I’d been considering doing this blog post for a very long time, I did want to do a video, but words sometimes need a bit more thought than just projecting things that come into my head at my camera. When I started this blog, back in 2009 because I’d read other blogs and I despised my job and used this as an escape. A place to talk about my most recent Mac find at the boot sale for 50p! It was my hobby, and what’s really important to remember at the beginning of this blog post, is that it still is. It just happens to be my job now.

Over the past few years, my life seems to have taken a complete 180. Did I set out for it to become that way? Of course not. Did I ever expect it? Hell no. Did I ever plan on making a living from it? Nope.

I was quite set on just making videos to make people happy, regardless of how many people watched them, and that is still my main aim. It just so happens that there is now A LOT of people, and with a lot of people, come many characters and opinions. Something I am not used to. I am a wallflower, I have anxiety, I’m not a disney princess who lives this perfect life with no flaws or ups or downs. I’ve had some of the hardest things to overcome over the past years i’ve been online, but have chosen to keep those things personal to me, things I’m still having to deal with now. 

 I just want you to know that behind “Zoella” is Zoe, a normal girl, a girl who sometimes falls asleep with her makeup on, or has a panic attack in the airport, who cares what people think of her way too much, who sometimes eats chocolate for breakfast. I often think that a lot of people just expect that the YouTubers they watch or look up to, are used to the commotion, or stopping for pictures when you go shopping, or standing on a stage in front of 5,000 people screaming at you, or accepting an award in wembley stadium in front of 9,000 people ON MY OWN (absolutely terrifying). I can honestly tell you, I still wake up every day and pinch myself and it’s not really sunk in. People ask me if i’m a celebrity…and the answer is no. I’m not. I just make videos that lot’s of people like to watch. Does that mean that it’s okay for groups of girls to sit outside my house and wait for me to leave, or to ring my doorbell multiple times? I’m not sure it does. Does that mean I am able to perfectly handle walking into a room at an event or a meet and greet to be greeted by a wall of screams? No, I’m still not quite used to that one either haha!

I can’t speak for everyone, but personally, I still find this all very overwhelming. I am a person that suffers very badly from anxiety, and yet I still push myself to try all these new and exciting avenues that crop up on this extremely bizarre and amazing journey I seem to be trundling along on (with you all by my side). I am offered SO MANY amazing opportunities, things I never thought for one second I would ever do, things that only a crazy person would turn down. Is it hard for me to do these things? 60% of the time YES. You see the vlogs, and everything looks so peachy, what you don’t see, are those moments when I have to stand outside to calm down, where I have to spend the evening in bed instead of hanging out with all my friends making memories in new places. It’s hard, it’s just not something I ever talk about or vlog about (funnily enough, in these situations, my first priority is never to grab my camera…), but do I want to miss out on meeting people who want to meet me? Of course not. There has been a lot of talk surrounding “YouTube Celebrity Culture” and the fan base that has grown for youtubers recently. I uploaded a vlog from Digifest where things did get a little crazy, and have felt that more and more people are growing confused by it. All I can say is, you and me both. I like to document these things, and share them with you all, because it’s a part of my life, and it’s because of you reading or watching that have enabled me to do all these amazing things. When i’m old and wrinkly, I’ll hope I can watch back at those clips of people screaming whilst i’m stood on a stage and remember it with smiles (possibly not my teeth mind you). I do find it very difficult to fully enjoy meet and greets recently. As our audiences have grown, and more and more people would like the chance to meet us (Trust me, I’m still not quite getting my head around this either…), it becomes increasingly difficult to be able to carry things like this out safely for everyone there. I hate not being able to sit around a table and chat anymore, and I am looking into ways that it can be scaled down. Not only does it break my heart that I can’t meet everybody, but I feel like quantity should never outnumber quality when it comes to things like this and it all gets very rushed, and squished and I come away from it feeling like I might have let people down, or because i’m on edge myself, they haven’t gotten to meet the best version of myself. (Anxious minds tend to overthink). It also breaks my heart when other people have panic attacks. I can empathise with them completely and have jumped into queues and crowds and pulled girls out and made sure they are okay on a number of different occasions. Security is also an issue for me in most venues or meet ups, they are paid to stand and make sure that nothing gets out of hand, they are not generally very friendly, or accommodating, and that too makes me a little mad. Myself, Louise & Tanya have all had a pop at security recently, so we are certainly aware that they aren’t always nice. Besides this, and events and meet ups being quite a stressful environment, it makes me SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY to be able to meet you, and hug you and to hear in some cases from you personally that I have made a difference to your life. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling, but it’s amazing! 

