I realized something recently, and I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about it. So, I included some pretty pictures from my day that will hopefully make us both feel better.
So far, so good? Okay, here goes.
I started this blog for many reasons—the urgings of my wonderful friends, my own inspirations, a desire to share with others about my experiences and discoveries while living gluten-free. And while these are all big and important, I never would have started writing here if it hadn’t been for the other bloggers out there who showed me what this was all about and continue to move me every day. I only hoped that I could contribute something wonderful too, and maybe, just maybe, move someone else.
I’ve been thinking more about this lately, especially as I’ve continued to add to the list of blogs that I follow. What is it that keeps me coming back to each site? Why do I read these words with such focus, paging back through, at times, years’ worth of posts to “catch up”, and eagerly await future postings?
It’s not just the food. That does seem to be a common point of focus among the many blogs that I read, probably because that is the focus of my own, but I don’t log on and immediately scroll down for the recipe. I also don’t simply scan the page, taking in the lovely photos of cakes and berries and greens, and then move along to the next. I carefully, deliberately read each and every word. Why?
It seems obvious now, and I think it’s something that I probably knew all along but continued to filter from my own words. It’s the people, their stories, their experiences, the simple things that move them, the winding journeys filled with both happiness and hardship. It’s all of these things. And it’s the openness with which they are shared.
I’m afraid I have not been so open, and for that I feel guilty. There are pieces of those things that I know sneak into my posts, but I make a conscious effort to moderate them. I pause as I write, carefully picking my words, letting the phrases that feel too close to me slip past unwritten or eek out in diluted syllables. And I’m realizing that it’s not fair.
I indulge with reckless abandon in the lives of my fellow food bloggers. I feel as though I know many of them well, though we’ve never met. And when their worlds collide and they become a part of each others’ stories, I feel privileged to somehow be a part of the whole thing. I feel as though I owe the same. To you. To them. To anyone who stumbles upon this small piece of the internet, created by this one small person in a city where at any given time millions of people live and thrive and move from hundreds of feet below the ground to 50 stories into the sky. For you to find me here, to pause long enough to read these words, I owe you that.
I have been sharing my recipes here, my experiences at restaurants and my thoughts on various products, but that’s not all there is to my experience. It’s easy to share with you the beautiful afternoon that I spent reading in the park and came home and made a delicious lunch of salads. I am, in fact, sitting in that very same park as I write this, watching dragonflies hover and hide among the grasses, listening to the heavy sloshing of the water, the chop-chop of jet skis, the laughter, clapping, and conversation filling the lawn. See? See how easy that was to share?
So this is my permission slip to myself, allowing me to travel away from the safety of happy times and tasty recipes (though there will be plenty more of these, I assure you). It’s permission to live here exactly as I do away from the keyboard. It’s also a commitment to you, to be as open with you as others have been with me.
And I promise, it will all still be gluten-free.