Bear with me while I determine the goal of this blog. I have recently moved from America to Switzerland. I had never been to Switzerland before. I had never lived outside of the US before. I had never been married before, but that’s a tale for a different day. I want you to accompany me on this new adventure, as I navigate my way through strange customs, foreign languages, delicious foods, and breathtaking landscapes. This isn’t strictly a travel blog. This isn’t strictly a food blog. A lot of things will influence the direction of my words, just as random encounters and difficult choices influence the course of our lives.
How do I start? What am I supposed to talk about?
I’ve thought about having a blog for a long time, ever since Livejournal became popular when I was in high school. I used to journal a lot personally. I wrote poetry or made mixed tapes when I needed to express myself. What everything I’ve done in the past has in common, however, is that it was private. I could choose, or not, to share it, but essentially I was writing or creating just for myself.
I’ve never really followed blogs. There have been a few I’ve stumbled across from time to time and used for a laugh or a recipe idea. I never kept up though, checking in on a regular basis or getting involved in someone’s stories. I think I saw blogs as largely narcissistic outlets.
“What makes me think what I have to say is important? Why should people listen to me?”
I didn’t want to assume that I might have any insights that were better than anyone else’s. And I didn’t want others to assume I thought that way.
This speaks to a personal struggle I had several years ago of being found abrasive. I have parts of my personality, good parts, that often have trouble manifesting outwardly. I like for things to be done correctly, not necessarily by me (it’s not a control issue) but in general, because it makes less work later and it aligns with my values of right and wrong. There was a time when I was very eager to prove that I knew how to do things and so, at my job for example, I would suggest a way that I personally thought something should be done. This eagerness wasn’t coming from a need to be right, but from my desire to be helpful. You see the distinction?
Well, some of my bosses and acquaintances through the years did not appreciate what they saw as a young upstart trying to call the shots. I literally got in trouble at more than one job for being too advisory. (Of course, they didn’t say that, they said I was being a “know-it-all.”)
So, coming full circle, we get to the issue of a blog. I’ve tried for the past several years (and past several jobs) to tone down this “abrasive” inclination in myself. Perhaps a blog would be the perfect outlet to let that side of me run wild and unchecked. This is the internet after all, where anyone can say or do practically anything. But this is the fear I have: that my intentions will be misunderstood.
I’m not sure of the exact course I want this blog to take; the tone will change with my mood, no doubt. I want to share some of my insights on life. I want to tell some of the stories of my new life in this new place. I want to write recipes that will inspire or comfort you. I want you to laugh and cry with me, not because what I say has that power, but because maybe you can find a bit of yourself in me. Because maybe we all get mistook sometimes. Maybe we’re all just trying to be helpful. And maybe we all need a little help.