 It would be interesting to hear some of your thoughts if you have been to a meet up in the comments? 

I’ve been to a lot of conventions, with lot’s of viewers and fellow online friends and have received many amazing receptions, screaming, crying, hugging, and in all honesty, I don’t feel like it ever really felt like any of it was for me. It sort of went over my head. I don’t mean that in a negative way, just in the fact that I think if I blocked out that side of it, it would be less pressurising and less stressful for me. I am just a normal girl after all, I almost felt as though I didn’t deserve it. The other day, when I went to digifest, a convention in hammersmith with 5,000 people. I walked out on stage with all my friends, and my brother and everyone cheered and all of a sudden I got chills all over my body and I just felt like the luckiest person alive to be standing there, with all the people I love who has also gone through this crazy journey with me and it struck me that people were happy to see us. I really had to force myself not to cry, and that was the first time, since I’d started any of this, that I felt it was real. It can be very overwhelming, and that point, I felt it more than ever. 

I don’t know how things got to how they are today, but I am so grateful for every single one of you who support me no matter what, and can hold my hand (virtually) through all this. And I definitely do need that. I’ve met some amazing people, travelled to some amazing places, and i’m not sure any of this would have happened if it wasn’t for something very life changing happening in my life in 2012, and me deciding I was going to say yes more often or if it wasn’t for those of you reading this now. This is all very new, and people are still trying to get their heads around it, but don’t forget, that we are too :)

I have some very exciting things coming up this year and there is always that small part of me that feels as though I should just creep back and just stick to making videos and nothing else, but there is also that part of me that is SO excited to live out things I only ever dreamed of as I was growing up. I worry too much about the negative people, that don’t agree with the way this has all panned out. I’ve learnt now that those who mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind, and there is no way i’m ditching the option to do the things i’ve always wanted just in case a few people disagree or send me mean comments. I can’t wait to share these exciting things with you, and I really hope you’re excited too.

Well, I feel like I just offloaded! haha there is definitely some food for thought, but I just wanted to clear up how I felt about all this recently. Of course I can only speak for myself, but you have to remember that behind the smiles, and the hugs and the screams and squeals, we are normal people, and we can find it overwhelming and daunting too, and we just want to meet as many of you as we can, in a safe way. YOU are our priority. :) And if you don’t want to meet me, that’s okay too! I have a really broad audience, which can be difficult to cater to, I just hope that those of you reading this are happy, like watching my videos, and in turn that makes me happier than anything! 

Love you all

xxx

  • ValkyrieXMystique

    wow

  • ValkyrieXMystique

    Zoe you are my hero I love you so much I wish I could be you because you handle your anxiety way better than me x

  • courtney

    gosh zoe this blog post made me cry ! love you endlessly and you truely have made a difference to my life – your the reason why im happy :)

  • Lauren Caesar

    This blog post is one of the best things I have ever read. I can’t even imagine doing everything that you get to do, while still managing to keep as calm as possible – this is why you are one of my greatest inspirations! I have so much respect for you and all YouTubers/Bloggers out there! I feel so honoured that you let us all into your world and open up as much as you do. I know I’m not the only person to say this, but you have honestly changed my life and opened my eyes to so many things. Xx

  • Michelle M

    This post is one of my favourite blog posts I’ve ever read. I honestly see you as one of my biggest inspirations and you have inspired me to open up more and do new things. I’ve always been more secluded from every one and I’ve never been too open minded to doing new things and I’ve always had negative things drilled into my head, such as the fact I’d go over every single bad thing that could come from a situation rather than focusing on the positive and you’ve really helped me with that through Youtube and your blog. I’m so glad to be a part of your community and I will be here until the end. Thank you so much for doing what you do and deciding to face the crowds of fans and such and I have so much respect for you and other people who open up like this on the internet and I truly enjoy being a part of it all. Lots of love :) xx

