These days, I have quite a bit going on. I promised myself that, this year, at the beginning of a new year, I wouldn’t rush into trying to accomplish everything at once–certainly not at the expense of the time I get to spend with my girls. And what are friends for if not for helping you fill in the holes? In the blogging world, I’m blessed to have such friends–quite recently, a new one. Julie guest-posted for me during my maternity leave; and as she has finalized an amazing accomplishment, I wanted to give her the chance to share that with you! She graciously offered to do two guest posts for me, all about her new cookbook, Seasoned. I really encourage you to check it out, right after you read all the encouraging things Julie has to say about her project.
On the eve of my twenty-seventh birthday I sat on my back porch with my husband and two of our dear friends. We drank a too easily downed mix of whiskey and apple cider while enjoying the clams we had dug from the beach just hours earlier. It was low-key and really quite perfect by my standards. At one point in the night I was asked, “So, Julie, what do you want for your twenty-eighth year of life?” I fumbled together some answer but truthfully, I had no idea what I wanted.
Since having my son at the young age of 24, I’ve been focusing on the day-to-day. Babies will do that to you. And with my husband it always seems we’re talking about a five or ten year plan. The idea to take one year of my life and expect something from it felt revolutionary. It felt like just what I needed, too. My son is the light of my life and my biggest joy, but I wanted more from the day he was born. Never less of him, but more in addition to him. So, in the days following the question, I decided to write a seasonal food and living quarterly, with the first issue to be released right after the new year.
Three months later the details have gotten a little blurry. Again, babies will do that to you. I can’t quite remember where I got the courage to do something so big so immediately. I find myself in this position after all my big life decisions: how did I convince myself I could do that? I think what it boils down to is my belief that life is for living and doing, and the understanding that no one is going to live it or do it for me. My husband and I had long talked about writing a cookbook together but six years in we have nothing to show for it. I think eventually you just have to ask yourself if not now, then when?
There will always be a better time and you can always know more. With almost certainty I can say you will be able to find someone doing what you want to do and doing it better. Just accept these facts and then get over them because they won’t ever serve you. The only way you get better and really set yourself apart is by throwing yourself in the fire. The only way you live your life and fulfill yourself is by putting one foot in front of the other despite the fear and the self doubt.
The making of Seasoned has been life changing for me. I had to go out on more limbs, trust more people, and work harder on pulling this together than on any other personal project I’ve ever taken on. I’ve made a lifelong friend in McKenzie, the artist for the quarterly, and I’ve been able to watch my work fly around the world. The things I’ve gained in the past three months are invaluable. At the end of the day I can say I’ve found something for myself that allows me to stay home with my son and pursue personal passions. It’s everything I want. And the best part? I have no one to thank but myself and that feels amazing.