A little over four years ago, I phoned my mum with an idea I had been sitting on for a while. In my head it was genius, it was my way of allowing my creativity to continue now that my undergraduate degree was beginning to wrap up. I was going to start a blog. I had dabbled with blogs in the past, but this time I was going to make a real go of it. Soon after, I bought some bath bombs from Lush and I registered a new domain under EveryDayDan. I was excited for my new venture and so I decided to launch in some super romantic way; on my birthday.
I remember being so excited that I went live on the seventeenth of March, allowing my family and friends to have a little look and give me any feedback ready for the big day 24 hours later. And so, on the 18th, also my birthday, I told my 400 followers on Instagram and my 800 followers on Twitter that I had started a blog and that they could read about my favourite shower products from Lush or learn how to bake a rainbow marble cake.
Four years ago, I was a naive young adult who thought he had his life all figured out. I was going to be a blogger, but I was also going to continue working in my stable, well-paid job. I would continue to live with my best friends and my fiancé who I would marry in some lavish ceremony. Our cat would no doubt have a couple of fellow furry friends to join the family and I would finish my undergraduate degree with pride.
Four years on and my life resembles absolutely nothing of the boy who thought he had it all together. I quit my job, my relationship crumbled and I moved back home after scraping myself through my degree. But in that time, something incredible happened – well, in my opinion it was pretty incredible.
I stopped talking about the bath bombs, I stopped caring that people wouldn’t find me relatable if I talked about the one thing I needed to get off my chest; my battle with mental health. It all started with a post about my adoption, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over time, DanCooleDaily became less about tracking views and statistics and more about walking through this mental health journey with you at my side. We have a special relationship, you and I. You have offered me a safe space when I’ve been at my worst and you have taken my words and felt less alone. It’s an odd dynamic, but it works. In four years, I have achieved so much, from filming with the BBC to taking the stage as a panellist at last years Adoption UK Conference, with a book deal and fourteen magazine articles thrown in for good measure too. I do not take any of this for granted, and I owe every single opportunity down to you, for taking the time to read my rambles or watch my weeks unfold on the ol’YouTube.
The thing is, however, is that four years of talking about mental health, suicide, adoption and abandonment have taken their toll. I am tired. Strangely, I am more vulnerable than ever before, and that is because I put my darkest moments out there for people to see; to read, to criticise and to take in their own understanding. I have never felt as free as I do when I hit the upload button, but I’ve also never felt so exposed. A few people have told me recently that when they look at my Instagram or my blog they think I am some serious human being, they imagine I am a straight faced sad person who is a little lost. And whilst at times, it is true, somewhere along the way I forgot to show you who I really am. I am more than the boy whose boyfriend committed suicide, or the boy whose mother gave him up as a baby. I am funny, I am witty, I am intelligent. I am an uncle, a friend, a son and sometimes, I can even be flirty.
And so, as I sit in the middle of Penrith, trapped in a log cabin because the weather is so atrocious even the dog has refused to leave the front door, I can’t help but admit that for a while, I fell out of love with who DanCooleDaily had become. I always promised you that I’d show you the real me, but I somehow forgot to show you all of the incredible parts of who I am. I have been itching for change – like a relationship that had become stale, me and DanCooleDaily have been on the verge of separation for a couple of months now.
A blogger pal reached out to me recently, to congratulate me for making the finals of the UK Blog Awards, and he told me something in his congratulations that sparked that creative energy.
“Keep doing the personal posts!”
And so with that short, yet motivating sentence, DanCooleDaily turns four. It’s been an incredible, amazing experience. It’s gifted me so many unforgettable opportunities, relationships and memories. I know that in order for it to keep going, I have to remain true to who I am. No, truly, I have to truly remain true to who I truly am. I am so much more than my adoption, I am a lot more than my PTSD and almost-comedic relationship history.
To conclude, I want to thank all of you for absolutely everything you do. I want to promise you that moving forward, we will see more positivity and more of the real Daniel Coole. I want to assure you that mental health will always be at the core of all of this, but that it’s time for things to change, just enough so that you can see how hilarious I am. (no really. I am quite funny, apparently).
To the next four x
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