Sharing My Thoughts

A week or so ago I found myself staring at my blog, pondering the photos I take for it and the content I produce. It wasn’t until then that I realised I haven’t done a personal post over here on so long. Sure the odd bit of my life makes it into snarky sub-clauses in sentences on blogs or my general mood over on my social media channels reflects my attitude, emotions and what is going on but part of me wants to bring this blog back to including a bit of me.

Sure, this is the place of the Cooking Up A Treat household but it is also my space and somewhere that I feel is a home of its own. There is also a lot of “I” but not the sort with any substance and the change in my language from exciting, descriptive and slow has changed over time as I have got lazy in my trained journalism ways. My mind knows exactly what needs doing and yet that very rarely gets implemented; this is something that will be fixed from, by the latest, the start of February.

But right now here we are with a raw blog post, completely breaking the blogging other day trend by wedging itself right in between two normal posts, that doesn’t have anything more than the header of my site to call an image. I mean I can think of images that would work perfectly but my access to locations is that of the average person and therefore it was no images or bad random images; bad and weird imagines put me off a post much more than a lot of words so here we are.

These thoughts all came about after I chatted with one of my wonderful friends, whilst watching Palace get trounced in the FA Cup on the big screen in Boxpark, about how part of me wants to start a podcast and chat about all the football, culture and politics things that I used to chat about.

For newer readers let me fill you in on a bit about me; I used to cover Crystal Palace (including appearing on the club radio station that has since ceased to exist) as well as women’s football for a national newspaper, there was a time when I covered theatre and general local cultural events and back on my old blog in 2011 I won awards for my politics journalism but in 2015 serious depression and anxiety hit and all that, along with the journalism degree I was studying, went up in a puff of smoke never to be within reaching distance again. It is something that I always wanted to return to but was happy enough to plod along with my blog and the odd feature appearance elsewhere as my hobby in the mean time. Whilst changing my blog into my career is a pipeline dream it is not at all the aim or something that I considered when trying to pick up the pieces and get my life going again.

But people no longer know me for hitting the theatre once or twice a month, for getting invited to restaurant soft launches or that I actually know a reasonable amount about football (and in fact far too many sports to list). They just know me as this crazy lady that gets a bit panicked about things, finds themselves either at work or doing things for the local Labour Party and occasionally whacking a photo of something mundane onto my Instagram.

In fact at times I often question if I know who I am. The idea of Self is an extremely complex thing however and I more mean this in the sense of the “how do I fit into this group of friends? What do I bring to the table to make my presence worthwhile?” sort of ‘who I am’ rather than being defined as ‘the theatre-goer’ or the ‘foodie’ etc because those labels put somebody in a box and causes, known or otherwise, a sense of restriction about branching into other things or moving on. It is much more that I do little talking, expressing my interests or showing my knowledge to show who I am or what I am actually about and that is something that I want to desperately change.

Over 2018 there will be a reduction of doing things that I don’t want to do or enjoy in my life. There are certain things that I tolerate because they assist with the struggle to a better world but there are many things I find myself doing with no benefit or in fact any level of enjoyment. With this there will be time to focus more on my passions, hobbies and things that I enjoy and that realisation on how I allocate my time allowed my mind to further open up about what I actually want from my life right now.

I mentioned wanting to do a podcast to my partner recently, after the thought had been brewing in my mind for months before mentioning it to my friend or him, and he said he had been thinking of starting one too. Perhaps we could do some wild joint venture or maybe we could enter some great competition between the two of us to see who does better each week. My recording skills are, to be kind on them, a little rusty but radio and podcasting was always something I took to naturally; I nearly switched to doing the extended BTEC in radio when I started at college at 16 to do my extended BTEC in print-based media but the confidence of my voice meant I trundled along and learnt the skills of photoshop and illustrator instead (I got the best grades of all two years in my radio module of creating adverts, doing news stories and producing a radio show; perhaps one day I will listen to my true calling).

The thing is though… I still lack confidence in a bizarre way. You will barely hear my voice on Instagram stories or see my face on my grid. I hardly take any photos in a year and whilst I have been known to shut down a few unruly people in council selection meetings as an LCF delegate speaking in a room of people makes me nervous because “what if they hate my weird mangled northern accent?” whirls around in my head constantly. This is despite people telling me I smash my speeches, that I am able to use tone well and that I have got up and done a five minute speech in front of a hall of random people at a conference, produced videos at fifteen and appeared on local radio stations and being invited back at 17 etc etc (I hate talking about my successful times too because lacking confidence does that too you HA). Clearly I have the skills and previous experiences that mean I know I can do this so be quiet brain.

But this is my year for wanting to be happy and succeeding at doing things I like and make my heart feel good. This is not some career move, it really breaks my heart when people set up a blog, YouTube or podcast with the singular focus of it “looking good on the CV” (I have no issue with people making a career out of these but people that set up something specifically to get into some sector of journalism like darling it isn’t 2010 anymore), but simply something that I have loads of ideas for and talking about all the things floating around in my head will help to reground me and remind me of the things that I really enjoy.

Now just to sit down and plan it with my partner (of very nearly eight years might I add), though his doubts might mean it ia just me plodding along chatting to myself, to figure out a structure, timeline, where to publish it and how we are/I am going to go about recording it etc.

Would you be interested in more personal updates on my blog? Is a podcast that covers politics, recent events, football and more something that interests you? Perhaps you have some tips or suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!

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