As I sit here writing this post, there are so many other things I “should” be doing. The dishes. Laundry. Recipe testing. A plan for dinner. Updating a bajillion little things on the blog. Editing recipe posts I’ve already photographed and haven’t yet shared. Figuring out what I should work on next. TAXES. Ugh, taxes. And hundreds of other little and not-so-little things. It feels like the list could stretch out for eternity. But until I write this, I’ll stay stuck, and I know it, so here I am at my little white desk typing away.
You may be wondering, isn’t this a food blog? Why is this lady writing about her to-do list? Yes, this is a blog that centers around food, but it’s also an extension of me, in a way. I feel very personally connected to what I share here, and to you, even though we may never meet in the traditional sense. So if you’re not into over-sharing, skip this one, and the recipes will resume shortly. For the rest of you, grab a cup of whatever you drink, take a seat in a comfy chair, and let’s chat.
So here’s the thing. I haven’t been doing so hot lately. I would call it a mid-life crisis, except that sounds ridiculous. But I’ve been flailing, and it’s been really hard, and I haven’t known how to talk about it. It’s also hard to pinpoint the exact cause, if there even is one, because I can feel overwhelmed just making dinner. I don’t think that falafel should cause a breakdown, but it has. It did just last night. But I definitely can point to one particular thing that has been a major source of stress recently, and a big part of why I’m writing this is to get out from under the weight of it so I can move forward. But first, let me back up a little…
Last November, I was on a bit of a high, in terms of how things with the blog were going. After 3 1/2 years, it was a going concern. It had replaced my previous full-time income in the corporate world. I loved doing it, and was getting such great feedback about the recipes. I even was interviewed on a popular podcast that I had listened to since I started blogging (a HUGE honor). During that time, I realized that the one thing that was holding me back was the name of the blog. I just didn’t resonate with it, and it didn’t reflect what it was really about anymore. So in the glow of everything that seemed to be going so well, I made the decision to change the name of the blog on January 1.
And then…everything turned upside down.
Pretty much everything with the rebrand went wrong, from moment one. Instead of having the jolt of electricity about the fresh start, a new year, and a clear direction, I was spending all my time scrambling to fix technical things that I didn’t know anything about (and I’m fairly tech-savvy). The number of people visiting the blog was cut in half, overnight. And with that, the income. Imagine checking your bank account when your direct deposit is scheduled to drop, and it’s half of what it normally is. Bit a freakout moment, right? Understatement.
At first, I panicked, then I started talking to other people who had experienced the same thing, and I started feeling a little bit of hope for recovery. But in the meantime, the stress was showing up in all kinds of unhelpful ways. My mental, emotional, and physical health have all been impacted. I can’t be sure that it is all linked to the rebrand (in fact I don’t think it is), but the timing is decidedly less than helpful. So I’ve spent days that are dedicated to working with nothing to show for it because I just can’t seem to figure out what to do first, or how to push past the roadblocks, whether they be real or imaginary.
The thing I definitely haven’t done is ask for help, which should have been the first thing I did. Case in point – thousands of people are on my e-mail list, and even though I posted two awesome recipes in January, I didn’t send them an e-mail letting them know. I still haven’t (although that changes today). And months after the podcast interview I did, I still get messages from people telling me how much it meant to them. And I haven’t written them back, because I feel like a fraud. Isn’t that sad? Honestly, I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.
What all this comes down to is something that had been simmering for a long time, but came to a boil and ultimately spilled over after the rebrand.
I am afraid of success, and have been letting that fear sabotage my efforts.
That seems totally backward, I know, but it’s a real thing, because I’ve talked to lots of other people with the same fear. And I’m betting some of you have it too. Maybe a lot of you. So I’m spilling my guts here not just as a selfish form of catharsis, but in the hopes of encouraging you to keep going after whatever it is that’s scaring the pants off of you.
Last year I wrote a piece called Inconsistent Diligence is Still Diligence. It was geared toward people in the online business community of which I am a part, but I think it applies to everyone. I certainly need to hear the message again, and I wrote it.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’m going to go put my big blogger pants back on, and get something done. I promise, there will be recipes again. Thank you so much for reading this, if you made it this far, and for being along for the ride. I’m lucky and honored to count you as friends.