See, I have this thing where I like to take pictures of my food. And I know people laugh but hear me out. Thing is, I have a blog to build. And a career. Or at least a body of work to show off that’ll give me a shot at a career one day. It’s important for me to keep creating. And I can’t speak for everyone who takes pictures of their food, or for those who chuckle or seem offended or get irrationally angry at people for doing so, but I’m navigating a world where being as “vapid” or “self-absorbed” as I’ve been called by strangers in coffee shops is generously remunerated and rewarded with fulfilling opportunities. And If I don’t graft for those, someone else will.
It’s just the way it is. It’s the people who take pictures of themselves, their food, their grumpy cats, their downward dogs, and their lives who have the interesting careers. These are the people who don’t have to surrender to strenuous side-jobs or endure tedious office work to support their craft. These are the vloggers who make a living talking about themselves, the makeup artists getting paid to pass on their tricks of the trade, the fitness enthusiasts that reveal what gets them pumped, the travel-junkies who take you on an adventure with them, and the food bloggers who give you a slice of their lives. These are the people who have taken many, many selfies, written many, many words, produced many, many stories to build a solid amount of content to convert their passions into a full-time living.
I do what I do because I’m hopelessly in love. With great food, whisky, writing, creating, building a brand, developing an audience, finding my voice, meeting new people, connecting with old friends, and enjoying the gems that my beautiful city has to offer, plus the wonderful things that the world has in store. I’m in love with the knowledge that every day I’m building something that I can call mine. I’m in love with my ability to look at something I’ve created and to know that I am capable. I’m in love with the realisation and the confidence that one day I could be my own boss. I’m in love with the person that the anxious graduate, the struggling actress, the despondent waitress, and the lost intern would all be proud to become, to grow from believing they once had nothing to offer, no future, no skills, and no worth. I do what I do because I think about how much time I spend consuming things other people have created – books, film, tv, music, art, theatre, food, fashion, and practical things like that plastic bit at the end of your shoelaces. Turns out it’s very useful.
I do what I do because I think about the journey all of those people went through by investing thousands of hours into an idea, failing, learning, laughing, crying, and then getting up and turning it into something. I do what I do because I think of how many people went from starting where I am, to creating the things that I can’t live without, and inspiring me to think “I can do that, too”. I do what I do because it’s empowering to build the skills that get me out of bed every morning, even at times when nothing else will – skills that I can no longer wait or ask for the opportunity to learn, but skills that I will throw countless hours at in order to teach myself, and one day pass onto others.
So to those who do like to have a chuckle at me bending over an espresso, trying to find the perfect angle, all I can say is that, as much as I slightly envy you for being exactly where you want to be in your life, I’m still finding my angle, pretending to know what I’m doing. I’m still faking it til I make it. And I’m still learning how to capture every moment along the way. One blurry, out of focus, overly-filtered moment at a time. Hope that makes sense. And if it doesn’t, that’s fine too.
Here is a picture of some vegetables I cooked one day. They tasted average because I can’t cook. They went cold because I was taking pictures of them. And I’m pretty sure the picture’s upside-down. But it’s mine. And I love it.