We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
~ T. S. Eliot
At best, it’s termed “brave and spontaneous”; at worst, it’s branded as suicide. Leaping into the unknown, I mean. People cope well with jumping onto a trampoline, or onto a stack of mattresses, or à la bungy… not so well with free falling.
And really, I am not usually one to love uncalculated leaps. Especially with my fear of heights.
But I’m here today to say goodbye. With no new public creative venture to announce. No legit-sounding explanations for the gap that will appear in my creative/blog CV shortly. No tissues and no heartbreak to blame for the sudden departure.
I’ll admit that a barrage of thoughts are coursing through my mind now – Am I crazy (probably yes)?? What if I regret this? What are my readers going to THINK or SAY? Cooking’s going to feel so weird. Will I still take photos of my food? How am I going to be interesting now that I will no longer be “Mel who blogs about food”? Here I am, quitting again…
But amidst the current storm in my brain, I already know that this – for now, at least – is right.
When I started this blog, I was a little unsettled. I had relocated twice that year between countries 10 plane hours’ apart, I had badly bruised two hearts (a boy’s and mine), and I was promoted and demoted at work in the rapid space of two months. I was hungry for inspiration and stability. I had my faith, people who loved me unconditionally and some pretty fantastic things going for me – but I was still grieving internally and feeling a little adrift. I knew that I needed to anchor myself, and that I needed to find a way to stay in love with life and people and myself if I didn’t want to turn into another jaded, ungrateful human being.
This blog may have started randomly from insomnia, but it was, consciously or not, part of that quest for love and calm and fun. I bought Tessa Kiros’s “Falling Cloudberries” and got to work (some of you who have read my blog for a while will remember my initial cookthrough project). I cooked. I ate. I took bad photos. I wrote.
And – amazingly – you read (seriously, thank you…). Some of you wrote to me (and heck, someone from TVNZ wrote to me – and I didn’t go on TV, but it was a gleeful moment I will always treasure – thank you TVNZ!). Some of you graciously ate my kitchen experiments, and even praised it. Some of you offered to send me food products to sample and review. Some of you patiently let me photograph your food before we ate. Some of you became my personal food and blog champions, reminding me to blog, cooking with/for me, and giving me suggestions on what to make next.
It has been absolutely wonderful. Thank you for being a part of my Treehouse Kitchen journey. (Frankly, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the blog bit of my love journey half as much without you).
So… I wonder if you are thinking… fast forward to now. Why kill a good thing?
Ah, I was half hoping I wouldn’t have to answer that. That bit’s a little harder to explain. It’s not that I don’t like you, or that I’ve developed an eating disorder, or that I no longer want to write. Au contraire to all of the above.
The truth is…
…that this is one step in my current dying process. Sorry, I know this sounds unpalatable – but it’s not literal death (bear with me).
This won’t make sense to you, dear readers, because there is a wider story of what has been and is going on in my world that is way too much for me to summarise in a post. Suffice to say, it has been quite a journey filled with growth and grief – and I have reached a fork in the road with a few things in my life where I’ve had to choose between following my past, societal expectations, worldly wisdom and familiarity; or swimming wholeheartedly towards what I know within me to be true.
It’s taken me a while to make my choice, because the second route undoubtedly calls for sacrifice, and death to self and security… but I’ve finally concluded (however apprehensively) that I would much rather risk all to gain something bigger than mediocrity.
So I know that I don’t need to quit this blog to make that choice. I still love food and writing, and plan to continue steadfastly with both. I might even continue to photograph my food and pepper some of your sites with my comments ;-)…
But I guess concluding Treehouse Kitchen is really more of a symbolic action. You see, I’ve just given up another major fixture in my life recently too – and it’s scary and unsettling and sad, but I like looking myself in the eye in the morning now, seeing a girl becoming a woman who is still scared but happy to keep moving forward regardless.
And that is the way I want to live… waking in the morning and feeling alive, afraid, a little uncomfortable and rather happy, finding my happiness and security in the right things.
I guess this is me closing the doors on a few things have come to form a layer of (false?) security for me, so that I can start swimming wholeheartedly towards… well, life.
Again, thank you for your comments, linky-love and all – I truly appreciate it more than words can say. I will keep the site up for now until I’ve decided what to do with it, and I will continue to enjoy reading my emails and comments should you care to write in.
And you’ve reached the end of my very long post. Till next time, mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup [one of my favourite French sayings which means “live well, love much, laugh often”!]