After such a long break, it’s hard to just come back and act like everything is dandy. I mean, I’m posting stuff now, but I went more than a year without updating anything new. That’s just bananas! And not the yummy, buttery, fried and rolled in cinnamon and sugar kind. To be completely honest, I’ve barely even looked at the site in that year. I’ve gotten a few comments here and there from totally awesome people (because, in case you didn’t know, you’re automatically totally awesome if you comment on my blog). But besides checking those, I just haven’t had the urge. I’ve looked back recently and I was reminded of all sorts of recipes of things I was curious about and experimenting with. And Humpday Updates! Remember those?? You better, because I just posted a new one! Point is, it’s been a long time. Far longer than I’d care to admit. And while I know I don’t owe anyone any explanations I think it’s only right to do so. Because if you’re taking time out to read this, then you’re showing me a kindness. And I would be remiss not to return that kindness. This isn’t going to be a typical, picture heavy post. This is real talk. I’m just trying to get stuff off my chest here.
A lot has happened in the last year. And a lot before that. Because if you want to get technical, I really haven’t been updating for longer than a year. I was going semi-regularly up until December 2015. Looking back, I couldn’t help but notice almost every post began with me apologizing for not posting regularly. It’s then that they started to have more and more time between each update. No, it wasn’t some clever ploy to give you time to savor each post longer. I just wasn’t into it anymore. And I’ll tell you why..
The easy explanation would have a few reasons. Life is seemingly getting busier and busier. And by seemingly, I mean there ain’t no sugar coating it, shit is just cray-cray. With the kids getting older and getting more needy, more after school activities, more of basically everything except time. Then what little time I do have, I waste it away
sitting on the most uncomfortable couch on the eastern seaboard (trust me, I checked)(we finally got rid of it!), playing video games. Yeah, I know, I’m a nerd and there’s a thousand other things I could be doing that are more productive. But it’s how I unwind. It’s what I enjoy. [cheapplug]So much so that I co-host a gaming podcast called Future Monkeys [/cheapplug] which went on summer break a few months ago but is coming back soon! But yeah, I love podcasting, and we went on summer break. Why? Because of time, ya dingus, pay attention!
Another easy reason is because, as you may remember from one of my like 3 posts in the past 2 years, is that we moved from North Carolina back home to beautiful Orlando, Florida. Why does that matter? Because we’re renting right now, and this kitchen is.. well, it’s as photogenic as the first place car in a demolition derby, let’s just say that. I do not miss much in NC, but if I had to pick something, it would be the kitchen we had. And I guess the house too, but man, that kitchen! It was sooooo good with the natural lighting and the new counters, and the appliances that worked and were consistent with silly things like temperature control. Anyway, as you can tell from my meatloaf post the other day, it’s going to be a lot different. Not the picture dumps you were used to seeing. I know I got a little trigger happy with the camera, but hey, it’s hard to choose between shots sometimes.
Speaking of picture dumps, I guess it’s time to get into the not-so-easy reasons for my disappearance. You could say I got burnt out. Or burnt. Either way works. I don’t want to say anything negative because I know business and understand the way things work. But at the same time it’s going to be rather difficult to explain without sounding negative. But here we go.
I know I’m asking a lot here, but if you can remember aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way back to when I used to post regularly, you’d remember I was a part of Wilton’s Sweet Treat Team. I mean, how can you forget, right? It was quite an honor, I must say. And I remember being so excited to be a part of something with a brand that I loved and that had been a part of my life for so long. I did it for two years, and it was a great experience that I’m happy to have documented right here on my blog. In those two years, they asked me for 20 posts (10 each year), featuring their products. That first year was no problemo, I was a mad blogger, churning out whatever and whenever.
But that second year. That’s when things changed. I found less time to blog, and in turn, less time to think of things to blog about. The beginning of the year was fine, I did a few things I had fun doing. But I lost the desire to try and juggle life and blogging after that. But I had to. Ten posts were required of me, no if’s, and’s, or but’s. And the year kept creeping to an end faster and faster. I barely made the deadline, and completed the contract. But at a price that took a toll on me. I was forcing myself to get on here and blog about stuff when I didn’t really want to. It took something that was supposed to be fun and made it into a job. Yeah, it was a job, I guess. I was getting paid for it. And the feeling was apparent, I’m sure. As every post I published was basically a dedicated Wilton post, the wife and I joked that they should just hire me as one of their bloggers. But it was true, that’s all I was doing that was food related. I was fine writing about things that the family and I did or places we went. But as far as cooking went, my respect for Wilton and my contract with them was the only reason why I went in the kitchen.
That was the burning out part… The burnt part was when Wilton decided to stop doing the Sweet Treat Team thing. It was nothing personal, the entire program ended. Of course, I was looking forward to it for the money. No, not because I’m a jerk who only thinks about money. But because.. Well, honestly, when Wilton called me and offered me the gig.. it was the first time in a long time I was going to be able to help my family financially. Ever since my last official job dumped me, my wife had been providing for the family on her own. I was absolutely ecstatic that I was going to be able to cook things, take pictures, and actually get paid for it. I still cannot thank Wilton enough for giving me that opportunity and privilege for two whole years, despite my trudging and barely able to keep up in the final stretch. And yeah, even though I was burnt out and it was hard for me to keep it going in that last year, I was beyond sad that the partnership came to an end. I fell into a rut after that, facing demons again that I wasn’t aware were hiding, waiting in me for so long. I got a taste of being useful moneywise after not making a dime for so long, and it going away once more just brought up all the insecurities that I guess I never fully extinguished deep down inside.
I have long since forgiven Wilton. I was silently upset for a while, full of anger and sadness, depressed, feeling inadequate and unwanted, you know, like I was in high school all over again. But moving back to Florida has given me the opportunity to work an actual job while the kids are watched by their grandparents if need be. It’s nothing huge, contract work here and there, nothing demanding. But still, it makes me feel a little better about what I’m doing to help out my family. If we would’ve stayed in NC, I’m not sure how I would’ve managed mentally. I guess looking back, it’s another reason to be thankful for the decisions we’ve made. You know, on top of the thousand other ones.
Aaaaanyhoo, look at me rambling on. I think I’ve carried on enough about my excuses for being the worst blogger ever. Seriously, people who are getting email updates about my posts are probably wondering who the hell I am and when the hell did they sign up for my updates. Look, I know it’s been a long time, and there’s a ton of food bloggers out there that will give you like 10 posts a week, full of amazingly good looking food and goodies that you can’t wait to pin and post everywhere and probably never even attempt to cook. But just know that I’ll be here. Enjoying myself. Just going wherever the breeze decides to take me. I’m here because I had fun doing this before, and I think I’m ready to try and have fun again. And the passenger seat is open if you want to call shotgun.
I’ve seen that frustration. Been crossed and lost and told, “No.”
And I’ve come back, unshaken, let down, and lived, and let go.
So you can let it be known, I don’t hold back, I hold my own.
I can’t be mapped, I can’t be cloned.
I can’t C-flat, it ain’t my tone.
I can’t fall back, I came too far.
Hold myself up and love my scars.
Let the bells ring wherever they are, ’cause I was there saying…
Another Linkin Park song featured here. I’ve always felt strongly connected to their music.
It seems that if I had to choose a band to make the soundtrack of my life, it would be
them. I feel this song is about holding on to the past and not having control over it. About
reliving mistakes, going through pain, but then overcoming it and becoming stronger.
The song is called Lost in the Echo, and you can buy it with this link which will help out my blog.