In 30 seconds it hit me. I finally knew what I wanted to spend the rest of my perfectly imperfect life doing. Like the familiar ding of an oven timer or the horrific first beep of an unwelcome alarm, I was jolted to life.
I’ll write. I’ll finally pursue the thing every single person I’ve ever met told me to do. I’ll do the thing I spent countless hours doing as a misguided youth. As a girl born with a pen in her hand, you’d think this revelation was easy. You’d think I’d have known I would write since I started. Oh, just how perfect that would be. But life, with all her personality and spunk, she certainly ain’t perfect.
I bet you’re wondering “what does this have to do with food?” fair question. I mean, this is a food blog. The answer is simple, really. No long winded explanations or diatribes for you here. Food brought me back to life. If it wasn’t for my discovery of the incredible wonder of food, I wouldn’t be here, typing this post with tears rushing down my face.
You see, I haven’t always had a wonderful life. Like George in the beloved Christmas movie, it took nearly throwing myself into a freezing river to find it. I have a dark and stormy past. One I’m not ready to tell you about because simply, I’m not strong enough to face it yet. I’ve dealt with events no person should ever deal with and each day I’m welcomed with a sad reminder of them. Like a shadow looming in the blurry, dim lit corner, I’m always being followed by my past. A girl I’m so thankful I was but am so scared to become again. Besides being a few shades of screwed up, I’m also strong. I learned that life was never going to just hand you a rope when you’re about to fall backwards off a cliff. Life is going to help you figure out how to climb back up to the top, on your own. Life, she may be cruel, but she’s nothing but fair. Even in those days where my only solace was found in a bottle of libations, I learned the only way I’d ever find my way back to sanity was to be strong. And because of that strength I got through college and found myself a little fish in a big ass pond in the corporate world of Washington DC.
Even after my first big girl paycheck and happy hour with colleagues, I knew I wasn’t happy. Days, months, years passed by as I continued my robotic existence into work, knowing each second I spent there was choking my insides. Then, something happened. I started this blog in November of 2009 and found a purpose. Then, in 2010, I started cooking and taking photos of my food. That day my first food post went live (oh god those photos) was the day I knew things were going to change. And here I am, three years later and I’m still counting every blessing that I found it. You see, it had always been food, all along, it just took nearly two years of depression to fall back head over heels in love with it.
Discovering flavors and ingredients gave me something to look forward to, something to restimulate my jaded mind. But it was the writing about food that awakened me. That unlocked my casket and gave me life. Each word I typed, I felt stronger. Smarter. Happier. Writing and discovering food showed me something. It showed me I could be happy.
So, 3 years pass and here I am. I left that awful job and found a new one I couldn’t love more if I tried. Every second I’m awake I want to pinch myself. And despite my articles, my experiences, my successful blog, I still never truly felt like a writer. That was until I sat down last Monday night, exasperated from traveling. I had a red eye the night before and had spent the past 5 hours diligently working. However, despite my exhaustion and stress, I looked at my computer screen, and opened word. Like a flash of lighting, it struck me. After 8 hours of traveling, 5+ hours of writing and cooking, I still wanted to write. I still wanted to pour my heart onto a blank page. So I did. I sat in the dark, hours past my bedtime and I wrote. All done with an almost creepy, menical smile. Even with lead eyelids, I had to write.
It was then I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. A writer. A food writer, a travel writer, a poem and story writer. In 30 seconds I finally knew what I couldn’t wait to do for the next billion of seconds left in my life. And you know what I owe all of this to? My happily ever after? Who to thank for my life changing realization? Why, food of course. This nutrient that is necessary for life gave me something, a chance for my own happily ever after.