and me. We controlled everything, from directing to scripts and even costume and makeup. At the time, I honestly thought we were making masterpieces — and, looking back on them now, I would say that this still holds true today. 

When I look at the digital folder of these videos hidden amongst thousands of files, I can’t help but laugh at myself. I gawk at the pure ridiculousness that little Sarah had and was not afraid to show to others. I would wear a fake mustache, speak in horrible accents and do everything with what I consider now to be little to no talent. The best part about these videos is that I did all of this without caring.  

I think, as kids, we have the tendency to whip out a camera without any hesitation or questioning about what others might think of us. We are completely fearless in our young, childish age, and I think it is safe to say that this is reflected in everyone’s collection of home videos. However, seeing someone act with such a large amount of faith in themselves is rare today. 

I miss hogging the spotlight without a care in the world. I honestly do not recognize little Sarah in my videos because she is so immensely outgoing, loud and brutally honest. Although my acting may be less than subpar in these videos involving a stuffed animal murder mystery, at the time of their creation, I really had no idea how bad they were.  

While self-awareness has its perks, I wish we all took a moment now to be oblivious. I think I speak for all of us when I say that I am so caught up in every action I take, every word I speak and every decision I make. I am hyper-aware not only regarding what I do but how others might be reacting to me as well.  

I know I will never get my childhood back, no matter how bittersweet I feel about growing older. Even though my days of Claymation animation and Lego-building videos are over, I want to capture the confidence I held in those videos. I believe we should start living every day like we are kids in front of a video camera. We’ll never be young again, but acting without a care in the world sounds really refreshing and doable. 

And maybe you have no recollection of home videos. Maybe, if you do remember making them, you might not have them saved anywhere. Either way, whether videos from your childhood are in your keepsake collection today or not, I see no reason why we can’t make them for ourselves starting now. 

I wonder how the perception of ourselves would change today if we spent a little chunk of our time filming all the small, yet happy, things that happen to us. I understand wanting to live in the moment, but what about spontaneously creating something to look back on? Photographs, despite how much I cherish them, do not create the same memorable atmosphere as videos. For that reason, I urge you to take those cameras out and start using them. 

Therefore, if you don’t have any home videos to look back on, there is still time to start making them now. You won’t be able to make an exact replica of what your younger self would create, but try filming yourself with no expectations whatsoever.

Film yourself talking, laughing, singing, dancing, crafting or even crying with the idea that no one but you will see the footage. And no one will see these videos unless you decide to show the world. But the final outcome is not what is important; the process of being silly and entirely yourself is what matters. 

You don’t need to film everything and constantly make home videos to feel childhood nostalgia. Take only five minutes to create a video in which you believe in yourself and your creative talents. Then, re-watch your video, which will be something you most likely think is awful, and smile for letting yourself fail without any consequences.  

For how cringey these videos may seem, they have the power to teach us to not get so caught up in the mundaneness of life. Be goofy and confident, even if it is just for a short video. The feeling created by that courageousness will soon seep its way into your everyday life.  

While I think that keeping your home videos, whether old or new, in your keepsake collection is a wonderful idea, what is most important to keep is the child-like feeling of simply not caring about anyone but yourself. I hope you are able to unveil this emotion while filming and hold onto it when the camera turns off.