Life is funny sometimes. You think you know who you are, what you want, where you’re going. And then life has a big laugh at your expense and changes everything.
Almost two years ago I graduated from a top public health master’s program and moved back to Ohio with my husband to get a great and intellectually challenging job, buy a house, start a family, and have it all and do it all. Imagine that perfect modern woman (who doesn’t really exist), and that was going to be me.
Instead, I found a horrible job that was so interpersonally challenging it triggered a bout of depression and stressed me to the point of stopping ovulation. On the up side we did find a great house that we love! But the rest of life wasn’t going to plan. Cue the laughter from above.
So we had to adapt. I started looking for other jobs while seeing how long I could last in the horrible one. Four months turned out to be my limit. Without a next step planned, but with my husband’s full support, I quit the job. Then I started therapy. This was the first time in my life that I didn’t know where I was going. I have always had some kind of plan, even if it changed along the way. I’m a planner. I’m very goal oriented. Once I set my mind on where I want to be or what I want, I get there. This time I was lost, lacking a focused purpose. This frustrated some people in my life (besides me). It’s hard to see me, married with no kids, complaining about being home all day with no external responsibilities. But it’s hard to see and understand what depression looks like, too. (For the record, the husband was not one of those people. He has always been and still is fully supportive of me. Love you!).
Slowly but surely, things started to turn around. Therapy gave me back pieces of me that allowed me to function a little more. I started to understand that the struggle at the job wasn’t my fault and I needn’t feel guilty for wanting out. My body sorted itself out and in the spring we learned that we were pregnant, and we are now days away from welcoming a little boy to our family.
What does all of this have to do with For the Love of Food? My lack of motivation and desire to share here has always been a symptom of something not going right in life. When I feel my best I’m excited to draft creative posts and take photos of the food I love. When I feel great I want to experiment with new foods and new recipes. When I don’t feel good, I eat chips and salsa for lunch, cook my poor husband boiled potatoes for dinner, and just want to watch CSI reruns on cable.
But things are still turning around and getting better. Since life flipped me upside down, I have renovated our master bathroom and closet, redecorated our family room, prepared our home for the new baby, and become a better partner to my husband (I think). Pregnancy hasn’t been easy on me, no doubt impacted by my struggles, stealing my sleep, energy, and general health. And I’m well aware that baby’s arrival will not reinstate these things to me. But I feel more capable of coping, asking for help, and giving myself a break when I don’t meet my (usually unrealistic) expectations.
I can’t promise that my blog will now be regularly updated with fun new recipes and witty banter, but it is becoming more likely. Even if it’s just a recipe for a constipation-busting smoothie for fellow pregnant ladies. 🙂