Hello, 2019! You’re going to be a big one! Happy New Year, and happy FIFTH birthday to Feast + West!
Every year for the last four years, I’ve started the new year with my ‘Hello, Year’ post, to look ahead to the next year.
I always share a photo of my feet standing somewhere that made me happy the year before:
- A rug in a cute shop in Raleigh my childhood BFF took me to,
- The doorway to a local storefront I visited with my mom,
- A snazzy hotel in Durham where I met an old friend for drinks,
- The floor of a photo booth at a maker’s market in Nashville to which I dragged Chris,
- The ginkgo-lined street in D.C. where my college best friend lives.
All memories of beautiful places I visited with people I love.
I remember writing each of these posts. I always just write it and post it right then, not schedule it ahead of time like I do with some recipes and travel recaps. From my desk or from a friend’s couch — wherever I may be.
Though I usually write this post on January 1, this year that didn’t go as planned.
And who cares? Four-Years-Ago Me would have cringed at the thought of going off-schedule.
2019 Me is grateful for a chance to be spontaneous once in a while, the opportunity to switch things up. It’s a gift.
When I think back to five years ago, when I wrote my first-ever post here on Feast + West, had someone asked me where I wanted to be in five years, would I have answered with where I am now?
I’d like to think so in some ways — living in a house, working full-time, engaged to the best guy — sure. I hoped for that! But there’s no way I could have pictured where my blog would be now.
On Jan. 1, 2014, I started from zero. No followers, no recipes, no real know-how of what bloggers do. Just a willingness to try, to be spontaneous, to put the things I love out there in the world.
In the last five years, I’ve learned so so much, met some amazing people and am so proud of how far this little corner of the Internet has come.
Though 2018 was a quieter year, my quietest yet, Feast + West is actually doing great, and growing so much. On top of getting to create awesome content for you, and for me, I’m earning a side income from digital advertising, which enables me to do more things I love, like travel!
I had a professor in school who used to tell us, on hard days: “You don’t have to do this. You get to do this.”
I try to remember that every time I’m having a rough go of things. Like when I’m feeling too worn out to make a new recipe, or worried I don’t have time for X, Y or Z. I had a lot of those days last year.
Last year felt both long and short at the same time, somehow, but I feel like I ended the year with a good balance and handle on life, and I’m excited to take that with me into 2019.
From balance grows the chance to be spontaneous, and that’s something I’m so glad I get to do, in beautiful places alongside people I absolutely adore.
And that includes you! I’m excited for a great year ahead. Wait, no, another five! Ten! More! I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us both.
Thank you for reading and happy new year, my loves. // susannah