I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. and I've written half a dozen posts in this same vein but could never quite hit the publish button. I'm going to try again.
presently, I'm feeling very overwhelmed. work is long hours, busy, stressful. I'm doing well but it's taking nearly all my energy to focus and hold on to my sanity. home is... uncertain. things between Luke and I are in a good place, but everything around us is threatening to fall apart. our landlord wants to sell the condo we are renting, but we aren't in a place to buy right now. partially because Luke will very likely be let go due to disgustingly massive cuts in the Philly school district. I can't even go into it further, it's so upsetting to me. on top of that, he received a Fulbright Award to go to Turkey this summer for 6 weeks. which is a wonderful, amazing achievement for him that will be very beneficial in seeking future employment. but he may be out of the country while he is let go, and while we could possibly have to move. [add on to that the fact that his car is ready to die any minute, and I'm still paying mine off.]
I have been struggling to balance everything. on top of the above, I started experiencing knee pains this week while training for the 1/2 marathon. I have something called patella-femoral syndrome. a result of an active life, flat feet, and wide hips, basically it means the bones in my knee come together at an awkward angle which puts more pressure on my cartilage than it should. 8 years ago, I spent my senior season of track in extreme pain and the following summer in physical therapy. I've been extremely cautious since then in getting back into running. and my knee seems to be feeling better, even after the 5 miles saturday. I'm hoping it was a combination of a long week being on my feet all day and lots of rainy weather, not anything more serious.
and then we come to my 'extra-curricular activities'. baking. blogging. photography. I have done very little non-food photography since I started the baking blog. the daylight hours I used to spend wandering the woods looking for something to shoot are now spent running between the kitchen and the window, trying to finish everything before the light fades too much. to be honest, I do about the same amount of baking. it just takes longer. and takes up the slot of time I used to use for other things. baking used to be my after-work, after-dinner detox. now it's my precious weekend afternoons.
lately with the baking blog I always feel this pressure to do things for my [nearing 250 across all medias] readers. to post more often. to post a variety of things. to have witty yet relevant tweets. but also not too personal. like I can't truly be myself, but have to be some kind of mildly one-dimensional person... a more cheerful, less sarcastic, mainly food focused version of myself. and every day, every post, I go further down that road. I don't want to pull the rug out from under these people but I'm not exactly who they think I am. I should have better integrated myself into the blog from the start. and now I feel like I have to put on another hat when I write over there.
the baking blog has turned into another persona for me, another task to be done, and I don't like that. I also don't really like how popular it's become. true I'm no bakerella, but responding to all the comments and emails takes up more precious time. and while I love that people are interested, many emails I receive sound like this: "cn u pls tell me what settings u use for ur photos? thx" or "what kind of candy melts do you use? mine never look as smooth as yours" or "can you send me your cake pop recipe?". I appreciate readers who want to interact but if you ask questions that I've already answered in an obvious post, or can't be bothered to spell out full words... you're really just being lazy.
it doesn't help that this comes along at one of those times where I feel the urge to trash everything, go off the grid, and reinvent myself before I return. most if not all of the pressure I feel- I'm putting on myself- but I really feel the need to make a decision. soon. I know it isn't life or death... but it is my life and I'm not fully content with how it's currently operating. so rather than sit here and try to juggle all the balls in the air, I think it might be time to lighten my load. to sit back and relax [at least a little]. to focus on me and what makes me happy again, rather than trying to please this invisible audience I've amassed for myself.
our wireless router broke last week and I was basically without internet. for the first few days it made me anxious, but after a while I started to enjoy it. no pressure to post the latest, since I literally couldn't. it was really nice. I guess it sounds like I've already decided to quit. or at least take a break. ironic that now that it's starting to finally 'take off' I'm ready to walk away.
I still feel the drive to write. to bake. to photograph. but I need to find the right way.