I read through an old post last weekend while looking for my oxtail ragu recipe. It was eye opening. In that horrible way a cartoon character’s eyes open when they get socked in the gut by an anvil. I don’t feel like the girl who wrote those first posts anymore. I’ve become awfully cynical, closed off, jaded. I don’t seem to laugh as easily as I used to and, when I do, I briefly think “Hey, I remember that! I used to love that!”. God and I are no longer on speaking terms. I know He’s out there, of course. I just don’t think he particularly gives a crap what I do, whether I want to talk to him or what happens to any of us really. And anyone who wants to convince me otherwise must first explain then how my friend, a mom of two young kids, could lose her husband in a cycling accident and, a few months later on the day that should’ve been their anniversary, had to scrape her beloved family dog off the highway where she had been run over the previous night after inexplicably escaping a locked and fenced in yard for the first time. Explain to her four year old daughter that God gives a crap. See? Told you. I’m awful! And nothing particularly terrible has even happened to me! A small physical ailment, a tiny set back in my professional life, a minor personal upheaval, the end of one or two relationships that were important to me and I go all cranky and bleh. If I ever had to have my legs blown off or lose my sight, you probably shouldn’t expect any heart wrenching, motivational, self help books on how to overcome. I’ll just drag myself to the window every day and throw rocks at people in the street while I down shots of cheap whiskey. Badly aimed rocks, because I can’t see anymore. I’ll be a drunk, angry, rock hurling misanthropist with my clothes all worn out on the front.
I also don’t like the direction this blog has taken. When I started writing almost two years ago, it was for two reasons. Firstly, I thought it would be a great way of sharing those recipes my friends and family were always asking for. And secondly, I thought it could function as a journal of some sorts. I could picture my daughter, should she ever come to be, poring over the pages thirty years from now and getting a look at the things her parents used to enjoy eating and experiencing. I wrote for myself and I wrote for those I love. But it’s really hard to keep writing for myself when I see that someone in Kazakhstan spent half an hour reading my posts yesterday. Suddenly I’ve started wondering what that person would like to read, instead of what I want to write. Or why someone in Scranton came for the chicken, but stayed for the walking tour of Shanghai. Hits, likes, followers, pins, RT’s. I’ve started measuring my success by these indicators when really, they’re not why I wanted to do this. It has started frustrating me that this site has thousands of visitors (thank you!), but that I don’t know anything about who you are other than where your server is located, that Yahoo should just give up in the search engine war, that you prefer Android tablets to iPads and that 25% of you still use IE. (25% guys? Let’s start getting that number down, okay?). I need to get my head right about why I’m doing this and trust that you’ll keep reading for that very reason.
Lastly, bush man and I are going through another minor upheaval. It is an exciting, scary, exhilarating, frightening time for us and our lives could be heading in a completely new and unexpected direction. It is a road I’m not sure I want to go down, because I’ll be walking it alone for the most part, but then it could be heading towards everything we’ve ever wanted so the journey will be worth it. (Argh! Why hasn’t science invented that time machine so I can go ahead a bit and check that everything will be okay?) But it is also sapping vast quantities of my time and energy and I have been unable to write for weeks now. And don’t think I haven’t tried! I’ve sat here, but the words just haven’t come. My draft folder is full of attempts I have mentally labeled meh and not published. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to talk. Can’t. I want to get through this time and come back when I can do this the way I set out to when I started. It shouldn’t take long. A month or two tops! And I hope when I get back you’ve all stuck around. And in the meantime, if you want to, why don’t you tell me a little about yourself? Except the guys who keep landing here because they’ve googled “Hairy Carlin” images. Dudes. Stop! She’s probably young enough to be your daughter and all I can offer you is a photo of a Chinese lady trussing up a crab.