Hello, 2020! A new year and a new decade. It’s so exciting to see you, finally. Happy New Year, and happy SIXTH birthday to Feast + West!
Six years ago, I started a new project on New Year’s Day.
It was 2014. I was single. I’d been laid off. I had moved back to my hometown. I was living with my dad. I was “new” in the city with few friends. I was lonely. And most of all, I was embarrassed about everything.
I felt like a failure. And I needed an outlet. Badly.
I was freelancing graphic design, but it wasn’t enough for me.
I wanted to create. I wanted to make good food and share it with people. I wanted to write about the places I went and tell people how it inspired me. I wanted to find awesome designers, products, apps and tools and encourage people to support small businesses.
But most of all, as a reader of blogs for years, I wanted a place of my own on the Internet to tell it all.
So when I was housesitting for my brother in Washington, D.C., I hit publish on my very first post on Feast + West.
Six years and 692 published posts later, I think it’s definitely safe to say I’ve done all of that!
My amazing readers have been here with me since the beginning.
Through a transition from freelance to a full-time job, through losing both my grandmothers, through meeting my husband and our engagement and recent wedding…
It’s sure hard to imagine a life without this blog, and I’m not stopping anytime soon.
As I mentioned in my Best of Feast + West 2019 post, last year you guys made me a finalist in the 2019 Saveur Blog Awards for Best Entertaining Blog. (Jaw still on the floor, by the way.)
It’s absolutely part of my motivation to keep going. But mostly? I just love it.
Feast + West has evolved a lot over these last six years.
For example, I don’t write as much about apps or designers as I used to. (Should I? Do you miss that? Tell me.)
As you might have seen in my 2019 recap, cocktails still rule the roost — you guys love them and I love making them. I try to squeeze in some appetizers and desserts now and then, too!
Travel advice took a bit of a backseat in 2019. Those posts are epic and take me a long time, and they just fell off my list last year. But they’re something I plan to bring back this year.
I am feeling good vibes about 2020. I joked when we were planning our wedding that I didn’t want to get married in 2020 because “it didn’t feel like a real year.”
I guess I just wasn’t ready, because it’s here now and I’m here for it.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on my goals for Feast + West in the past. (Here’s 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.) I always do this because it helps me check in with where I wanted to be the year before and plan for the year ahead.
In 2020, I hope to:
- post more on the blog
- get back into a yoga routine
- cook more meals at home
- have more parties
- make new friends (and keep the old)
- live more minimally
- write more birthday cards and thank you notes
- buy fewer clothes
- get enough sleep
- take care of my skin/body/self
… just to name a few!
I’m not really making any hard and fast resolutions this year, but I do think setting some little goals like these ones can help you change your mindset and live life how you like it.
To me, that’s what a new year is all about — taking a moment to reset and think about how you can do more for yourself.
Mostly, my motto this year is to “keep going.” That’s what my grandmother told her nurses was her secret to living to 92.
She died two weeks ago, and I intend to honor her and her legacy. 2020 is definitely dedicated to her.
As always, I will take a second to encourage you too— if there’s something you want to do this year, you can do it!
Start your blog, open your shop, pick up that hobby, quit your job, take the trip.
You can do it. YOU can do it. You CAN do it.
As one of my childhood friends used to say, “Pull a Nike and just do it.”
If there’s a project you’ve been thinking about, just start. Start small, start big, whatever. Just start.
If I can encourage you in any way, tell me.
I’m also always here if you have ideas, questions, suggestions, etc.! Feel free to email or leave a comment — I try to read and reply to them all.
Happy new year, my friends. Thank you for six amazing years, and here’s to the next six! See you soon with a new recipe. // susannah
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