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I was never really good at anything in school. Granted, listening in class never took priority over trying to keep myself together while bullies threw bits of paper at me, stole my pens and kicked me under tables. School was pretty shit for me, and maybe that just added to the fact that I wasn't really interested in any of it. Not going to university was never an option from me, as it was just a given expectation in my family (though I did want to go anyway), but my lack of interest always worried my family.

When I moved to the UK for boarding school, I experienced pure education bliss for the last 2 years of high school. For once, I felt like I had total control. I studied the subjects I was interested in, I did well in most of them, and I really enjoyed going to school with people whose primary focus was not making my life miserable.

When it came to choosing what to study and what university I wanted to go to, what I wanted didn't matter. My father decided in his head that I should go into Hotel Management, which still makes me laugh because he couldn't have found a worst fit. I knew didn't want to go, but I also didn't know what I did want. I was forced to pack up my life in the UK and say goodbye to the only people I ever considered to be my real friends.

I moved to Switzerland for 3 miserable months. I sat through lectures about cutlery, learned the correct way to chop a zucchini and frankly, I was drunk for the rest of it. I was at the height of my depression, and I took control of my life the only way I could. After mistreating my body for 3 months straight, I got so ill that I couldn't physically get up to mindlessly autopilot through my day. Once I hit rock bottom, something shifted in my mind. I didn't care who it would upset anymore, because I was done living a life I hated to fuel someone else's happiness. Dropping out of that University and getting on a one-way flight back to Portugal was, and always will be the best thing I have ever done in my life.

After 9 really difficult months of dealing with the consequences of my decision to drop out and go home, I moved back to the UK to study Advertising and Film Production. After a year at that university, I transferred to a university in London. I knew I wanted to go into Advertising, but doing a joint course was pulling my focus from what I was really interested in. I felt like I was falling behind, and I didn't feel like I was in the right place yet. So once again, I weighed out my pros and cons, packed up my life and started over again.

Sitting here with a First Class Honours degree in my preferred field of study still feels surreal. It might have taken me 5 years and 3 different Universities to get here, but I got here. I have a job I love at a company I'm passionate about. I get up in the morning and do what I love every day, surrounded by like-minded people that keep me laughing when things get stressful.

I grew up being told that it doesn't matter what you do, so long as the pay is good. I'm here to tell you that there isn't enough money in the world that makes up for hating your work life. Don't get me wrong, every job has its challenges and I certainly don't wake up excited to spend 2 hours commuting and 8 hours in front of a screen... But it's MY commute and it's MY screen. I picked it. I worked for it. I took control of my life and I relish the sense of ownership I have over every good and every bad day. And it feels fucking great.

Photo by Tim Chung @iamtimchung

Let me catch you up.

I finished university, and got a graduate job. The day after I graduated with 1st Class Honours, I was made redundant. The next few months were filled with job hunting and moving house without any income, and living off savings and the gracious help of my family. Bit stressful.

I got a job at the end of August (deep breath)  and now I'm working full-time. All my free time is spent with my boyfriend, with my friends and visiting family as much as I possibly can, and as much as money will allow. Where, exactly, am I meant to get a spare several hours to film, edit and upload new videos every week? I'm finding that I will need to sacrifice time with my loved ones to do YouTube.

"If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

I don't want to think of wanting to spend time with the most important people in my life as an "excuse", but is it? I have never wanted YouTube to be a job or a responsibility, but more so a hobby that I enjoy. Recently (and I know I'm not alone) YouTube has felt like the source of all my anxiety and self-doubt. Why aren't my videos doing as well anymore? Am I getting boring? Do I need to change? Should I present myself differently? Should I change my content to be more ad-friendly? The list goes on.

It's just not fun anymore. The reason I do it is that I value you, and I don't want to let you down. I have people, actual living, breathing, feeling, people that have dedicated time to becoming invested in me, what I do, how I feel and the content I make. I appreciate your constant love and support so much, and I know that my videos are the reason you're here. I don't want to lose you. I don't care about being irrelevant in the face of all that is the YouTube community, I fear becoming irrelevant to you.

I won't quit. I'm not enjoying YouTube right now, but that doesn't mean I won't find a way to love it again. Maybe I need to change, not for those that so desperately love to remind me that I'm not good enough as I am, but for myself. Maybe the reason I doubt myself and my content isn't that the hate is getting "too much", but that deep-down, I'm also not happy with myself and how things are.

