I say that I’m still floating about, but that life has gotten in the way and that I haven’t written in a while. I have been writing though. Just not online. Writing things down in my journal because I’ve been trying to make sense of what I’m going through.
It’s been a tough few months.
The last few weeks have been even more challenging. Some days better than others. I’m taking it a day at a time. I know things will get better. I just can’t see it right now. But it’s a step at a time. One foot in front of the other. Some days even the smile sticks.
I just have to believe that things will get better.
I’ve been asking myself existential blogging questions lately.
I haven’t blogged for a while. I actually thought that I hadn’t written anything for a year.
Although the last thing I actually wrote was the eulogy that I’d prepared for to celebrate the life of my dearest Tita (auntie in Filipino) Margie, who passed away on 27 May 2021. I’d forgotten about that. But just like everything that has happened in the last several months, everything feels like a lifetime ago. That’s another blog entry altogether!
A friend asked me if I still blogged (which is what actually brought about this existential reverie) and I answered and said I still had a blog but I hadn’t written in a very long time. They said they didn’t blog anymore because they felt that blogging was something that interesting people did. I truly wanted to splutter and object and say that we’re all interesting people! But of course, I didn’t.
That conversation does weigh heavily in my thoughts these days. Am I just fooling myself into thinking that I have something to say? Is anyone else interested in the mundane banality of my extraordinarily ordinary life?
I mean I have opinions. I have all these ideas of food to cook and bake. I’ve got all these things that I want to do. I have photographs to share. But is blogging still a relevant platform? I used to have a massive reach when I blogged on a different blog-hosting platform (which weirdly enough the name escapes me!). I had so many people read my blog entries, comment on my opinions and just interact.
I guess with the explosion of social media, blogging and microblogging platforms compete for the attention of the many people who consume content online. And if you’re someone so ordinary like me, you tend to get lost in the content posted by more prominent personalities.
Then it leads to the question – Why then do I post my prose online?
That question has made me think. I guess I still want to share my thoughts. I’m still of the opinion that if I share what I think, somehow, somewhere, someone else will read it and smile (or laugh) because they’ll think that they’re not alone, that someone else in the world is like them.
I’ve been off sick for a couple of days now. Feeling really unwell and generally blecchy. I think it’s what my mum used to call general malaise in the sick notes that she used to write for me.
The weather has turned and it’s Friday evening so the weekend is upon us. I’m glad for it. But I’m finding that I can’t get excited about the weekend. I’m sure there’s something to be excited about, I just don’t know what t is.
I think it’s okay. I think it’s okay to not be okay.
Like muscles, writing muscles must be exercised as well. And like me and gym memberships gone by, I’ve let my writing muscles waste away.
To be completely honest, real life has been quite full on and being creative, at the end of a busy, stressful day, took a back burner. I’ve had a few things to work on (relationships, mental health issues – another blog entry completely, self-development, train delays, yadda, yadda, yadda). Yes, yes! They are excuses.
So I thought I’d write. Something. Just to exercise the writing muscles…ease myself into the writing storm that I would like to enter the scene.
I’ve been reading a lot of books (both fiction and non-fiction!), taking online classes (more on these later!), and I’ve been filling my head with all sorts of ideas. All this in between taking photos and learning how to use my lovely little Olympus EPL-7 properly (yes, still! I am constantly discovering the little tricks this lovely camera can do all with a twist of a knob and a click of a button)and my smart little dynamo GoPro, and working, FULL TIME.
Oh I spent a few days in Lovely London! But that is, also, another blog entry! Ha! Yay me with all these writing projects (I have high hopes that they will actually get done!).
So let’s call this my excuse for a catching up entry.
What’s been going on in your life? Yes, let’s start a conversation.
About 2 years ago, whilst we were completely obsessed about the London food scene and because we wanted a project to do together, Alan and I started a blog, Pan-Asian Kitchen. Unfortunately, after starting the blog, writing a few entries and actually buying a domain, it has fallen by the wayside and real life has allowed us to fall into some sort of blogging inertia. The last post on the blog was in January 2017!
We’ve taken the brave decision to, unfortunately, stop writing for that blog and concentrate on this blog. Alan will be guest writing for me sometimes on the blog. This way we’re still sharing our passion for food and photography with everyone and we’re still doing this together.
The next thing I’ll have to figure out is how to move the media files from that blog to this one! Wordpress boffins, I need your help! Is there a quick way to move posts from one blog to another?
Thank goodness it’s the weekend soon. I’ll have time to figure out what to do!
I hope the Bard will pardon me for cannibalising his famous words. But this calls for something sombre to somehow describe the gravity of the situation.
Instagram, for those of you who have not heard of the social media app, is a photo-sharing site where people share their snaps “instantly”. I started on Instagram because it helped me practice taking photos for the blog. It kind of took over my life for a while because it became…very social for me. I made virtual friends from various parts of the globe, I got a chance to catch up on friends who lived in other countries, it allowed me to see places that I’d never seen before. It was like getting a travel pass to visit friends and places that I’d never been to. Then my virtual friends became friends in real life.
Instagram, like any social media site has been targeted by bots, trolls and all the mean nasties that social media has created…and for a while, I was quite pleased about how Instagram seemed to be proactive in dealing with the internet nasties. You could report the spammers, trolls, inappropriate posts, and online bullies, and Instagram would listen, they’d investigate and they’d take down the offending account.
