A Big Blog Transition + A December Playlist for Snow Days
Welcome December, my favorite month.
Short days of trembling stillness, leading into the wild whirl of holidays, then retreating back inside that melancholy place of saying goodbye to the old and giving a shy smile to the new.
This month is a strange contrast between that forward-moving restlessness, nudging us through the snow-shoveled path towards a whole new year, and the quiet stillness that comes from cold weather and darker days. Even without the snowy landscape, the drop in temperatures in Tangier and general winter-y atmosphere have been making me sense this push and pull since the last week of November.
Because of everything going on, December tends to be a period in which I get restless with my work. I want to be incredibly productive and wrap up any loose ends from the previous year, plus at the same time, I need to make sure that I have some down time for inner reflection and contemplation on what lies ahead. It is that time when we all start to think about what comes next- the fresh starts we strive to make and what changes need to be pushed through for our future betterment. It is not always a simple transition. I feel as if my mind is rearranging, blocks and shapes shifting and stacking, organizing itself for oncoming change and better inner clarity. The more things move around in there, the more I am able to hear one clear message. An intuitive voice inside of my head telling me that in terms of my work, there are two things that take ultimate priority:
Dance, and The Creative Process.
While other interests fluctuate in my life, these two constants never fail to make me curious, inspired and deeply motivated. I could talk, write, and read about dance and creativity for hours on end, deepening my understanding and sharing my own knowledge on the subjects.
So, that is exactly what I intend to do. Talk, write and read, deepening my understanding and sharing it all. That has always been my overall focus in this space, but it is time to hone in on a more long-term vision.
Here is what all of this reflection comes down to: I have decided to move away from food blogging.
It has been a source of joy in my life for some time now, but lately, that joy and passion has been fading and morphing into other interests. I absolutely will still be blogging, but instead I’ll concentrate much more deeply on writing about dance, artistic processes, and living a whole-hearted creative life.
A lot of you may be thinking that I do already write quite a bit about the latter topics, but whether you saw it or not, I had a tendency of thinking about myself as a food blogger first, with a focus on recipe development, food photography, and connecting with other people in the food world. Any sort of “strategy” (a term used very loosely for what I do here) when it came to sharing my work and social media also often revolved around platforms for food photographers and online foodies. For the past couple months, something about this began feeling a bit more disconnected.
I have been looking ahead, as I mentioned above, imagining where I may be in several years time, and while cooking and baking will always be a beloved hobby for me, I don’t see a future for myself anywhere in the food industry. I just can’t quite picture it and when it comes down to the honest truth, it’s not what I want. I have all the admiration in the world for so many of the amazing women working and writing about food these days, but I realized that I have never said to myself “I want to be like that.” That feeling of challenge and motivation, only sometimes edging on envy, kicks in when I see dancers and choreographers like Emma Portner and Jacob Jonas, sometimes even when I read the creative work of Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown and Mary Oliver. I want to live, eat, drink and breathe dance and creativity and share that with the world around me and it is time to tunnel in deeper towards that goal.
This doesn’t mean that I will never share anything about food ever again. On the contrary, I still see food and the kitchen as a highly creative realm and from time to time may share a recipe or an experiment in this space (there may be one next week). What I am doing is shifting away from self-identifying as a food blogger.
Those of you who are in my little email community have already heard most of this (and showed amazing support-thank you), but I wanted to share it more publicly because I always appreciate transparency about the processes and reflections that go on behind the scenes of anyone’s online creative work. It is valuable to know that we have the power within ourselves to shift and transform our own identities, which always starts with being authentic to that inner voice. I haven’t started to make any new year’s resolutions yet (it is still a little early), but I have the feeling that following this intuition, plus the willingness to make big changes, are going to be large parts of my 2019.
In the meantime, I intend to keep stirring this inner pot of new ideas and inclinations and try not to worry too much about the outcome. After all, it is the holiday season and therefor I also want to spend full, present time with friends and family without too much stress about work and to-dos. Enjoying the calm before the leap- the giant leap into a new year.
To help keep me in a mood of sparkling, swirling, snow-touched inspiration, I complied some music to fit the atmosphere. The kind of music to listen to as you are walking through a snowfall, sipping tea or coffee with your feet snuggled under the same blanket as a loved one, or sitting indoors by a window, a notebook in your lap and a flurry of beautiful possibilities and ideas in your mind. Maybe it will inspire your own inner shift towards a new self-realization.
Here’s to those blustery winds that blow around and inside of us, bringing bright changes in these dark days.