Top of the mornin’ to ya, friends! How goes it? Things are actually moving relatively smooth over here. I got a legit nights sleep, woke up early so I could actually respond to emails and read a few blogs and I’m enjoying a big fat piece of peanut butter cake with my coffee. This morning doesn’t suck, for sure.
Now, before anything else, it’s time to announce the lucky winner of the Orka Steamer Giveaway! And the drum roll please…
aka, Angy! Congrats, girl!
Now, before we hop into today’s real life post, gulp, I have to share something I made y’all!
Gluten-free brownies. Made with BLACK BEANS! I know, I’m a weirdo. But trust me, they are incredibly delicious.
Want the recipe? Check out Healthy Foodie Travels who has the very recipe posted. GO NOW!
If only all of life woes could be solved by a simple brownie. Wouldn’t that be rad? As promised, I’m going to talk about real life problems today that sadly can’t be fixed by a delicious brownie or even a dip into the peanut butter jar. But, don’t worry, I’m going to inter-spruce this heavy post with some pretty pictures of Charleston. Ah, my peaceful place.
Uncertainty, jealousy. Not two new words to y’all and not new feelings to me, however, lately, it’s all I’ve been feeling.Things on the back end of this pretty little blog haven’t been pretty the past couple weeks and I don’t blame you for not realizing it. I can slap on a happy face and dance around like the best of them.
Nothing serious is wrong, I’m not dying, sick or getting divorced, for example. I’m just struggling with ME, my identity and where I think I belong in this crazy world. I know how lucky I am to do what I do. Trust me. I cook, bake, craft, take pictures and write, all day. And get paid for it! I’ve gone from 2 articles a month to 5 a day, so clearly I’m doing something right. You’d think that would give me some sort of confidence and certainty in what I do, but it doesn’t. In fact, I’m not more self conscious and uncertain than ever.
I’ve come a long way with this blog, in all aspects of it. I’ve grown as a writer, a photographer and a baker/cook. My views have tripled and I’ve made some amazing friends. However, each day, I’m constantly questioning every single thing I do, doubting every move I make and giving in to the big green monster at every turn. There’s a lot of incredibly talented people in the food blogging world, and instead of feeling encouraged and inspired by their posts, I feel dissapointed in my own. Every beautiful picture I see Kita post or every delicious, innovative recipe I see on How Sweet It Is, I feel more and more insecure about my own content, my own recipes, my own photography. No matter how well something of mine turns out, the big green monster takes over and I’m filled with jealousy of what it COULD HAVE BEEN if I had the right camera, the right lighting, more money, the right props, etc, etc, etc. No matter what I do, it’s never enough. And you know what? That feeling is crippling.
I’m not writing this to get pity, gosh no. I’m just writing it because if I don’t, I’m going to burst. Growing up as the fat girl, the chubby cousin, “thunder thighs”, confidence wasn’t something I had a whole lot of. Then, I went to college, lost 25 pounds and it hit me like a sack of bricks. I started to feel pretty, thin, unstoppable. That, of course, led to disaster, but that’s for another day, another page in my memoir. My confidence was shattered again. However, I moved to Georgia, joined the school paper and found a major that I loved and you know what? I was good at. Confidence regained. I was on top of the world and my department, nothing could stop me. Oh, and my body? Never looked better. Well, you know, that was until I graduated, got a job at the bottom of the totem poll then was immediately reminded how “little” I was. Confidence? Disappearing with each second I was pushed around and told to make copies. It wasn’t until I lost my job, found one were I was appreciated, respected and valued that my confidence resurfaced. My weight was manageable and I had it all figured out. Then, things got better. I got an amazing chance to freelance for She Knows and, like you know, went from an article a month to where I am now. Despite a great career and successful articles, my confidence in me, my job, my worth is on shaky grounds again.
Very fitting photograph, right? Rest in Peace Claire’s confidence. In all reality, I know why I’m feeling like this. I’m 26 years old and despite having an AWESOME job, I don’t make trunks full of money. I’m living paycheck to paycheck, trying to get by. And you know what’s disheartening? Having friends who are my age and YOUNGER making 6 figures. I know, money isn’t the key to happiness, but I see people who are really successfull, really determined and I wonder “should I have stayed in corporate? Should I have stayed climbing the ladder in an office position?” For many people who I’ve voiced this to, they’ve shot back “NO! YOU HATED IT! YOU’RE HAPPY NOW!” Half of that is true, yes. I did. But the uncertainty and what-if is starting to weigh down on me. I didn’t like sitting in a cube from 9 – 5 but I liked having money to put towards my debts, add to a savings and you know, like live with. Not being comfortable financially makes it harder to be comfortable with my job, no matter how much I like it.
As I preluded to before, another cause for uncertainty in my life is blogging. I love blogging. I love the people I’ve met, the opportunities that have arisen from it, the stress relief it provides. But that’s not the only reason I blog. I blog, in hopes, that more chances, more success and more opportunities will come from it. Does that make me horrible? I hope not. I’d be hard pressed to meet one blogger who only does it for love and isn’t driven by traffic. But because of this, it’s hard NOT to feel insecure and a bit uncertain when other blogs are doing so well and you’re kinda just floating there in your corner of the internet. I’m always so incredibly proud of my peers but a twinge of jealousy always comes with that. “Why not me?” “What am I doing wrong?” I know this is a normal feeling but lately, it’s really been taken over. I’ve lost the ability to just be happy for my friends, which is the WORST feeling in the entire world.
The one thing that I am certain about is my future. I’m going to go to culinary school, I’m going to open a little skinny cafe in Charleston, I’m going to write a book [re: memoir]. The timeline is hazy but I stand by these goals and aspirations. Thankfully, when I’m starting to feel uncertain about my abilities, my talents, my success, I know that I have these things to push me through. I can’t say that’s enough though. I wish there was an easy anecdoate to feeling jealous and uncertain all the time. I wish I could turn it off like a light switch. But, life isn’t that easy, as we know.
I just hope I can find a way to deal with these issues and move past them. I guess I wrote this to A) get it off my chest B) hope and pray one of you have gone through this and know how to get past it! How do you feel confidant and certain? What are your secrets to not letting the green monster in? I love my job, my husband, my family and my life, and I want to love them without uncertainity, without jealousy. I just want to be happy for people without feeling like I’ve done something wrong. Does anyone have an anecdote for that?
So, thanks guys. For listening, not judging me and for helping me get through this. I’m going to go try to find a way to invent the magic, bad-feeling-erasing brownie.