I'll figure it out. For now, writing about it helps.

I don't just live in London.

I always knew that I'd want to experience London someday, but I never thought that I would move here. I never considered the fact that I might end up here and that I might love it. In fact, I fought against it for a good few years before I settled and allowed myself to be happy here.

I moved to London in bad circumstances. It wasn't the plan I'd set out for myself, my plan's failure wasn't due to my own mistakes and I felt like it was my only option. It would've been fine if I could have blamed myself- but I couldn't.

I spent my first 2 years in London wishing that I could run away. I remember sitting in my University's bathroom cubicle in 1st year, sobbing my little heart away when I found out I wouldn't be able to transfer to Huddersfield. I was stuck. Nothing breaks me like feeling stuck. 3 years later, I sometimes still go into that cubicle and think about those tears, and how happy I am that I stuck it out.

The day I freed myself from it all, I started to love London. It took me over 2 years to see the freedom in it. You can go anywhere, anytime. You're one person in a crowd of 8.6 million. Nobody needs to know you, or see you if you don't want to be known or seen. You can do anything.

The day I let myself be free, I loved London and I loved me.

London is beautiful, no doubt about it. But the best thing about London isn't the wonderful buildings, the vibrant people or the freedom. The best thing about London is how you feel here. I can tell you that I don't just live here- London lives in me, too.

One day I will move away and I will take this little (big) city away with me in my heart. For now, I can't wait to go on walks by myself, take a million pictures and fall madly in love with pretty little whereabouts (and maybe someone in them, too).

I'm free!

Photo credit: Jon D Barker

After 6 months of being signed to an MCN, my YouTube channel has finally been released. I didn't make the decision to sign with a network lightly, and it look a lot of discussion, negotiation and empty promises to talk me into giving it a second chance.

For those of you that aren't up-to-date, years ago I lost all legal rights to my YouTube channel after signing with a dodgy (very well known) MCN, which ultimately led me to quitting YouTube for a couple of years. I made a video about this if you wish to hear about that experience, and I'll link it here.

Are multi channel networks worth it?

No, not really. Not in my experience.

I signed with an MCN after I met somebody from the network at Summer in the City 2016. A couple of my friends had signed with them, and they sang their praises to me. I felt strongly that I had my foot in the door, and that this network would take me seriously.

It can seem very appealing to sign with a network when they promise you more sponsorships, entry to events and a connection to other YouTubers they have signed. In 6 months of partnership, they were really great to help me if ever I had a question or a problem. However, they did not follow through on any of the promises they made me before signing. I was handling all my own sponsorship offers and didn't receive any further support. I did not get put on the guest list to events I was promised. I was not put in contact with other fellow creators.

All they did was take a 30% cut of my AdSense revenue (which I now know is a ridiculous amount), and they did nothing for me in return. I'd love to say that I just got unlucky, but nobody I know has ever said that signing with an MCN helped their channel in any way.

It's not the end of the world. I lost out on some money, but I've learned a valuable lesson. Never again will any network or management touch any percentage of my AdSense money, and I know better than to fall for empty promises ever again.

My take on MCNs? Save yourself the headaches and fly solo.

You wouldn't think I'd want a blog.

My schedule is becoming more and more manic every day. With all the things I have to do, blogging should be the last thing on my mind... and yet, it isn't.

Writing has always been a passion of mine. Not only because I love to do it, but sadly also because it was the only thing I was good at when I was in school. I'm dyscalculic, so really struggled with Maths, Physics, Chemistry, etc... "the smart subjects".

Dyscalculia (/ˌdɪskælˈkjuːli.ə/) is difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, and learning facts in mathematics. It is generally seen as a specific developmental disorder.

I've always found solace in language, and in fact the process of learning new languages is one that I really enjoy. English is not my first language, so it brings me incredible pleasure to be able to speak it and- yes, write it.

My YouTube channel has become a place for me to unload my creativity onto, but recently I've found myself craving a literary outlet. I guess that's how we got here.

I hope you like my little blog, I love the feeling you get when you start a new project.

I think tattoos and body art is super interesting. I love talking to people about my and their tattoos and our different experiences.

The most popular question is "did it hurt?" and to be completely honest with you, my answer doesn't matter. None of my tattoos hurt, but that's just due to my own pain threshold and how I personally felt it. It's different for everyone!

I won't go into loads of detail about each one of my tattoos, or we'd be here for ages. Let's make this short and sweet!

Butterfly. 13th of April 2009.

