Blogging is a tricky thing with a lot of blurred lines on how much is too much information to share. I started blogging almost five years ago on my (now neglected) recipe blog Bakin’ and Eggs. Although I did include some personal stories in that blog, the main focus of my posts was to share recipes. I never even considered the ramifications of sharing personal information on the internet because I really only posted about food and recipes and not so much about my day-to-day life. Also, my readership was relatively small and consisted mostly of family, friends, co-workers and friends of friends.
And then I started Peanut Butter Runner over two years ago at the urging of my friends and Bakin’ and Eggs readers to share how it is possible to make delicious home-cooked meals, bake frequently AND stay healthy. My interests in all things food, eating, cooking and baking as well being a fitness professional made a so-called “healthy living blog” a great choice for me. Peanut Butter Runner started small but after a few months (and after running the Marine Corps Marathon) the traffic quickly started to bypass Bakin’ and Eggs. Before I knew it, I was receiving thousands of page views each day and connecting with readers across the country and around the world. It was incredible and I felt so lucky to have a blog that allowed me to write about my passion for food and fitness while also including a look at my day-to-day life.
That was all fine and great until one year ago when my life completely changed. I quit my job. I switched career fields. I became my own boss. Initially I felt on top of the world but then found myself completely overwhelmed. I made so many life-changing decisions over the course of a year that I kind of lost perspective on what was reality. I was working most of the hours of the day. There were days that I would teach 5-6 classes, train clients and work on my blog. I was exhausted but so happy because I was doing what I dreamed of doing for so long. I considered it a price that I had to pay to be successful in this field and hoped the hours wouldn’t last forever…although it really never really felt like work. I loved every class and every client that I had the opportunity to teach/train.
It was amazing to have this blog as an outlet for sharing what happens when you set out a plan for yourself and change your life. I have received countless e-mails about how to change careers, how to break into the fitness industry, becoming a yoga teacher, getting into personal training, etc. I also received criticism for being so busy and working so hard. Without the time I committed to making this happen, it simply would not have. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to work like that but I am incredibly career-driven. I saw change happening and wanted to be successful. I honestly still can’t believe that I pulled it all off.
It wasn’t all a pretty picture though. In the height of the transition and crazy hours I withdrew from people that I cared about. I distanced my friends, parents, my grandmother and Brandon. I kind of became a machine that emotionlessly functioned at a high-level. And as a result of that some of my relationships began to unravel. Including my relationship with Brandon. I won’t get into the details about it but we remain close. He is my best friend and the person who knows me best. We support each other and wish each other nothing but happiness. Out of respect for him and our families that is all that I am comfortable sharing.
This is why I ultimately ended up accepting a full-time job managing Metro Fitness Club and Metro CrossFit. The promise of stability and a more set schedule was exactly what I needed. I feel so happy and grounded here. I cannot imagine a more perfect job for me in Charlotte.
Back to the opening sentence of this blog. The blurred line of how much information to share. I am fiercely private and as I was going through this emotionally tumultuous time (that I continue to struggle through every day), the last thing I wanted to do was share it publicly. And not only on the blog, I just didn’t want to talk about it at all. I have students, clients, staff, family and friends that read my blog and it didn’t feel right to write about intimately personal details about my life here. I’m not going to talk about what it feels like to cry on the kitchen floor. Or how to get through teaching a yoga class when you feel like you’re dying on the inside. Or how to digest food when your stomach is in knots. Or hitting bottom and finally allowing friends to support you.
Daily I stop and ask myself, “Is this my real life?” It’s beautiful. It’s painful. It’s paradoxical. Full of all my wildest dreams and worst nightmares that have come true all at the same time. What I want most is for things to be normal again. Whatever that new normal is, I just need to feel it. I want to smile every day without that ball of anxiety in the back of my mind. I want to let go and feel good.