In the same way that I have learned to bake, so too have I been learning about how to blog. In the past few weeks, I have learned what a widget is, who is blogspot and wordpress, and how to incorporate a facebook badge. I still don't fully understand the difference between a label, a category and a tag but it's ok.
Every blogging tip I read on the internet dates between 2006-2009 so I thought I must be, not just a late adopter but a real lagger on the technology of blogging. But then, my memory got jolted and I suddenly recall writing about my mother-in-law in her final week before her body yielded to cancer. I had 3 blogs back in 2007 which I completely forgot about in the last 5 years. How is that even possible? I suppose it is, since we've also had incomplete diaries lying around in our school days.
For weeks, as I write passionately about my restaurant internship, my enrolment as a student in a culinary academy and my reluctance to learn food photography, I also muse about why I should blog. There are millions out there who can cook better, boast award-winning shots, write more wittingly, they are more famous, more beautiful, more whatever, and the world would soak up every detail. So why bother to write about my little life and my muffins no matter how puffy they get?
There are also many people who guard their privacy like a lion would its cubs. You can't even see a recognisable profile picture of them. They are smarter than to pour their entire life details to a scheming world. Unmanaged digital footprint comes back to haunt you with your next prospective employers, they've been warned. At this age, I need more hair than credentials, so because these future bosses don't matter, I don't mind.
An interviewer once said he googled my name before I walked into the room. I've never loved myself so much to google my own name! I smiled calmly and responded politely, Oh, really. My head screamed, What are you, a perverted stalker? He then played back to me what he found. He told me I holidayed in Switzerland in 2006 with my 12-year-old daughter, we cycled in the valleys and camped in the mountains. After an hour of listening to someone telling me about my life, I walked out with distaste at the interview and of course, my pathetic acquaintance with him ended there and then. Thankfully.
On the other extreme, there are bloggers who shout from the mountain top, Read all about me and my awesome life! You know the toothpaste brand they use and you are even allowed to peep into their bedrooms, if you care to.
I don't need to build a brand or manipulate it so my blog shows up in search engine algorithms or earn some miniscure revenues by shoving annoying advertisements into the faces of my readers, most of whom are friends. Would I blog even if no one read it? Yes. If I stopped and no one noticed, would it hurt me? No. If I didn't get comments on my blog, would I feel discouraged? No. Fast-forward 50 years later, when my great-granddaughter reads this, would she be amused that she had an opportunity to connect with me even when I'm no longer there? A resounding yes. On this basis, I have chosen to blog.
Just in the past weeks, about a thousand people have peered into my fridge to see how I store my food in a safe way to avoid cross-contamination and 3 people from Croatia, Latvia and Romania have read about my restaurant internship as they consider becoming chefs. Technology facilitates cross-border learning amongst strangers.
More importantly, I've re-connected with ex-colleagues from 2, even 3, jobs ago, made a new friend in Connecticut who switched careers at age 52, a fellow blogger from neighbouring Malaysia passionate about baking, and just very decent and sweet people who follow the blog to share our culinary experiences or who motivate each other on moving our own cheese as we go through this midlife phase. None of them seem to give two-hoots if they never gained an ounce of fame, they just want to learn from others to cook well for their families. Love is their motivation, and their passion drive their profession.
So for me to blog is to celebrate love and friendship, old and new. Cheers, my friends!
See my first anniversary blog post.