It’s taken me about 2 weeks to write this post. Two weeks plus boxes and grade books and calendars and everything else that gets in the way of me doing what I want to do rather than what I have to do. But, of course, those are all excuses because if we really and truly want to get something done, we do it, right? So as I sit here trying to write this post, I realize that the reason it’s taken me so long to sit down and write it is because I just didn’t want to do it.
Three weeks ago I attended my first and only BlogHer Food Conference. I took a day off work, paid $200, begged and cajoled to be allowed to purchase a one day ticket as Shabbat prevented me from attending the whole thing. I had been looking forward to it for weeks–my first food blogger conference (cough, cough, geek, cough cough)! I envisioned all the fellow bloggers I’d meet (bloggers whose work I had admired for years) and hopefully connect with. I envisioned the Instgramming that would occur and the freebies I’d get. It was all very exciting, nerdy, but exciting.
And then the big day came. I got up VERY early in the morning. I put on my favorite little Anthropologie number, made extremely strong coffee and made the trek to downtown Miami. After spending what felt like hours trying to figure out how to get to the actual conference room, I found myself over caffeinated and seated at the front of the room closest to the stage and the presenters (I’ve always had that slight hint of Tracy Flick), eagerly awaiting the presenters. Within 45 minutes of the first presentation, after the speaker asked for a show of hands of those in attendance who employed folks to help them run their blog, I realized this was not for me. What followed was about 3 hours of reflection and introspection and, finally, a realization. The time has come to take a hiatus on the hustle of food blogging. This realization is probably the exact opposite of what the creators of the BlogHer Food Conference wants for their attendees, but it is what it is.
I sit here writing this, 3 weeks from entering a highly anticipated and emotionally-charged next phase in my life and I’m allowing myself a little forgiveness; a little break. I used to carve out time for blogging. I’ve sacrificed entire Sunday afternoons with my family to create, style and photograph a recipe. Then there were the 2-3 hours (at minimum) of editing and actual writing just to get one post done a week. One time I actually asked a dear friend to come over with her daughter just so I’d have something for my kiddo to do while I spent hours slaving over a post. I was barely able to spend time with my beloved best friend and her family, who were in town from Chicago for one day only, just because I HAD to get a post done. No one was telling me I had to get the post done except for me. I did this to myself.
Over the past year this blog has seen incredible success and I have no shame in patting myself on the back for that. I co-authored a cookbook! I had posts appear on Cosmopolitan.com and recipes and photographs accepted by Tastespotting.com and Foodgawker.com. These are huge accomplishments for a girl who once made potato salad but forgot to boil the potatoes beforehand. I’ve been blessed to be able to connect with highly creative and inspiring people from all walks of life. It’s been amazing. But all of that has come at the expense of quality time with the people I love not to mention a certain level of self-imposed stress, exhaustion and anxiety. And now, as I prepare to spend the next year in a new city, with a new job and raising my daughter without the constant support of my beloved husband, who will still be in Miami finishing his PhD, I have to just own the fact that this blog will have to take a backseat. This doesn’t mean that I’m leaving it entirely, but I’m certainly not going to see it as a second or even third job, as I have the past year and a half. I hope you’ll stick around and join me as I chronicle this next phase in my journey. Sometimes I’ll have recipes and sometimes I’ll just have pictures and updates. We’ll probably be in LA when you hear from me next—living life as the real life Beverly Hillbillies. Thanks for your support and come back soon.