Last night, I had a bit of a breakdown. I had been fighting it for a bit, but in my mother’s home, in the midst of warmth and security, I gave in and let it all out. As an Arts student, I have always been ridiculed for my choice of vocation. And had it not been for my supportive family, I probably would have buckled under pressure and quit school and turned into a reclusive anti-social element (not that I’m too far away from being one now, but you get the idea).

There was a temporary phase in my life when I did well, academically. I was studying English Literature under the fine tutelage of the city’s best teachers, enjoying every moment of every class, every hour of library silence, every exam, even. It showed on the mark sheets, and for the first time since primary school, I was in the “cream” of the class. When I finished my Masters and went on to take several jobs as editor, teacher, and instructional designer, I was happy with my work. Happy that I was respected—or so I thought. Then, when I discovered I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to quit and be a stay-at-home mum. Around that time, my love for food blogging was blossoming, and I knew I was in a happy place. Apparently, however, it’s not something that garners respect in certain circles.

My parents and brother are super-enthusiastic; my father gifted me the camera I use so that I could take more “professional” photographs. My brother shoots and edits all the videos I put up on this blog. I am blessed to have a supportive husband in MK who pushes me to experiment, to write, to expand my horizons. It is he who has helped me accept the fact that my real happiness is in a career that has something to do with food. It fit in perfectly with my decision to stay at home and watch my daughter grow. Surprisingly, I have been more regular and have probably bettered my craft since Avanee’s birth. I wrote 30-odd posts in 2010, the year Avanee was born; and one year since, I have already crossed 60 posts. In a strange way, I think Avanee’s birth gave my life direction.

So, having decided that food is the way to go, I am seeking work, enjoying my “struggle” as I go along. There are up days and there are down days. And there are the days when you wonder if you’ll ever be able to wean your toddler and find your independence. But the worst kind are the days when someone comes along and says something nasty and discouraging without even realizing it. And although your head (and your husband) tells you not to pay attention to it, you do. You think about it all the time, you lose sleep over it, and one day, sitting next to your mum after a particularly perfect meal, you break down and let the tears roll, wallowing in self pity for a few minutes. Not realizing, that although you’re still your mum’s daughter, you’re also your daughter’s mum now. And she’s watching you. She’s looking at you with a smile and trying to tell you that’s it’s OK. And when that adorable smile makes you burst into tears some more, she climbs up on your lap and gives you a tight hug. She’s all of 19 months old, and to her, whatever you do is perfect. She just doesn’t want to see mummy cry.

Nothing else could have strengthened my resolve like my daughter’s encouraging hug. Everything else can eat dirt. 

I am a food blogger. And that’s what I’ll be.