This post wasn’t exactly what I had planned. I was all ready to share a recipe on a delicious banana carrot bread I baked the other day, but something happened this weekend that made me think about why I decided to do this thing called food blogging. This bread will have to wait.
In 2010, I began law school in Washington, D.C. For years, I had my mind set on going to law school. I was a part of my high school mock trial for a measly two years, and I thought I knew exactly what lawyers did: receive a fun case, question witnesses, and argue before a judge. I convinced myself that this was the path for me. In hindsight, I’m not sure exactly why I was so focused in a legal career, but I just thought that being a lawyer = being successful = making my family proud.
By the end of college, my choices were (1) apply to graduate school (most likely in history) or (2) pursue a law career. As much as I loved research and writing, I couldn’t picture myself being a college professor, so I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. Did I know what lawyers do? Not really. But all I wanted to do was to continue going to school, and I wanted a new challenge. Word to the wise, always, ALWAYS know what you are getting yourself into before you embark on a huge life decision. Believe me, I wish I had thought that one through a bit more.
Law school was definitely the most stressful time of my life. I studied all day and all night and always had an internship. This should come as no surprise, but I had no life outside of my books and occasional gatherings with my friends. The only times when I felt most relaxed was during my workouts (I picked up kickboxing and yoga) and my weekly meal prep. These were times I had to myself and not my heavy textbooks that gave me back problems, my assortment of highlighters, or the Bluebook. Through these binge cooking sessions, I discovered a whole new world of food in the form of Foodgawker, Joy the Baker, Kalyn’s Kitchen, Simply Recipes, and Eats Well With Others. It was glorious.
Three years later, I graduated law school without a clue about what I wanted to do. (By the way, I was bummed that we didn’t get to wear the poofy hats that graduate students usually wear during graduation.) I did not have a full-time job lined up, and I didn’t know what area of law I wanted to get into. Scary stuff. All I knew was that I wanted to move back to California because that was my plan all along. After a brutal summer of studying for the bar (more highlighters, flashcards, sticky notes, and long periods of not seeing the sun), I passed! But that was only the first hurdle.
I couldn’t find a position that suited me even after the new year, and things were getting bleak. To cheer myself up, I started following more food and healthy living blogs. We’re talking a LOT of blogs: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, The Healthy Maven, The Lean Green Bean—the list is way too long. It was fun finding another recipe or workout to try, plus it kept my mind off my lack of success on the job front.
Then, in February of this year, I settled down and started this blog. I had no clue what I was doing. My only blogging experience was my Xanga account years ago, and I don’t even remember what I wrote! Possibly something about the Backstreet Boys and black and white movies. I had no photography experience. All I had was my iPhone. Undeterred by my absolute lack of knowledge in blogging, I dived in.
What happened afterwards was a completely unexpected and fun ride. I simply fell in LOVE. I don’t ever remember having so much fun on my “job,” and I hadn’t felt more excited about doing something in a long time. I won’t lie, getting this blog running was (and still is) hard work. I had to learn how to write a post, SEO, social media (I didn’t even have a twitter or Instagram account), and photography. Yet I didn’t mind any bit of it at all. I have just been amazed by how much I have learned in a span of 7 months.
You might think this is silly, but I didn’t actually tell my family about this blog until last month. I didn’t think they would understand what I’m doing with this space of mine, and quite frankly, I don’t think they still know why I care about this so much. All they want to know is why I’m not using my law degree.
Whenever I watch the show Chopped on the Food Network, I always laugh when I hear a contestant (usually of Asian descent) talking about how their family doesn’t understand why they decided to become a chef, and why they entered the show to prove their family wrong. It’s such a cliché, but I know exactly how those contestants feel! I have the need to prove why it is ok to follow my dreams and be able to do something they’ll be proud of. Come on, there’s no way I would have been able to capture and edit a photograph like this earlier this year.
Sorry if I just got on a huge soap box about my food blogging life. I never would have thought that I would open up and publish a post like this, but it makes me feel good that I’ve finally got this story out. For those of you who have made it to the end of this post, thanks for hanging in there and coming along this ride with me!