  • kate f

    I often think about the connection that I can have with a ”famous” person and I understand why I consider it as a ”different” one. Yes Zoe I can meet you, I can hug you, but I know that I would NEVER be your friend.. I would never (as you said) sit around a table with you, never going shopping, never watch a film together. We will never have the opportunity to stay together more than 5 seconds, the opportunity to know each other.. That’s what makes me more sad, I’m happy to meet you, but as those 5 seconds during a meet and greet are finished, to you I return to be 1 in a million people, but you remain the person that I really appreciate and that I could never really reach. Still see your videos and find you funny, never have the opportunity to show you that we have several things in common and that we can share lots of beautiful moments together.. I know some things about you and your life, but you can’t do the same. Do you see what’s the point? Of course you remain a normal person, but there’s some things about the notoriety that aren’t those of a normal life.. And that’s the part that sucks, because I really think that you are for many aspects like me, but WE’ll never be able to discover that..

    (Kate, 19)

  • AA

    Dealing with anxiety is never easy, let alone living your kind of life. I don’t know how you do it at all… just walking down the road for me is terrifying let alone with a camera !! Hopefully people who don’t suffer from anxiety can understand how you feel and respect that behind the bubbly internet person is a real person. (I created a blog by the way for people that suffer with anxiety and panic attacks… https://unefilleporteealareverie.wordpress.com if any feels like checking it out :) )

  • Amanda Savage

    I am starting a blog on my life with anxiety! Hope you guys check it out maybe? http://amandamarieblog.my-free.website

  • Georgie

    Watching you on my laptop screen makes me realise how small and insignificant I am amongst the millions of people that watch you too. I know that I will never get to meet you, not even for 5 seconds and it makes me sad that someone that I look up to for inspiration and confidence does not even know I exist. We are always here for you Zoe, I just sometimes wish you could be here for me too.

    • This was very unfair for you to say. You know that Zoe loves and cares about all of us. She is here for us, and she actually said this in the post when she said about seeing girls with anxiety and things. If she wasn’t there for us, she wouldn’t upload a video every week and she wouldn’t make any vlogs or write this blog with tips of how we can feel ok if we have anxiety. She makes videos for US, She makes different products for US and she writes this blog for US. Everything she does including social media is for us and you’re saying she isn’t always here for you. Maybe not to you personally but she is still here for you even If she doesn’t know you personally. I’m not trying to start anything but please realise this because that was really unfair to say. If Zoe saw that, she would feel like she is letting us down when she’s doing more for us than I would have ever imagined. Please don’t say that. Please.

      • Georgie

        I agree. As you can see I removed my comment. I was having a bad day and it wasn’t nice of me to pin it on someone else. You truly are a lovely person and I thank you x

  • Melza may

    I would just like to say that you (Zoe) have had a huge effect on my life. Over the past 2 weeks i have been suffering with really bad anxiety and panic attacks and i have had one nearly every day. I can’t explain how much reading your blog posts had helped me through it and how much i can relate to you. I would just like to add I have awoken feeling anxious and have a lot on my mind, its 3am and I couldn’t sleep so decide to read this to help clear my mind (which it has) and i fell so overwhelmed that someone knows how i feel. My family nor do my teachers understand and they want to sent me to the doctor like i have some sort of disease. Its weird because I think talking to people has made everything worse as they think I am mad and I feel like now everyone is talking about me behind my back. I know you may not even see this but it is worth a 0.001 percent that you might read this and I want you to know that you have made a huge impact on my life and that there is someone who has the same thing and that I don’t feel alone. Love you Zoe xoxo

  • Maria Clara Chaves

    Hello Zoe, i’m from Brazil, i’m 15 years old. I want to say thank you for somethings you did to me, so first of all, thank you for making me learn english, i learn more with your videos and blog then i learn in english class. Thank you for say all the time to not worry to much with what i’m going to be, i don’t know about other countries but here in Brazil when your in hight school, people all the time talk abou the future, not the future but colege, not colege but making the ENEM that means Nacional Exame of High School, and this exame is what puts you and a colege or not, and i can only make it on last year of high school, taht is when i’m 17 and i’m already worry about it, i don’t know if i what to be a jornalist or a doctor(i know very diferent), i always say that i’ll be a doctor i love it, it’s tru, but 2 years ago i started to think that maybe it’s not what i really want,and i though on jornalism bcs i love to read and writte, and i think the work is amazing, and now i think i want to be a doctor again,and one day i saw you talk to not care to much about it, and i stop, somethimes i think about it but not worry. Thank you for being honest, i never had any trouble being myself, i am myself all the time every day since always, but i have anxiety, and panic attack i had once this year when i was making myself study to much, and one day i just panic becouse i did’t learn the things, i just don’t get math, i don’t, so thank you for say that you’re not perfect to but you love youself. Thank you for making me smile on bad days. Thank you for making me do what i want and do something if things are wrong, now when i want to change someting i get up and do something to change it. Thank you for being you. Here is my honest and grateful thank you, i love you.

