You may have noticed, my blog reel has been absent lately. The truth is, I quit blogging. Well, temporarily at least. I quit because I felt I was being less myself and more like what I thought I needed to be. Or, I should say, what I thought I wanted to be.
Do you remember in high school, or even in every teen angst movie, where you saw the people you wanted to be and the more you tried to be like them, the less you became your true self? I’m not saying this is a bad thing. We all need to strive towards something. But when that something is not what you truly are, or who you will ever truly be, it can be a very lonely and disappointing place. Which is why I stepped back to see who I really wanted to be in this big wide world of technology and who I really am. Call it an identity crisis, call it a spiritual journey, call it whatever you like, but I called it quits. To all things there is a lesson though.
First and foremost, I learned I am not like a good amount of bloggers out there. I work full-time outside the home, my kids go to public school, I do not cook every meal every day nor do I make fantastically trendy school box lunches, I do not have designated craft time where we create something magical each day, my house isn’t organized or well decorated or well-kept, my bed is never made, my garden tends to grow more weeds than edible veggies, and there is usually a laundry basket of clothes on top of the dryer that needs tended to. If you fall into the above category, highest kudos to you. I’m envious, but unfortunately that is not me and I can’t pretend it will ever be me. But that is okay! We all fall into this world together to work together and learn from each other, and that is what is important. H. Jackson Brown Jr said “Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.” That is true on so many levels and that is what I intend to do.
Next, I learned that I do have something different to offer. I may not create food dishes that get 1 Million views from Pinterest or are featured on the next edition of Food Network. What I can do is help convert mainstream recipes to gluten-free, add some time-saving tricks, and help someone create an economically conscious dinner menu for a busy school night. That may not sound like much, but not everyone is Martha and many of us need a little boost in the kitchen.
I also learned how to find a little peace in my life. I found it when I stopped trying to come up with the next big thing, create the next big tutorial, or run with the big dogs. I was able to return to yoga and my inner self, enjoy the sunset for no other reason but to enjoy it and create a horribly decorated cake that my children couldn’t be happier with. All because I stopped and was just in the present. Trying to be something else is really time-consuming and exhausting.
Another thing I discovered was that it doesn’t matter if I monetize my blog, or get grand sponsors or freebies. I don’t want to write what an advertiser wishes I would write, or put what I want to write aside because a certain post or review or project is due. Some have that career goal, and that is a great career for them, but not for me. Sure, reviews and freebies would be fabulous, but it’s not my goal. And again, that is okay. That doesn’t make what I write any less “me” or any less important.
And finally, the most importantly lesson I learned is that I will never be Ree – The Pioneer Woman (although I think we could totally be besties!), or Nicole Curtis – The Rehab Addict or even Layla from The Lettered Cottage. But I could totally be me. The me that is imperfect and small and a dreamer, the me who struggles every day to juggle every ball thrown at her, and the me that wants to write even if there aren’t 1 Million people reading. It’s funny how when you step back from trying to be like everyone else, you find the true and imperfect and wonderful you.
So, I will start writing again. I will post the simple recipes my family likes, the crazy non-exotic places we go, the imperfect crafts and DIY attempts (even when they are not anywhere close to fabulous!) and what ever other ramblings come into my head (you have been warned). And I will be posting all of this because I want to for me, not because I want to pretend I could be someone else.
There you have it. The journey I took when I quit blogging and the lessons I learned. Because if you don’t learn a lesson from it, it really is just a wasted experience.