inspiration

Casey Neistat Changed My Life

I have seven drafts/versions of this post and a handful of half-written ones on my phone. Every time I actually go to put it together, I struggle to find the words that I really want to say. Sometimes the drafts made me sound way too crazy (this “final” post probably does too), and other times they didn’t capture the emotions that I wanted to convey. Casey started following me on Twitter last week (I nearly died) and it reminded me that I needed just to get this post out there.

Done is better than perfect, right?

Last July I was not doing the greatest. Life wasn’t horrible, but I was not feeling my best, and I was struggling internally with things. Even though summertime is my favorite time of year, I wasn’t feeling it. At some point, I started watching Youtube videos. (Read: I was watching way too many Youtube videos.) It felt like I was wasting my life away watching other people live theirs. I think consuming content is normal, but it shouldn’t get to the point where you’re not living yours. For example, reading is incredible… but reading a book about traveling the world isn’t quite the same as creating your own adventures. Same thing with Youtube.

One of the channels I got hooked on though was Casey Neistat’s. He was daily vlogging, and I had months of vlogs to watch. It was like discovering a great television show with nine seasons of episodes to binge on Netflix. If you’re unfamiliar with Casey Neistat, he’s a super big Youtuber. He set the stage (and raised the bar) for a lot of vloggers out there. You may recognize his video of him snowboarding behind a police car during a blizzard, the infamous video about bike lanes in NYC, or his recent review of a first class seat on Emirates. Or even this (very inspiring) Nike ad he did.

(Funny enough, I blogged about his collaboration with J. Crew years ago before I knew who he was.)

While I was watching his videos though, I wasn’t just passively consuming them. I started to get really inspired by what he was doing. The more I learned about him, his creativity, even his life story, the more I felt like I could take back control of my own life.

Watching him create amazing content made me want to create better blog content. While I don’t think I realized it at the time, even watching him exercise influenced my workout journey. Seeing how much he fit into one day, including spending time with his family, made me want to maximize my daily schedule.

My blog and I are nowhere near the level at which Casey is, but I related to quite a bit of what he was doing, and it helped me see what I was doing through a different lens, a new perspective.

I don’t want this part to come off the wrong way… and I think this is why I keep getting hung up on publishing… but I get emails all the time from girls saying that I’ve inspired them in some way. Though it’s always flattering to receive an email like that, I couldn’t quite grasp why someone would find me inspiring. I feel like a completely normal, flawed person. Not someone worthy of inspiring someone; I’m just getting through life like everyone else.

Even as I watched Casey’s vlogs, I had to keep reminding myself that he’s merely a human too. Strip away his camera, take away my laptop, leave behind everyone’s cell phones that we’re watching and reading from, and we are all essentially the same deep down. We all have fears, frustrations, hopes, and dreams. We all hurt and love and everything in between.

The title of this post kind could be considered click bait. Honestly, I don’t think Casey changed my life so much as his content helped me dig myself out of my funk. It was a lifeline to rediscover the good in life. Instead of just wasting my life away watching what he was doing, I feel like it put a fire under my butt to do better with my life.

I’ve always been careful about what I put online because I know there’s influence. While I hate the term “influencer,” there is some truth behind it. I see the influence beyond just telling someone what to buy. Someone can influence an unhealthy lifestyle or, as I hope to do, a healthy one. I like to show the imperfections in my life as well as the highs because that is what life is all about. Rebounding from setbacks, overcoming obstacles, and enjoying the wonderful experiences life has to offer. I used the experience of how I felt about Casey’s content as a mirror to reiterate what’s important about how I handled mine.

If it’s not clear from the post so far, I’m kind of obsessed with him. If you ask any of my friends, they’d agree that I can’t go two hours without a Casey reference (or Harry Styles, ha). A part of that is that I just think he’s always doing cool things worth talking about and sharing. And another huge part is that I feel like I owe a lot to him and his channel for helping me out of a rough summer.

Last September when I was on Nantucket with friends for the weekend, I spent about 45 minutes telling them about Casey’s videos. (This was peak obsession time for me because I was feeling more like myself by then.) I wrote down a list of episodes one of my friends needed to watch, in order, when he got home from the trip. For a split second, I thought about how weird it would be if Casey were also on Nantucket. I always look out for him and his boosted board when I’m in NYC, but it was such a crazy thought that he’d be on Nantucket so I immediately dismissed it. The next day I was taking a Boomerang of the harbor and, out of nowhere, Casey walks up.