  • SallyLew

    Hello Zoe! My name is Sally, I’m form Malaysia, 19 years old. All I can say is that I love you Zoe! You been one of my favorite youtuber and blogger since last year! And what you have spoke and wrote about your thoughts and shared the videos on youtube were truly inspiring..I just LOVE to read and watch them! It makes me so happy just to sit around the corner or on the sofa to watch your videos :) They always makes my day! I been through bad anxiety experiences during the past years, and I could said it was really tough and depressing. But I tried to overcome all the fears and anxiety these recent years by telling myself “Everyday is a new day to begin with lot’s of happiness that you may find in just a few simple things or little moments in your life” and IT WORKS :D Now I always do stuff that is out of my comfort zone and stop being caring too much about what other people thought about me, because ‘you are the only person who knows what you’re gonna do!’ Thanks for sharing this blog post! xoxo

  • Stephanie Peacock

    Hey Zoe! I know this is an older blog post and you may or may not carry the same feelings as you did then but I really correspond with your message here. I have been dealing with anxiety since I was 15, I am now 18 and it is still such a huge factor of my life that impacts me in negative ways almost everyday. I am unsure if it affects you in the same manner (I know anxiety affects people in different ways) but I cannot stand going to parties or going to the movies or travelling on public transport, just anywhere where you would find a crowd. I do regularly feel like I am missing out and that some of my friends are becoming distant from me because I do keep avoiding going to parties but the feeling of having anxiety at a party the whole time is a lot worse than staying home and being by myself. Anyways I was wondering what you would do if this situation ever occurred to you?

    Thanks so much Zoe x

  • Rachel

    Hey zoe, the likely hood is that you probably wont read this post but if you do i just want to say thank you. Both your video and this blog has helped me so much with my anxiety and panic attacks. I know i have suffered with them from a very young age and now i have managed to come to terms with it i was brave enough to tell my mum. This is all because of you and i just want to to tell you how great full i am (-:

  • Katie Robertson

    Hey zoe I’m Katie from the uk and I just wanted to say that you really inspire me and people think that your life is perfect because of what they see of you but i understand that we only see like 30 minutes of your day and other stuff like problems happen just like any other person and some people think your perfect i believe you are but i know that nobody is perfect and it’s impossible to be perfect. I just i don’t know i could just sit here and type all day i could just talk to you about problems and how life isn’t easy and how i understand. I hope you read this and email me
    Its k_Robertson356@@outlook.com

    Love you
    Xxxxx
    Katie,11

  • Lucie Flore

    Hi zoe. My name is Lucie flore. I am a lifestyle blogger and I would just like to say that to everyone, you are an inspiration. I know you wrote this post a long time ago but to me this post reflcts on how people feel today. Anxiety is hard for everyone and on writing this post, you make it alot easier for people to cope with it now. Thanks to you we now know that even famous people haven’t got perfect lives. They deal with the same kind of things we deal with. It really helps us and it makes us happy when we read your posts. If you have time to red my blog that would be amazing. I’ve been blogging for quite a long time but have never found the ideal platform. Reading your blog however inspires me to write things down about how I feel and what I can do to make my corner of the internet a much better place. Thankyou so much for all the kindness that you have sahred with us through your blog. It really does make us smile…

    Lucie x

    https://luciefore.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Sarah

    Hi Zoe, I’ve recently been diagnosed with Anxiety and Panic Disorder and honestly watching your videos and reading you blog post about it kinda helps me and makes me feel safer. I know if you can get on with your day than so can I, it’s hard for me to leave my house because I get scared of having a panic attack in public. Please write me back some tips you have xxxx