[All photos in this post where taken at Loit Cafe in Downtown Los Angeles, more here.]
There’s a bit of surprise that you come across once you realize the hardest part about blogging isn’t blogging itself.
That kind of assured statement may not hold true for each person whose website you visit, but there’s a fair chance that more people than not will agree with it. As difficult as it is to stay up late to write blog posts or to attend events after work, that’s not the hardest part of being a blogger. Sure, the constant comparison on social media seems like it would be the clear cut winner, but as close to number one as it may seem it doesn’t take the spot. The hardest part about being a blogger isn’t blogging itself. The most difficult part about blogging, restaurant blogging in particular, is the relationships you lose along the way.
The friendships you make while sitting across a long table with plates of food at your hand are beautiful. They can be cherished and valued because there’s a mutual excitement of dining and photographing food. But that’s not the type of relationships I’m referring to. The type of relationships that can completely change the flow of your productivity in relation to your blog are the romantic ones. When you’re single, you don’t notice the difficulty because you have little to compare it to. When you’re in a loving relationship everything is so good that you never think about it. However when you left being single and entered a loving relationship and that long-standing relationship has come to an end, you feel how difficult it is. It’s in that moment that you realized you never knew how important a significant other has been to your restaurant blog, until he or she is gone. While in the growth and happiness of your relationship, that person came along with you on the development of your website and social media accounts. As the two of you became closer their role as your significant other advanced into the perfect plus one. They were your go-to person often above your best friend because dining out with that person usually felt like your date night. It was the time where the two of you created a stronger bond over food and cocktails. Even more, you saw your significant other’s level of patience as you took photos and appreciated their supportive nature towards you as recorded videos and reviewed food. Each time that happened, there was a warm feeling inside of you and it probably wasn’t thanks to the delicious food you ate.
But as time changed along with your personalities, the relationship came to an end and the hardest part about restaurant blogging began.
It becomes hard when you want to pick up the phone, scroll to their name, and call them excitedly inviting them to a dinner. But before you click “send” to speak to them, you notice that you can’t because when they said it was over that meant you could no longer reach out. You knew it was the end of the warm moments of affection, intellectual conversations, and building a future together, but you didn’t realize it how integral they were to what you do. That their opinion and laughter seamlessly became a part of your videos, that their smile and tattoos played a part in your photos, and that their presence at the table with you meant more than you could have imagined. Where they once were constantly in your life as a partner in your relationship they are now also gone as your friend in your business. It’s even harder knowing that your significant other was your favorite person to eat out with. That regardless of what happened during the dinner, how the service flowed, or what food was served that your significant other was always fluid to the night at hand. But with the breakup and the inability to reach out to the one who’s name glared across your phone more times that you can count there’s a void. That void is emotional because they’re no longer there and physical because each time you’re alone at a restaurant, they no longer sit across from you in the opposing chair.
That’s the reality that is hard for any blogger.
It’s hard to be excited on social media when your heart is broken. It’s lonely when you go to a restaurant and they’re absent. It feels quiet and vacant and although you want to jump to the part where you’re over it and have replaced them, time doesn’t work that way. It’s slow, painful, and deliberate and as much as you can try to compartmentalize the emotions, it affects your work. Of course you can always continue to review restaurants, but chances are you’re not as efficient as you used to be since your mind is distracted and your heart is hurting. The loss of the one you spent so much time with is gone and that therein is the most difficult and heart breaking truth. As this happened to me this past weekend, I know I’ll get over it with time but as of now, it’s hard to go to a restaurant without him sitting next to me. It’s hard knowing there won’t be those discussions with him and jokes between each other that are so loud that people at other tables want to know the punchline. Maybe we’ll come back together or maybe we won’t but regardless, I’ll get over it. Until then there’s an emptiness both literally and emotionally knowing that he’s no longer here and I would be a liar if I didn’t say that I hope he has the same feeling of emptiness too.