It's been one year since my first blog post. I'm going to spare you the generic phrases that usually accompany an anniversary. Instead, grab some wine so I can tell you a story.
It's true: there's an ocean of food blogs on the internet. So why did I start Northwest Workshop? I'm going to proceed with visuals.
I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Eager to create ... something ... anything.
Obviously, you can tell from the photo that I had pretty good taste from a young age.
I'd like to say I always knew my profession was going to be in the arts, but truthfully, I was just REALLY bad with math and science. As an adult, I've figured out that it was because of the way I learn, but I didn't know that at the time. I was labeled "the creative one" in my peer groups, so that lead me to study art in college. From day one, I could tell from the students around me that I wasn't good at this either. But. I have a bull-headed work ethic, so I just didn't quit.
Fast forward to being a working professional. I became pretty disappointed.
All I could think about while I was sitting at my desk - I'm on a leadership team at this point - was that if emailing and corralling people was how I spent my days, why the hell did I just rack up $90k + interest in tuition debt for this.
I used to be able to balance the corporate world with creative projects on the side, but I just couldn't ... wouldn't ... do it anymore. Plus, I always had jobs as a graphic designer, photographer or retoucher, so wasn't that supposed to feed my creative side?
I burned out, and I didn't even know it.
And I got mean. I wish I was exaggerating.
If you're reading this and we haven't met in person, let me just tell you that I have a caring demeanor. Honestly. But that became my detriment and morphed into a hatred of others that didn't care as much as I did. Co-workers, family members, and even the mailman: no one was safe from my judgemental wrath.
There I was. At the bottom of the well. Crying in the car on a regular basis.
So I turned that ship around real quick.
Miraculously, I slowly tunneled my way out of a dark place and knew I was the only one that could choose my next steps. I locked myself in my house for a weekend and wrote down what would make me happy, which sadly, I had never done before.
Here's what I came up with: I love the Northwest. I love food. I love to photograph things. I love helping people.
And that was it. I unblocked this wall in my mind and finally let all of my ideas out that I kept cooped up for so long. It was more than overwhelming.
Then, I had no idea what I was supposed to do next. But I was happy.
I made a conscious decision and gave myself permission to cut myself off from my job. Just to be clear, I knew I would be going back to a supplemental job later, but I needed the creative bootcamp to get myself back to what I knew I was capable of.
I turned to the interwebs and fell in love with blogging and what people were doing with it. I decided to start there, because it tied in all of the components I was looking for: creativity, deadlines (to make sure I didn't stop producing), and entrepreneurship.
Now, I'm flossin'.
Not with diamonds, but with clarity. I don't even recognize that burned out person anymore. Real talk, I'm actually back in the concrete jungle, but it's on such better terms and I'm able to thrive with like-minded individuals.
This past year has changed my life. It's the most creatively productive I've been since ... I can honestly say ever.
I'm learning everyday, working hard and most important, happy. It's all I've ever wanted.
Go cook something. No really. For NW's birthday, cook a meal that you've been meaning to try but haven't made time for. While you're sharing it with your loved one, have a conversation about where you are in your life. Do some checks and balances about how you're spending your days.
And I can't say this enough: THANK YOU to the moon and back for caring enough to take a gander through anything I've created. Is there anything you want to talk about with me, be it about food or heck, life? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously. I will respond, and that's a standing invitation.