Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
In 2010, it was a person. In 2011, it was an idea. In 2012, it was a symbol represented by a person. In 2013, I let go fear. In 2014, I let go of humility (or the desire to appear humble). In 2015, I let go of perfection.
This year, I let go expectations. Much like my one word, I realized that disappointment came with expectations.
I could only appreciate things as they are. As they truly are. And most of all, to accept them.
What had always surprised me the most about my book was the fact that most people don’t think like me. They don’t enjoy food the way I do. They don’t savor the stories of people who make the food. Nor do the stories elevate the food for them as it does for me.
Sometimes I find myself looking through my own writing—the struggle of finding an interpreter during the protests in Istanbul or the uneasy overnight in a dairy farm, I think in a dazed moment, “How did this writer really know what I like and love?”
Then I remember, “Oh it’s me.”
I wrote for myself, of course. Whether or not I have this streak of self-centeredness and narcissism, it surprised me that others don’t have the same mindset. And it’s disappointing to pitch my book to people at book festivals, at bookstores, at ice cream shops, and to find that the interest wavers.
And what’s more is that so many people suggest do this or do that, but have they stood with me in those precarious moments? When I was at a festival, pushing, but not pushing too hard my book? When I look at a passerby who loves the concept, but the comments are only “Wow, that’s so amazing!”
There’s a hesitation in all of that. Good enough, but not good enough. That’s the trouble of writing sometimes. To write for yourself, but realizing that you can’t. Not always. Not until you find that others will truly feel like you.
Will you enjoy this as much as I did?