Dream Catcher & Compass. 3rd of May 2012.

* I am in the process of removing this tattoo at the moment. Make sure you're subscribed to my YouTube channel so you're the first to hear about why!

Camera Lens. 8th of March 2013.

Happiness Key. 6th December 2013.

Saudade. 9th July 2015.

Carpe Veritas. 3rd March 2016.

When getting a tattoo, please remember that it may not look like one, but it's an open wound. Do not mess with it, and leave it to heal. Make sure you follow your tattoo artist's instructions for aftercare and that you do not scratch or pull the dead skin when it begins to peel. It will come off naturally when you wash it. Get in touch with your artist if you have any questions or concerns.

If you want to know more about my tattoos, I made a video about the stories behind them!

When I was 12, I was told I had a big nose for the first time. I became an target for bullying from boys who thought I was ugly, and girls who thought I wasn't up to their standards. I started a journey of feeling ugly, worthless and alone.

This carried on for years, knocking down whatever was left of my self-esteem and my confidence. At 14, a boy told me "you'll never be able to give a blowjob because your nose is too big". And you know what? I was mortified. Ashamed and embarrassed, scared that it was true. My development as a "tween" was entirely knocked over by this one thing on my face and the way people saw me, and treated me because of it.

At 15, I met someone who turned it around for me. He made me realise that not everyone saw me the way people in my school year did. He made me feel loved and appreciated in a way that nobody ever had. That was important.

From then on, I decided to appear confident, even if I wasn't. I learned to laugh at myself, because people are less likely to be mean if they think it's not hurting you. I started bullying myself, in a sense. Making self-deprecating jokes about my nose, and my appearance. That worked all the way up until I was 20. My friends will know that I spent the majority of my time making jokes about my nose as a way to drive attention away from it. If people thought I was okay with it, they would be too, right? Wrong. Friends, teachers, boyfriends all joined in on the fun. And though it was lighthearted (and often very funny indeed), it slowly knocked down my confidence over, and over. I found myself in a place where I could no longer make jokes, because this thing on my face would not let me forget that it was there. That it was big. That it was horrendous. That it was out of place.

Age 20, I contemplated the idea of a nose job. I had always thought about it, but it seemed too far in the distant future, because I was so young. At 20, I thought about it seriously. But hadn't I learned to accept it? Hadn't I learned to love myself? Hadn't I learned to laugh at myself? I felt like getting a nose job would be a sign of weakness. That it would mean my bullies had won. I considered the fact that when I have children one day, if they end up with my nose, I won't have any ground on which to tell them to be confident in their own skin. That one really put the nose job out of my mind, at least for the time being.

But do you know how unhappy I am in my own skin? For the last year, I have been observing my actions and reactions, my body language and my attitude. My self-esteem is practically non-existent. I don't love myself in the way that I should. No amount of dieting or shopping for new clothes and makeup will make me feel better, because the thing that makes me unhappy is on my face, for everyone to see.

When I walk down the street, I will avoid making eye contact with strangers, and I will turn my head into specific angles so that they don't see my nose from either side. How messed up is that? I've struggled to make friends because all I can think about when I meet new people, is what angle they're seeing me from. I've learned to laugh at myself, but why should I have to? Why should I have to "embrace" things that make me completely miserable, if I can change them? I'm tired of being so self-conscious all the time.

The truth is, I need surgery on my nose anyway. I have a very deviated septum, which means that my nose is crooked and I can't breathe through one of my nostrils at all, and the other is constantly almost fully blocked like I have a cold. This makes it hard for me to breathe through my nose, which means I get tired and lightheaded very easily with any form of exercise. It means that I am not as protected from bacteria, and my mouth breathing often results in me having tonsillitis every couple of months, and me being sick every couple of weeks. I can't blow my nose, so all mucus builds up on my lungs and gives me horrible coughs. I need surgery anyway, and no matter what, my nose will look different. So it may as well look better.

I am not defined by my nose, or by the way people treat me because of it. I'm so over it. I want to feel happy in my own skin. I want to feel confident. I want to be able to not care which angle people see me from. I want to not have to be defensive all the time. I want to feel good. Is that too much to ask?

I've decided I'm getting a nose job. Not for the people who told me I "need" one, but for myself. I'm having the first appointment in December, and I can't stop thinking about it. I've wanted this for so long. I'm so excited to feel good, for once.

My friends and family will support my decision, and that's all that matters to me.
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