Blogs can record a personal history of sorts. Through the words and photos, they share a story of life and living. What does this blog say about me?
This has been my space for nearly 12 years. It’s where I talked about Will as an infant, while I learned to write about food — and find my cooking style too. And it’s where Paige made her debut, a little while after her birth. They’ve both grown up through the posts of my site, and eaten nearly every recipe I have ever made.
And yet, sometimes it catches me. I’ll be looking for a recipe and stumble on a post from nine or 10 or 11 years ago, and see a different version of myself. That version is a young mother, desperately trying to figure out where she fit in the world, trying to make her marriage work and tired from the stress of raising two kids who didn’t love to sleep. She was filled with big dreams that she chased relentlessly, but never quite felt like she was reaching — even as markers of success popped up around her. And she was scared of how life might change.
Sometimes, I barely recognize her.
But then I do. I see the hopefulness in her words and the way she connected with others. She struggled with concealing the bits of her life she didn’t want shared, carefully crafting sentences. In those words, there was exhaustion, too, and a sense of cheering herself through the hardest of days.
That was a lifetime ago.
Today, I am a single mother raising two strong, smart, driven children while juggling multiple work and social and family commitments. I am someone who knows that this is a new season of life — a perspective that my younger self desperately wanted but couldn’t quite grasp.
In retrospect, I can see the successes. The big writing gigs and the on-air appearances, for instance. It’s all so clear now that it’s in the past. And though I have changed so much since those earlier years, I am still — in some ways — the same woman chasing big dreams. They’re just a little different and even bigger these days. (Downtown kitchen store and cafe business plan? I am looking at you.)
I wonder what I will see when I look back on these days — the ones where my kids are coming into their own as people. The stress, the schedules, the wants, the needs … what will be the things I remember the most through my writing? Moreover, what do I want to see?
I hope I look back and see someone who struggled but triumphed. I hope I see this as a time when my kids and I traveled, lived, laughed and learned.
But most of all, I hope I see happiness.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.