Slump… a word that no serious athlete or single wanna-be-dating person wants to hear. It’s also not something that I have wanted to admit that I’m in either. But Call Me a Food Lover is in a slump, or I guess more accurately, this Food Lover is in a slump.
Before you get the wrong idea, no I have not gone on a diet or taken up veganism and yes, I have been continuing on my quest to fill my stomach with amazing things every meal. So why, oh why am I having so much trouble motivating myself to share?
Well like any slump, it begins with a pit of doubt. Something that hits you even before you step into the batters box, (please excuse the baseball analogies but they’re going to continue throughout). It’s usually a feeling so minute that it should be shrugged off immediately. But since I’m still blogging in the minors, it doesn’t take much to play with my confidence or to lose my focus. And like every athlete who’s hit the wall physically, I realize that my struggles are completely a mental thing. It’s not that I haven’t been eating well, because I have been eating VERY well. It’s not like I haven’t been eating blog-worthy meals because I have recently taken up the quest to find the best, (according to me) Napoletanesque pizza in Vancouver. It’s not even that I haven’t been travelling, because in the past month I’ve been to Portland and Whistler and had some unique food experiences in both.
So what’s made me lose my desire to post lately?
Looking back now, I think it started with a friend’s status update on Facebook saying she was “very tired of people photographing every plate that arrives at their table. It’s quite annoying to those trying to ENJOY their food in a physical sense (vs. photographic) when a flash is going off every few minutes. Look at your food, wonder at it’s beauty, and savour every bite and the lingering memory that is both in your belly and head.”
At first I was offended, partially because I do that, (minus the flash – I try to be as discreet as possible in a restaurant when I’m taking photographs) but I also felt that just because people are taking photographs of their food doesn’t mean that they are enjoying their food any less in the physical sense. So just as quickly as this update pushed low enough into my Facebook news feed that I didn’t have to look at it anymore, I also forgot about the comment. Or did I?
Apparently not, because around the same time that I saw this comment, I had started making a conscious effort in my eating habits where I would determine meals that I would deem “bloggable” and those where I’d just be a participant and not a recorder. The result? Well I really enjoyed having those meals that were just for me and enjoyed not having to lug my camera around or feel guilty when my dining companions waited to take their first bite while I tried to compose a good photo.
At the same time those feelings of selfishness to my eating enjoyment started creeping in, I also had a new group of people who started reading CMAFL. They were so eager about what I was doing and offerred me lots of suggestions, (which I loved) but made me feel pressures about posting.
Put me in a situation where I’m allowed to indulge in my selfishness and couple that with the feeling I’m being pressured to do something and what’s the result going to be? What would be any slumper’s natural reaction? It’d probably be to squeeze the bat too hard, start taking bad pitches and strike out a lot. Or in my case, I’ve just refused to take the bat off my shoulder.
So that’s where I’ve been this past month, in Slumpville. But Call Me a Food Lover is a part of me and I know that I need to get myself back on track. I decided to write this post as a means of Slumpbusting. I’ve ruled out the physical and started working on my mental focus. I’m determined not to let distractions pull me away from what I want CMAFL to be, which has always been a fun tool to journal my food adventures through word and photo. I will continue to use positive feedback to encourage, but not feel pressures to be anything more than I am. I will also try harder to tune out the negatives, from outside and inside my mind, because when are they ever helpful? I won’t look too far ahead, because in the “here and now” that’s where I’m always best. These are the lessons I’m going to carry forward with CMAFL, and hopefully they’ll follow me in my everyday life as well.