People have been sending me tweets and a few emails asking me to explain the 5AwesomeGays reunion ever since the teaser video was uploaded, so I'm writing this now so I can get it out of my system. I already tweeted about how I don't plan on participating, but I deleted that tweet because it felt too abrupt and I need way more than 140 characters.
For those who need to be caught up, 5AwesomeGays was a collab channel that ended over three years ago, and I was a part of the channel for over three years. Since then, various members have brought up the idea of doing a reunion at least twice. It was recently brought up again, I said no again, and so I've been told they've decided to do it with some of the past members instead. (I hope I'm not spilling the beans here. I think it's already been mentioned that it's a fractionated reunion.)
My years on 5awesomegays were some of the best of my life. Your early twenties are generally a weird and confusing time, but I had seven great friends to help me through it (counting all the 5AG members I was on the channel with at one point or another, and also Greg, who I got to party with once and who bought me drinks so he's pretty great in my book).
Some rough things happened in those years, too. I was in a relationship with one of the members. Those things happen. It's not surprising. YouTube is more incestuous than the South is (and I'm allowed to make that joke because I live in in the South).
But the relationship ended, it was public, and I have a lot of regrets and lingering feelings. And it sucks because even though that whole situation came to a close over four years ago, it still, even now, gets brought up to me in tweets, comments, and emails, and I think that's prevented me from ever fully getting over it. People often compare the rehashing of painful situations to old wounds being reopened, but this wound feels like it never really healed in the first place. It feels like the knife is still in there, and when I heard this reunion was happening it was like someone gave that knife a twist. And it sucks to admit that, because people will see this, and he might see this, and I don't want to seem weak. If you've ever been in a really intense relationship that ended, you know the feeling. You know why the characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind chose what they chose.
But it wasn't just that relationship. Some other things happened--things I now realize were petty and foolish, and I'm sorry they happened, too. But that's just part of growing up. I hesitate to write any of this, because I know I (and many of the other members) still get messages from people expressing how important 5AG was to them, and I don't want those viewers to think it wasn't a good time for us, too. A lot of really, really great things came from that channel.
People will probably wonder why I'm even writing about it now. They'll say it's just gonna bring it back up when most people have forgotten. That doesn't matter. Those things are still out there. They're viewable. And they never really faded from my mind anyway. I might as well see if this helps me get them out of my system.
When 5AG ended, I tried to leave a lot of my feelings behind with it. I think we'd all outgrown the channel anyway. As much as we did the channel for the benefit of others, I think we also (like I said) did it for ourselves, to help us get through different points in our lives. And I like to think we ended on a high and hopeful note.
A lot has happened in the past three years, for all of us. Some of us have moved. Some of us have graduated or gotten new jobs. Some of us have kept in touch more than others. I've had some amazing highs, and I've also struggled with depression and some other things. And I'm sure the other guys have gone through many, many things that I don't know anything about, too. But we've all clearly grown.
After hearing more details about the reunion, I called Michael. I'm sure I sounded manic and ridiculous and like an asshole when I was telling him my reasons for not wanting to participate and how I thought it was a bad idea. Even writing it all out, I can see how my reasons may seem petty and selfish to a lot of people, and maybe it's my own fault for not being able to fully get over some things that have happened. But Michael is literally like an angel and I love him so much, and he helped me see another point of view.
The other guys have their own reasons for participating in the reunion, the same way I have my reasons for not wanting to do it. And they're good and valid reasons. The guys aren't doing this reunion because they're trying to screw me over or because they want me to re-experience some of the painful things that happened. And the channel doesn't belong to me, and it never did. It's not my sole decision what happens there, or what content everyone else decides to put on it.
But for me (right now at least), 5AG is not something I can revisit. If I did the reunion, it would hurt. And by not doing it, it's probably still gonna hurt, and people are gonna get pissed at me and think I'm a turd (which, unfortunately, is already clear to me from a couple of the emails). I can't win either way, so I'm just doing the thing I think is best for my sanity. I can't keep reopening this book and finding more empty pages to be inked. Right now, I need to keep this volume closed and tucked away on the sad little broken shelf that is my life so that maybe I can dust it off someday and reread it and be able to laugh and feel nothing but happiness. Sometimes it's necessary to leave things in the past in order to preserve the hope that you can look back on them in the future and be happy and understand. (I feel like how I imagine Britney must've felt when she wrote "Someday I Will Understand." Except I'm not pregnant or religious or nearly as pretty as she is. That's a great song, btw. Probs like my fourth favorite Brit song. How do I always end up making a celebrity reference in my blogs posts?)
That's about as deep as I want to get with the whole thing. It's not a story that completely belongs to me. It belongs to the eight of us. I can only detail the parts I helped write, and this is as much as I want to detail. I hope the guys know I'll always love them, I hope they find the things they're looking for in this reunion, and I hope it goes well. And I hope the viewers enjoy it, too, and that maybe it will awaken some sort of nostalgia in them, if only for a little while.
As for me, I've been busy planning a return to my personal channel in October after a three-month video hiatus, so I'll be focusing on that, as well as some music me and Sam are working on. And right now I think I'm gonna go work on writing a jokey review blog post about some underwear, because this mushy stuff is too unlike me and it's making me feel nauseous.