2019–more baking and more stories

At my work, they have this thing called The Potty Press–which, you guessed it–resides on the door inside each of the stalls in the bathrooms. The idea is that instead of sitting on the toilet with your phone (which is a terrible idea, by the way, and one flaw that I have yet to erase from my habits), you can read the company’s announcements and any other tidbit of useful information that they think you should know.

This month, in particular, there was a column about New Years resolutions. It listed ten steps on how to be successful in your goals. I don’t remember all the steps, but I do remember a few that stood out to me–1) write it down, 2) talk about it, 3) remind yourself of the why, 4) take small steps, 5) keep trying until you get there, and 6) reward yourself along the way. I feel that while they sound cliche, they certainly have their merits, so I decided I’m going to try my best to follow these “rules” for my goals this year.

I call my resolutions goals because to me, goals seems more likely to succeed than resolutions. To me, to resolve to do something is putting a big weight of expectation on your shoulders–but if you’re turning it into a goal, it creates an opportunity for learning, and steps you can take along the way.

That said, I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for 2019, and what I want to do with this little blog of mine. And the more I thought about it, the more I say to myself, “Who am I?” I mean, who’s actually reading this besides maybe a friend or two?

Secondly, it occurred to me that I have been bouncing back and forth in all directions (I’ve updated the About Me page a bazillion times), trying to make this blog about something specific…and I’m coming up short. Because I don’t know who I am (besides the arbitrary elevator speech I’m an accountant living in Portland Oregon with a husband and two children…blah blah blah), I’ve been struggling to find a niche in which to focus myself with online. I’m kind of all over the place. Sometimes I hide my insecurities through humor pieces (funny to me, perhaps not to others) about parenthood, other times I write about social justice and economic issues, and personal finance, sometimes about millennials and why I don’t understand my generation, etc. Other times, I simply rant and rave about certain things.

And let’s not forget that I am also an amateur photographer, or a photography enthusiast, if you will.

You can see where I’m going with this. I realized that I need to figure out who I am–specifically, what do I want to be known for? How do I want to define myself?

Point is–I’ve been having a hard time trying to figure out what my story is. Am I just a millennial who survived a recession and now here I am talking about money? Or am I a parent with a witty sense of humor and tips to share? Or am I just a girl who’s kind of poor and trying to do better? What do I want my blog to represent about me?

As part of this process, I thought about a couple of favorite bloggers that I’ve discovered on the internet over the years.

One of the very first ones I discovered, Orangette, is known for her excellent writing with food as the medium that connects all of her stories. And there was always a story, even if it’s just her and a few friends getting together on a Sunday. She became known as “the girl who quit her Ph.D program to start a food blog and ended up finding her future husband through the blog, marries him and have a child with him.” That is her story.

Another one is Cait Flanders, also know as “the girl who got herself into a massive load of debt through overzealous spending and unhealthy habits and so she decided to chronicle her debt repayment journey through her blog.” You can find her here.

Finally, there’s Two Red Bowls, or “the Asian American lawyer by day and savvy cook by night introducing us to the world of Asian foods in mixed raced households.

Thinking about all these women and the many other bloggers that I’ve discovered in the past and why I’m so drawn to them, it finally dawned on me that the reason why they are so popular and well known is because they all tell stories. Just about every blog post of theirs involves some element of a story. It’s not just them talking about themselves or their opinions and current news. Like many humans, I’m particularly drawn to stories because it’s so personal. That’s why their blogs resonate with me so much.

I’m more than just a mom

I guess what I’m trying to say is this–I overthink things (which is why it’s taking me more than week to write this post), because I’m afraid of being judged badly. I write in a way that does not truly tell people who I am and what I want to achieve. I realize that most of what I write is something like — this is my opinion about so and so and this is some evidence to back it up [insert link here]. That said, this year it is my goal to be less journalistic / opinionated and focus more on storytelling and narration. This means that I won’t have to dig for information on the internet to support my ideas, but I will have to dig deep into the back of my brain and uncover things that I chose to forget, simply because they are either painful, awkward or just plain awful.

What I can tell you also is that there will be lots of effort on self teaching. This year will be the year that I will educate myself on something that is part of my everyday life and yet I know little of — cooking. In particular, baking brings me joy. It’s therapeutic for me…and ironically, I don’t do it very often. I’m very amateur when it comes to cooking, especially baking. Thus, there will be stories about my food adventures as well as stories that has nothing to do with food but is still significant because it is part of me.

SIGH. BIG sigh. Whew! That was a lot, I know. If you’re still reading this, thank you dear reader. Stay tuned for stories about food, baking, love, goals, and everything in between.

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