Casey Neistat

Casey Neistat Changed My Life

Side note here: I think I need to do a separate post about putting things out into the universe because I SWEAR IT WORKS.

I cried.

I’ve met a number of celebrities throughout the years because of blogging, and it’s always exciting, but I have never fangirled like I did meeting Casey. The whole thing was insane. I truly didn’t believe that it was real life; I assumed I had fainted and was having a weird dream or something.

As if meeting him (on Nantucket of all places) wasn’t weird enough, he asked if we had a particular Canon lens since his was broken and we had ours out. Then I remembered that he has a drone and our charging station was (🙄) left behind… so I asked if we could borrow his charger. He forgot his charger, but we had full batteries… and well, it all worked out. He vlogged about the day and included my Youtube channel in his description box, and I had the nicest people reaching out to me over the next few days. I also learned that so many of you watch his vlogs because I got tons of texts, DMs, and Snapchats saying you spotted me in his videos!

He was very kind and edited his vlog to make me look less like a crazy fangirl. He did confess that he was so desperate for the drone chargers that he would have been nice to me even if I was carrying a twelve-inch knife, so there’s that. In contrast, here was my version of events, tears and “is this real life” and all.

This post got a little long and feels all over the place. Again, I’m going with the “done is better than perfect” motto for it. I’m hoping you followed what I was trying to say here, and if nothing else, maybe you have a new Youtube channel to become obsessed with!

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36 Comments

Hayleigh Shobar | Young Cosmopolite

I really enjoyed reading this, Carly!! Casey has an uncanny ability to connect and inspire people — it’s infectious. I remembered your Nantucket vlog, and when you Insta Lived Casey’s speech (loved that btw), and seeing him follow you on Twitter (!!!) It’s so neat to hear about how you came across his videos and message in a rough patch — I really feel like the universe has a way of making the little things we need show up at the most opportune time. 🙂

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Madeleine Schwartz

I got hooked on him through you a few months ago. Thanks! You’re both inspiring 😊

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Regan

I so have to agree with you! I actually started watching Casey Neistat after you vlogged about him last year. I was also in a bit of a rut in life too at the time and did a deep dive into his videos. His videos gave me an escape and an enthusiasm for life. He does really inspire that take life by the horns and go for it. It really helped me get through that period and now I just really look forward whenever I see his videos pop up. 🙂

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Cierra

I’m glad you got to meet someone you admire so much!! Not to sound creepy, but my friends can also attest that I make numerous Carly references (and I internally fan-girled when I got to see you at a meet and greet). It may not seem like you have an impact on people but to some, you are their “Casey.” Thanks for all that you do!

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Kallie Kleinschmidt

This is so awesome Carly! I totally agree with you 100% about putting things out into the Universe! A great, great book that is all about that is “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein. Her books are life changers!

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Jessica

OMG! I really understand you, Carly! I mean, sometimes I spend a lot of time daydreaming of hanging out with you, Julia Engel and Thomas while you’re visiting my country and taking many pictures as well, and of course, meeting my favorite movie actors too!

Have a nice day!
xoxo

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Martina Menzini

Seems like Casey’s video have that effect on people. I was in pretty much the same shape last summer and his videos – especially the one about time management and how he makes the most of his given 24hrs a day – helped me a lot to put things into perspective!

I totally feel you, girl 🙂

Also, screw perfect! It’s done and out and we can all appreciate you being real and raw and honest. Cheers to that!

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Beth

Definitely going to check out Casey’s videos. Please do a post about the law of attraction and putting things out into the universe. Like meditation, I believe so strongly in our ability to attract the things we want in theory, the practicing it can be intimidating and overwhelming.

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Sarah

I always love your nantucket vlogs, did you film while you were there this time? I’d love to see!

