Here we are again, or should I say, here I am?
It’s been over six months since I posted anything here. If I’ve been keeping track (I have), I’m a year behind on posts. My experience can be summed up by that phrase, it goes something like, “Even the best laid plans don’t work out.”
Let’s do a brief recap and start over.
Hi, I’m Aime. If you’re just tuning in, here’s how this whole food blog thing started.
I had a plan, a plan I knew was too ambitious, that slowly but surely came unhinged. One week would pass, then two, then three, a month, two months, and on it went. It’s like I was testing myself, to see how long I could put things off, a kind of self-sabotage if you will. I refused to skip posts and move on; I felt like if I skipped something, the memories would fade, and my writing would suffer or it’d feel forced.
Two months in I started going through a rough patch, which resulted in sharing less and less of my progress/recipes/adventures. I continued cooking (and eating) throughout the year, each month had it’s set cuisine, and every Sunday was religiously food blog day. I gathered exotic ingredients throughout the boroughs of NYC, set up shop in my no A/C, poor ventilation kitchen, and toiled away at roasting chili peppers for Mexican mole, simmering Indian curries, and working on my knife skills chopping lots and lots of veggies.
Between January 2017 and now, a lot has happened. I’ve started going to therapy, travelled to Iceland, considered moving to the west coast, considered quitting my job with nothing lined up, took some much-needed time-off, started a new job, took a ceramics class, and started volunteering at an animal shelter, while simultaneously trying to put myself first beyond anything else, including this blog.
When 2017 ended, I took an extended hiatus. I knew I had pushed myself too hard. There were many factors involved, but I was somewhat relieved that I wasn’t tied to this thing anymore (also sad). I’ve had a lot if time to think, set some realistic goals, and re-evaluate what I want in life.
I acknowledge the fact that my health and happiness have not been top priorities
My job keeps me in an office for 8+ hours a day, plus 1 or more hours in subway cars commuting underground. If my calculations are correct, and I get enough sleep to stay sane, that leaves me about 4 hours Monday-Friday and all day Saturday-Sunday for whatever the hell I want. After cleaning, running errands, catching up with friends, and decompressing on binges of Netflix and Youtube, it doesn’t seem like much. Personally, I find being in an office exhausting. When I get home, all I want to do is eat, be a couch potato, not talk to anyone, and go to bed.
Which brings me to self-care. When that extra time isn’t spent exercising, eating well, and doing things that bring me joy, it leaves me pretty down.
How do people have side projects? Where do they find the time?
These are questions I ask myself over and over again. Am I lazy? Am I making excuses? Are people passing me by? I need to make time. I’m not working hard enough. I’m working too hard. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others. There’s not enough time! There are so many things I want to do. I give up. Why even try. I’m weak for not trying. Success doesn’t define my worth. I’m worthless. I can’t do anything.
I’m wrong. I know I’m wrong. Knowing doesn’t prevent these thoughts, it just frustrates me more.
To answer my own question: people have side projects because they care about something, because they want to create, to share, to change, to grow, to feel, to escape. If I can do any of those things, I’ve succeeded. And I have.
So where do we go from here?
I’m working on doing more things that bring me joy, writing blog posts being one of them. No more strict schedules or pressure to fulfill expectations I made up. I’m going to create and write content I’m proud of (it’s why I started this bad boy in the first place). Wherever this leads will be what I make of it.
Thanks for reading,