My husband gave me a timely reminder this week why I started this little blog site as he could see that I had lost my way and my joy. I started this project as a HOBBY not as a job, as an outlet for a passion of mine and to provide myself with a distraction during a difficult time – I am slightly ashamed to say that I fell into a very classic trap – comparison.
A very dear old friend of mine allowed herself to be vulnerable, open and honest this week on Facebook (that takes courage and kahunas) but in doing so she blessed me so much and made me feel a million dollars (thank you koukla mou Kerry). I have spent the last week reflecting on how her honesty allowed me to think deeply about how all my life I was so busy trying to ‘fit in’ and mould myself into what I thought others wanted of me – that I failed to see the things in me that were already great and that others might actually admire 🙂 (I’m English so it’s a punishable offence to admit you may be in way shape or form great at anything!)
I started my blog for myself and for maybe a couple of people in the world who might be interested in what I have learnt, about eating well and living a long and healthy life. I remember how stupidly excited I was when someone first ‘liked’ something! (dance around the kitchen kind of happy!) Honestly, it doesn’t take that much for me to fist pump!
I also started this site as I was going through a really tough patch – I didn’t seem to be able to do anything right 😦 There are only some many comments and re-writes you can take until your confidence slowly starts to erode. So, whilst on my coaching journey (nearly accredited!) one of my peer coaches helped me plan how and when I would start this blog to help me write, without fear of correction or hopefully judgement.
I don’t work on Fridays so, after the school run, I would settle in a coffee shop (If I stay at home I get distracted by cleaning!) and start researching, writing and it really helped me take my mind off my situation. For a good few months, it was a wonderful creative outlet (oh and there were Fridays’ when I wanted to bang my head off a wall when I spent hours trying to work WordPress out to get the site to where I wanted) then something changed and slowly but surely I started to compare my little hobby with other peoples sites.
I knew from the get-go that I wasn’t going to make a living out of this 🙂 I actually pay for the pleasure of having a blog site – but it felt worth it. However, as I started to return likes and comments and look at what other people were doing I started to feel ever so slightly despondent. Others had professional-looking photos, hundreds of likes, hundreds of followers, and I started to wonder if what I was doing was any good. (thank you to the lovely people who do follow my little hobby – you are appreciated 🙂 ).
2 Corinthians 10:12
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
I am a fairly intelligent person, mature in years, consider myself well-read and I KNOW that comparing yourself to someone else is a mistake – yet I walked blindly in and fell down the well! (you know like that person who is walking along looking at their phone and walk straight out into the road) I also started my site to write – write about things that were important to me, things that could help others, knowing that no one had a red pen at the ready to correct my work!
Yet, I found myself doing more recipes as that is what people seemed to ‘like’ more. No one seemed as interested in what I had to say. And slowly I did what I have always done and changed my plans to suit other people. (Even though they hadn’t asked me to!) That’s when my wonderful husband pulled me up on a socially distanced walk we took this week and his no-nonsense style (aka – told me straight with no chasers!) that I had lost sight of why I started this and that the number of people ‘liking’ me didn’t change my life!!! He didn’t care if a million people liked what I was doing – it didn’t change anything. I needed to get back to doing it for the enjoyment it gave me.
I let that little nugget settle and had to agree with him – I have received some amazing encouragement outside of the WordPress world (no offense to WordPress folks!) from people who have found the recipes a Godsend and who have been able to save money, learn to cook and enjoy plant-based food for the very first time. So, I will still do a happy dance in my kitchen when someone likes a blog or a recipe but I won’t be offended when they don’t. I am going to have fun again!
I just want to encourage anyone else who may be in the smaller numbers, who are just starting, or who is a little discouraged, to get back to your original vision, do what you love, be passionate about it, keep going and enjoy the journey!