today was a cool, damp, puddly day. slow, peaceful, quiet. downright cozy, even. i cranked up my little heater at work and sipped my tea – both normal occurrences for me, but something about doing them on rainy days makes everything seem snuggly. when i walked down to the test kitchen in the afternoon, i purposely left my umbrella at my desk – although i’m not really sure why – and let the sporadic, fat drops of rain plunk onto my hair, my cheeks, my coat. i didn’t see the sun for the rest of the day, but the sky cleared up enough for me to go on my evening run and so that’s what i did, hopping over puddles and letting the wind whip my ponytail.
so i was doing some thinkin’ on this whole being-a-blogger thing. [it’s funny, in fact, because even after two and a half years, i don’t really think of myself as a blogger. i’m just jessica, who happens to have a blog.] you see, there’s a certain amount of self-criticism that goes along with blogging, at least for people such as myself. despite being a very positive person [almost to a fault], there are these negative voices that ring out in my head pretty frequently when it comes to my blog. they sound something like this:
you’re not posting enough. you should be posting every day. you’re so far behind. you need to catch up. no one wants to read about trips you went on six months ago. you post too many iphone pictures and not enough “good” photos from your dslr. too many mundane, boring photos. too many pictures of food. too many pictures of your dog. not enough pictures of people, too many selfies. your posts are too long. too much lifestyle, not enough recipes. not enough about your home. not enough about your travels. too much about your travels. you’re not involving the readers enough. you shouldn’t ask for questions or comments from the readers – what if you get no response? so many pictures waiting to be posted, not enough time. you don’t have kids or a husband or even a boyfriend – your posts aren’t going to be interesting enough. not. enough. never. enough.
i know i’m not the only one who hears these voices sometimes, because i’ve seen other bloggers write about them too. but. i am joining those other bloggers in the cry that sends those voices straight to you-know-where:
i am enough.
this is no new or profound statement in the blogging world, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need to hear it. or proclaim it to our friends and family and readers, because they are enough. you are enough.
no one has ever told me any of these things about my blog – i have created them in my head. that’s what we humans tend to do to ourselves, especially when we see other people do great and wonderful things and we try to do them too. and we feel like we can’t measure up. but i want to put an end to that self-incited negativity here and now.
why not focus on the fact that four years ago, i dreamed of having my own blog, where i could share pieces of my life and things that i love. three years ago, i dreamed of taking pictures with a camera bigger and better than my little pink point-and-shoot. two years ago, i dreamed of going to culinary school to further my knowledge and passion for food. one year ago, i dreamed of having other people besides just my mom and my grandmothers reading my blog. and one month ago, i dreamed of having a blog layout and design that felt like me, something that i could be proud to show people.
the amazing thing is, all of these things have actually happened. dreams do come true, guys. instead of thinking about all the things you haven’t accomplished, think about all the things you have. instead of thinking about who you’ll never measure up to, think about your path as your own. you pave your own way, and your life, your story, is different than anyone else’s. what would your dreams look like if the sky was the limit? don’t focus on the things holding you back – focus on the things that are pushing you forward. dream big.
if you don’t like what you’re doing now, come up with a plan to do something different, and make it happen. don’t try to do it all at once – take one step at a time, and practice patience and persistence. and memorize the quote on my sidebar. it’s much easier than memorizing the whole “whether you think you can or can’t… you’re probably right” poem, which my dad made me do when i was 9 or 10. but it’s the same general principle. wise words, they are.
and then. remember that you are enough. everyone has doubts from time to time, but don’t let them rule you. be strong. be courageous. have integrity in all that you do. don’t be afraid to do things your own way. use your gifts to do something that you can be proud of. that’s my pep talk for the day. it’s for you and me both.
and with that, i’ll leave you with a random little list, since i love them so.
1. since i am the produce queen, check out brusselkale, the brangelina of vegetables. [maybe not quiiiiiite as good looking as brangelina, at least in my opinion. but decent.] ;) i think i would like to taste it sautéed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and mixed with fresh pasta, lemon zest, and ricotta, like the author did. nothing could be bad with that combo!
2. guess whatttttttt??? i found out yesterday that one of my best friends from college is moving to dallas [from connecticut – so far away!] within the next 5 months! i’m so excited, i could cry. laura, i hope you know that your news made my life. hurry up and get here so we can have more adventures together!
3. did you know that today, march 26th, is make up your own holiday day? yep, it’s a real thing. so you have, oh, 3-1/2 hours to make one up [central time. east-coasters, you’d better hurry!]. my made-up holiday [at least for today] would be national pillow appreciation day. which would obviously require everyone to have the day off to show their pillows the proper affection and appreciation that they deserve. ;) whadaya think? it probably already exists, since there is literally a holiday for everything. but if it doesn’t, it should!