You Were Born To Do ASMR
A few nights ago, I was editing a makeup video and listening to another that I would later upload on my channel Somni Rosae. Just when I was thinking of taking a break from multitasking, my phone flashed a notification, a new comment had been posted on one of my videos. It read, “You were born to do ASMR." The message stood out and I thought it was because it was the only one that had been posted in the middle of the night. A lowly message flashing all by itself on my phone screen. Six simple words hit home that could have otherwise been read later or have easily gotten lost in the wall of comments. They felt profound and yet, I couldn’t understand why. I felt there was another message within it specifically for me…But what was it?
The realist in my brain said, “You know…Somni…This comment is probably posted on every ASMRtist’s wall. It’s no big deal.” Totally, I answered back. But then the idealist in my brain said, “Wait…regardless if it’s been said to others, it was said to YOU. On YOUR video. On YOUR channel.” Good point, I thought. But it still felt that there was more to the comment. The messenger’s voice was trailing off, and I couldn’t hear what was beyond those words.
And so, I read them again, “You were born to do ASMR.”
As I could hear those words loudly and see them at the forefront, behind them and quietly, I began to hear the previous affirmations from my past that I used to say to myself, in the hopes that they would manifest into reality:
“I will be a writer”
“I will be a makeup artist”
“I will be a photographer”
“I will travel the world!”
And there were more, many many more encouraging words that I’ve said to myself since I was a teenager. “My brain is rambling” I said to myself. Trying to stop my introversion from over thinking, or worse, analyzing the past, I placed my fingers back on the keyboard to continue with my work and it was at that very moment that I had an epiphany. “There it is” said the idealist’s voice in my head, “you’ve heard the rest of the message.”
I saw it as I watched the footage that was in front of me, a video where I play the role of a makeup artist. A profession that at one point I had seriously persued as a career. Images of previous published videos were flashing in my head, each one containing something that I wanted to accomplish but failed at in real life, but in the online world, it was make-believe. That was the epiphany, everything that I’ve ever wanted to be or do in my life – up to this point anyways, and never worked out, I’ve applied those dreams and efforts to my ASMR videos.
When one dream seemed to lead me to a dead end, I sought another route. I repeated those steps over and over again, and sometimes worked hard in building roads to reach those dreams. Sometimes I was able to reach them, and many times I did not. I experienced rejection, I experienced failure, and in rare occasions, I experienced the heartache of a dream that did not want me. The words ‘I will be’ were changed to ‘maybe’, ‘I regret’, ‘I failed’ and ‘it will never be’. And there are more, many many more, each one worse than the one before.
As the trajectory of these failed dreams played in my head and then saw each one personified as a model walking down the runway of broken dreams. I realized that those dreams may not have come true the way that I wanted them to but I still learned from them. Each unrealized dream left me with a remnant of itself, they were reminders of the past. The writer left me with pages of unpublished stories. The makeup artist left me with her brushes. The photographer left me archives of photos. Untraveled lands left me with this pending desire to connect with people. All these items and more have been carefully archived and stored on shelves in my mind. They’ve been there on display with a banner on top with a cautionary message that reads, “Don’t attempt that dream again. It went with someone else. It was never for you.”
I murmured the words, “You were born to do ASMR.”
In a recent podcast interview I said, “ASMR connects me to my childhood.” As my brain quickly returned to do some kind of life review, I began to fully understand the depth in those words. One night, many years ago when I was at my lowest of low, searching for comfort online, I found a whispering video and it triggered childhood memories. The tingles that I had rarely felt in real life, were now coming in waves, and they revived me with hope. This whisper was inviting me to play and I accepted its invitation by quietly shouting back, “Yes! I want to play too!”
Even though I had agreed to come out and play, I was an adult who forgot how to do so, but the whisper gave me such a drive that it inspired this adult to take the time to learn the technicalities of making videos, and once it was done building a digital playground, the child in me began to play freely. ASMR, the tingles in my head and spine that have helped me with my sleep, woke my inner child from slumber and ever since, it has kept me awake at night with ideas that I want to express online. ASMR helps me to channel my childhood and tells my imagination to dream big, and to paint everything with colour!
Like a child, ASMR took everything that was organized in my brain and used them as toys. It went to the shelves where my souvenirs of broken dreams were on display. It did not look at them with pity or fear. Instead, it looked at them as if they were nothing but trinkets to play with, or better yet, ASMR was the girl guide who saw them as challenges to be conquered, which would then be worn as badges of honour on her sash.
The enthusiasm and excitement from this child was contagious! She would say to me, “Yes! I have an idea! Let’s use this stuff for videos!” That epiphany was sinking in even more. I had allowed my broken dreams to prevent me from becoming the person I was supposed to be. “So it didn’t work” interrupted the child who was rummaging through the knickknacks and said, “So what? What else can we play with?!”
This adult realized that she had been wrong in storing away the lessons learned from these broken dreams. They weren’t trinkets to be looked at. Instead, they were seeds that found a fertile soil online where they could bear fruit. My make-believe world was not exactly an illusion, every story brought to life in a video had a trace of something that had happened in my real life. Every video, everything that had happened to me, all the personalities I’ve ever had to pretend to be in real life when chasing a dream or to get by or to survive, were all brought to life in one artistic persona.
And again, like a child who easily moves on to the next adventure with wonder, but every now and then comes back to play with toys from the past, I have begun to live my life that way, I am making peace with my past. The adult and child no longer see broken dreams, they are whatever the child and I want them to be.
As the rush from the epiphany finished rushing through my body, my mind and spirit. I put away the phone, I clicked ‘save’ on my work, and quietly sat for a moment. I was thankful to have an audience to share my work with and who also inspires me, and with humility and gratitude, I whispered the message to myself, “You were born to do ASMR”, I was born to be Somni Rosae.