I actually appreciated the algorithm…until the algorithm seemed to take on a life of its own! I once joked that the algorithm would run amok in the same way artificial intelligence did in all those sci-fi shows and movies. I’m not certain if it’s the algorithm that’s gone mad, or if it’s instagram tightening things so that they can slowly monetise the service. I’m not forecasting doom and instagram gloom. Just thinking out loud.
I think whilst I have this Instagram shadowban over me, I’ll post my photos and my thoughts on the blog instead!
I took this picture on a whim. It was taken at a weird angle and no matter how much I straighten the photo, it would not look “normal”.
I haven’t really been blogging a lot lately. I’ve been focusing on learning how to take pictures. Actually, no, that’s not entirely true. I have been taking pictures, but not entirely “learning.” It’s only quite recently that I’ve started seeing something promising in the snapshots I’m taking. I’ve got a lot to learn and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
I’ve also let the blogging and the writing slide. I haven’t really, properly, written anything in weeks. I have these writing projects floating about in my head but that’s where they currently live – in my head. I keep saying to myself, yep, I’m going to write…soon. But I’ve been procrastinating and now I’m looking at the blog and thinking, “Really? Is that all I have to offer?” I know I can write but I haven’t, properly, exercised my writing muscles in a very long time.
I really think it’s time I harnessed what talent I have.
This piano represents my what I’m afraid will happen to my ability to string my thoughts together. I played the piano beautifully once upon a time. Now I can’t even remember if I can play Für Elise or Edelweiss anymore! I don’t want to suddenly not be able to write down how I feel. It’s a scary thought. So I think I must think about how I want to rekindle my interest in writing. I need to reconnect with the creative in me!
How many times have I taken a blogging sabbatical? It happens all the time. I allow the real world and work to take control of my life and the things that make me happy take a back seat.
Well, if I intend to be the boss of me eventually, if I intend to be responsible for my own time, then I need to take control of things don’t I? Besides, whilst paying for my own domain name isn’t exactly breaking the bank (thank you WordPress for making this financially accessible! You guys absolutely rock!), there must be some sort of return of investment!
So I am back in the land of the blogging!
Watch this space…again!
Oh and PS, thanks for sticking with me! Mucho appreciated!❤️
Ooooh apparently, on Tuesday, 18 October, I had 64 views on the blog. 64! That’s the highest number I’ve had for quite a while. I’d like to think that apart from my most popular post on salt and chilli belly pork, I’ve shared something else interesting!
Thanks to everyone who came by and read my musings. Please leave a message as I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
Emma Gannon is my favourite millenial (let me just say that I’m not entirely sure I am using this term correctly, I think I am but if you disagree leave a comment and let’s discuss!). Mostly because she has done what I’ve always wanted to do. She has taken a passion for writing and communicating on all possible media (print and social media and now she has this killer podcast and amazing book!) and has turned that passion into a career.
She is one of a handful of superwomen that I follow on social media, mostly because they inspire me. I mean hello, they’ve accomplished what I wanted to do ages ago (when I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and less disappointed with the world) and they are so much younger than me! I know people always say 40 is the new 30, and I am right there, just over the threshold (I turned 40 this year) but there are days when I think about what I need to learn, what I have to do and I wonder if I’ll ever get this particular ship out of this harbour. I know the inertia that I’m feeling is something that only I can overcome. I’ve got to light that firecracker under my backside and I’ve got to start moving (literally and figuratively!) if I want to get to where I want to get to. I have a plan in my head but a plan isn’t really worth anything if I don’t attach any things to do and action points to it.
First thing to do is to create an environment where I am doing things that will get me to where I want to be. I have to create a positive go-getter frame of mind. I know that the day job is important at the moment because the day job will help me fund the activities that I need to participate in to get to where I want to get to. I am reminded of Emma Gannon’s podcast episode with Paulette Perhach who talked about the importance of the side-hustle and how important it is to keep hustling. I have allowed myself to wallow in the wishing stage of this whole endeavor so really, I haven’t been hustling as yet. But hustle I will and hustle I should!
I have been wondering about my blog, why it hasn’t really taken off in the way my previous blog did. I had people reading my blog, commenting on my blog, actually followingmy blog. I lost that when I moved into a different blog hosting platform (Blogdrive did have a community and people actually read other people in Blogdrive) – this is not to throw shade on all the people following my blog; to you lovely lot, I am forever grateful. I’m not assigning blame. I just think my blog was stuck in a particular kind of blog theme where people shared their feelings to try and find validation. We all want that all important thing: validation. But it’s also important to know that people also want to read inspirational stuff, aspirational stuff. Because if you boohoo and rant all the time, you bring your readers down with you. It’s okay to vent, but I think it’s also important not to overshare your emotional and psychological baggage. I think the audience isn’t as receptive to that anymore. There has to be a balance between saying it like it is and depressing the heck out of your readers!
The quote below is a screen grab from Emma’s blog entry about Sharing Less. It resonated so much. And yes, I am going to write because I have something to say and I have a great story to share, not because I need validation.
Oh and I know that I’ve started to view my writing differently because every time Alan asks me “are you sure you want to blog about that?” these days, I no longer feel like I am being attacked. I stop and think about what I really want to say. I don’t say this enough but thanks Alan♥