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Starr @ sipofstarrshine.com

This put a lot of the thoughts I have about watching Casey’s videos into words! His passion for life and making the most of hours while honing his craft really have this way of making a viewer want to do the same! I find that when I’m watching Casey’s videos, I can’t just let myself sit there and binge watch 20 at a time (especially since a lot of his vlogs are almost 20 minutes long!) but I get this urge to just get up and do something, even if it’s an at-home workout or a run. I was so excited for you when you got to meet him, and I hope you know that you are a positive influence on a lot of people out here in the Internet-world, even though it’s a weird idea to try to embrace. <3

http://sipofstarrshine.com

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Emily | The Denver Darling

I love this! I found Casey’s channel from reading TCP a while ago, and I’ve been obsessed ever since! I know exactly what you mean when you say his vlogs have inspired you to do more – I feel the exact same way. He is truly an amazing influencer and creator!

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Jae

This is a great post and I can totally relate. I recently did a tech detox because I found myself wasting so much time on YouTube consuming content instead of living my life and it was bringing me down.

At the same time, I totally relate to your experience of discovering someone’s blog or YouTube channel and it just striking a chord inside and inspiring you like there’s no tomorrow. I think that’s one driving factor for people to be creative, you just never know when or who you will touch. The right content always comes along at the right time and inspires us to be better.

I recently started reading your blog more in depth but don’t usually comment and I’m one of those who feels inspired by your work. I love the clean layout of your blog, how your posts are so concise, the crisp photos, etc. I definitely feel inspired in my own creativity from reading your content!

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Becky H

I remember watching the vlog where you met him! That was my moment of “oh, my blogger/life inspiration guru is human, too!”
I really appreciate this post, and the content that you put out there *because* it’s not just “buy this” and “look at my 100% perfect life.” You are definitely one of the fire-lighters under my butt, and I just wanted to say thanks. I know that when I do eventually get out to Nantucket, I’ll totally be on the lookout for you, and my total fangirl moment =)

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MacKenzie Stevenson

I am now in a deep deep hole of watching all of his videos! Thank you for sharing!

Xo, MacKenzie

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Maria Bonefacio

Your post was very nice. You did a great job. You have so much going for you.

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Kristen from Pugs & Pearls

Meeting your ‘idol’ would have to be so cool, and it’s really awesome that Casey lived up to your expectations. He seems so nice and genuine in his videos. I started watching them because of you!

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Li

Carly, this is such a beautiful post, and your honesty really came through. I LOVE his videos and totally understand what you mean about binge watching his videos but also feeling super, super inspired. Some videos/shows you binge watch and feel numbness, but with his, you feel excitement and inspiration. And I love that you fangirled over him! Just like you said, at the end of the day, we’re all the same people and you have your celebrities who you really look up to too. Love this post:)

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Erisha

Love this post! Completely relate as well. My version of this (sort of) is Gary Vaynerchuck. You’ve probably heard of him, but he has the most motivating content in the world! (Language warning, he swears a lot but is the nicest guy.)

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Joy

I so much so agree!! I clicked on this not because of the “click bate” but because I feel the same way. I watch soo many videos on youtube and it’s so great to see people who are doing what they are passionate about. Such a true post, love it! If you haven’t yet, you should also look up Peter McKinnon. He is a photographer and has the same type of charismatic personality that Casey has.

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Ali Lowndes

Carly!!!

This post was so meaningful. I feel so connected to the YouTubers and Bloggers I have followed throughout the years and can totally relate to the overwhelming gratitude you feel when you get to meet them. I feel like I am always explaining to friends how these people “I don’t know” have impacted my life or encouraged me in some way or just simply brought me some happiness (yourself included).

Thanks for sharing! It’s nice to know I am not alone in my love/obsession of other creators. And also – thanks for pushing me to create more than I consume. I needed to be reminded of that.

Love you girly!
xoxo

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Kristina

Big yes on a blog post on putting things out into the Universe, please post that as soon as possible 🙂

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Eva

Casey is great! I discovered his channel a few months ago and he’s incredibly motivating and inspiring – it’s no wonder you watched his videos when you were in a funk. I think we all need those kinds of people who inspire us to get out and do things! And you’re that person for many!

http://www.shessobright.com

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Jen Kessler

You do not sound like a crazy fangirl at all! In general I think that typical famous people are so unrelatable I don’t know that I would care if I saw one; I’m so much more impressed with people living ordinary lives but doing extraordinary things – inspiring and worth admiring. 🙂

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