My mind is racing right now. Absolutely flying off the charts, anxiously speeding towards no end that I can see. I’m frazzled and overwhelmed and exhausted but unable to sleep. The problem is that it’s way past my bedtime and I have a solid schedule that I can’t change. There are responsibilities that I’m committed to which means that I have to be up and ready in less than six hours time. Yet here I am on this page. This page which is the source of my anxiety. Why am I here? What am I doing?
That’s the point right there, that last question. What am I doing?
Since I started this blog less than two months ago, I’ve been moving at a rapid pace. I think after standing still for so long, this new energy coursing through me became so addictive that I couldn’t stop; I didn’t want it to stop. Here is the step I had been too scared to take because I wasn’t sure I could do it, and even worse I didn’t think anyone would care. Those insecurities ate me alive and kept me from pursuing what I wanted out of my life and I’ll be damned to ever allow that to stop me again. At least that’s what I tell myself.
I went to London in August to visit some friends and it was like a perfect storm.Things began to click for me and I came to life. I like to think that the power of friendship along with the buzz of travel combined to jumpstart my self-esteem. I don’t think I can ever fully wrap my mind around how that happened or why, but all I know is that I came back reinvigorated, literally writing for pages on the flight home as the ideas started to flow. My life has been “zoom zoom” every day since I got off the plane on my arrival and I’ve worked tirelessly to put together each of these posts with an eye towards what I’ve called my journey. It’s all over this blog and in my “About me” and I throw the word around as often as I can manage to drill this idea that I’m on a path towards somewhere enlightened. Only now I’m beginning to wonder what that all means. I’ve been so focused on the journey that somewhere I’ve lost sight of the path and I’m left at a crossroads with no real clue where I’m headed or why I’m even there in the first place.
There are some tangible facts that I must acknowledge. I didn’t just jump out of a plane without a parachute here; there is a purpose and an admittedly vague mission statement. I discovered my passion for nutrition through a kind of strange weave of circumstances and experiences that led me to conclude that this was where I was meant to be. All of my struggles with food, body image, relationships, identity crises, and all the rest had brought me to this point and no matter how much all that sucked, it was worth it for this epiphany. I want to be a nutritionist. I want to talk about food issues. I want to meet my fitness goals and push past them. I want to educate and be educated. I want to talk. This blog fits me like a glove in that aspect because I purposely created a space that was broad enough to cover these areas. This is fact and I embrace that wholly.
And you might come here to read my recipe experiments or gather some insight on (light) nutrition science or maybe even for inspiration from the ‘Saturday Upsides.’ But why do I come here? What am I getting out of this whole process?
I can’t tell you how mind-boggling it is each time I receive a comment. It’s tear-inducing. The fact that people actually take the time to read what I’ve written so far is staggering. After believing for most of my life that people won’t care to look at what I’m offering compared to the rest out there, it’s a jolt to be proven how wrong I am about myself. I mean, I’m an average Jane who types way too much; what do I know about anything? But I’m beginning to understand (or actually, I’m having a difficult time attempting to understand) that it doesn’t require an expert to sit down and write. It requires a purpose and conviction.
Since I’ve discovered this for myself I’ve clutched it, white-knuckled, holding on for dear life out of a desperate need to make this happen after coming up empty-handed in the past. So it bugs me out that I’m suddenly finding myself at a loss for what I’m trying to do here. And it’s not just that. For all my talk about a journey I feel like I’ve side-stepped the actual learning part. I sometimes tell myself that I’ll take a day or two to sit and digest everything I’ve posted to figure out how this ties into a career or what it means for me personally. I haven’t done this once. I get a kick out of the recipes and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about current food and public health issues with some of my research, but how has this changed me? What does all this mean for Maribel, the person who spent so much time fumbling in the dark and is now trying to figure out how to walk in the light?
As the clock ticks on and I get closer and closer to the harsh reality of another work day, I can’t say that I have any answers. I feel healthier but I also feel conflicted. For every question I answer, there are five more questions behind it. There are unresolved personal issues with body image and relationships, self identification, and my expectations. I understand that this is what all of this- the blog, the writing, the crushing schedule- is all about. This is the journey. I think with all the feel-good cooking and sharing, I’ve forgotten to include that part here. I kept a wall up and a distance between the blogger and me and I didn’t realize it until just now when I dragged my computer into my lap and started typing away.
In an attempt to satisfy all the avenues I wanted to explore on this site, I also managed to shut out the process. This wasn’t my intention and it’s not something I want to continue. I’m not sure what this will mean for future posts. Maybe I’ll be more transparent and you’ll see a lot more soul-baring. Maybe not. The point is I need to stop more often and pay attention to what’s actually happening in front of me. Take a minute to breathe and appreciate the changes that are happening because they’re real and vital. The race to publish shouldn’t be me my goal. I need to forget about the numbers and focus on the journey.