Soften Saturday is coming to you on Sunday this week. Thanks for your patience. I took a bit of time to go exploring this week.
There’s been so much negative chatter lately about being gluten-free, celebrities or news folks taking jabs at those who choose to eat gluten-free and even those who eat gluten-free not by choice, alleging those on a gluten-free diet are suffering from orthorexia, need mental health care, are irritating, full of baloney, it just goes on and on. I’ve had my back up about it. I’ve defended, advocated, grumbled, complained, pondered, tried to figure out how to stop this noise. And that’s truly what it is–noise. It’s standing in the way of me connecting with my true purpose. I’ve been thinking a lot about remaining relevant while stepping back from the noise.
I have to be honest in telling you I am concerned my work, my passion for creating recipes that taste great and also happen to be gluten-free, will be less relevant when the fad of gluten-free eating passes. Yet I have no choice but to create gluten-free recipes, as I cannot eat gluten. I worry when those eating gluten-free for some fad purpose move on to the next trendy diet, the tens of thousands of you who read my ramblings will dissipate to only a handful of folks who feel some obligation to stick around. Sometimes I do want to loudly assert to anyone who will listen, “My recipes, my dining recommendations, my travel tips: they are for EVERYONE!” It’s true, they are. I create tasty food and share where you can eat tasty food while traveling. It’s not just for those who are gluten-free. But it is for those who are gluten-free. This is a slippery slope, because I am truly not for everyone. But some days I want to be. How will I remain relevant when this day comes, when the trend has passed? Will my work still matter? Who, like me, will continue eating gluten-free out of necessity? Will the recipes still be created in someone’s kitchen other than my own?
And then I think about the necessity of sharing what’s happening in the world with my friends who are gluten-free, by choice or by necessity. I know many of you have Celiac disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity or very simply feel better when not eating gluten. I feel obligated to let my readers know when something unkind has been said about gluten-free folks so we can fix it. It’s so very relevant and I have felt a need to share it. I’ve spent a lot of time, put a lot of words on the screen lately, standing up for what I believe to be important. In doing so, I’ve created more noise but perhaps not more relevance. At least not the type of relevance that feeds my soul, that keeps me true to my purpose.
In thinking through all of this, I’ve realized where I feel most relevant is in the kitchen creating recipes and on the road or in the air, traveling to new destinations and sharing my finds with you. As hard as this is, I’ve decided I will no longer be sharing inflammatory news stories so I can focus on where I feel most relevant, where there is less noise and more focus. Truthfully, sharing the noise has distracted me from sharing a plentiful backlog of recipes and travel recommendations with you. I’ve got a recipe journal overflowing with new dishes, a travel journal full of restaurants, cafes, inns and hotels from my last few adventures. I let the noise get in the way of my purpose.
Thanks for understanding while I traipse down this jagged path, figuring out where I feel most relevant. Today it means I’m in the kitchen making deviled eggs and eating grits straight from a saucepan, trying to create the best cheese grits ever. I feel relevant in front of the stove, wooden spoon in hand. I’ve just returned from the South and have so much to share with you about my travels, the food, the incredible people I met on my journey. This sharing, it too makes me feel relevant. I’m going to work harder in this area and invest less in the noise. I appreciate you following along, or nudging me along as may be necessary, while I work this out. My drive to share has never been stronger, I just need to focus on reducing noise so I can get the truly good stuff to you, the juicy recommendations and recipes that affirm my purpose and ultimately help me feel relevant.
Tomorrow, a new recipe and perhaps a travel tale or two. I’ve got so much to share and today I’m casting the noise aside. Here’s to relevance….