It’s funny how the internet works. We anonymously hop around from site to site browsing through other people’s, often very personal, content. Occasionally dropping a comment here or there when the content strikes us in a certain way, good or bad. Then the anonymity starts to fade and you begin to form relationships with the people behind the sites you are regularly commenting on. Real relationships begin to form from these random moments when our virtual paths cross. I have handfuls of irl friends that I’ve made through the food blogging world and I can’t imagine life without them.
Tyler and I started What We’re Eating over seven years ago, back when we were silly kids still in college with no idea that food blogs even existed. We had a piece of cheese (humbolt fog), our first DSLR and inspiration to create. Well, that and Tyler was fresh out of college with his computer science degree and I was still cooking my way the long road through school. We had no idea that an inspired, hair-brained idea of a website would lead us to being part of what is now an enormous, bustling food blog community.
About six months after starting WWE, we began receiving comments from people that were complete strangers to us. Wooooooah, wait? People are finding our site and actually reading it? And shit! There are other people who are blogging about food out there too? Craziness! Some of the first people I became friends with are still around in the community today and are going strong as ever.
In 2006 this chick, Nicole, who was living in Sicily with her at-the-time husband who was stationed there, started to come around WWE and leave comments. She had just turned her travel blog into a food blog, Pinch My Salt, and was taking beautiful photos and writing moving content about her experience in Italy. All through 2006 and 2007 we became virtual friends, living on separate continents then something crazy (or not so crazy) happened: her husband got orders to be stationed back in San Diego, where they had previously lived AND where I was currently residing. It took us over half of a year to actually connect in real life, but once we did, it was on! Nicole has been my biggest food blogging inspiration and one of my closest friends for the past five years. Nearly every day for a few years while we were both living in SD we would hit grocery stores, the cookbook section of bookstores, and fabulous (and mediocre, let’s not kid ourselves) restaurants around town. Without Nicole’s influence on my life I would never have written a cookbook or lost over 100 lbs. I’d say that’s a pretty special friend!
She is also 100% the reason why I am doing NaBloPoMo. I witnessed her doing it back in the day and thought she was insane. When she announced this year that she would be taking part again, my first response was, ”you loco, biatch!” But then I started to think about it. I’ve been living in the tropics for nearly two years now and blogging as minimally as possible. I lost my blogging mojo somewhere along the way. Inspired by Nicole, I jumped on the bandwagon and signed up for this crazy thing hoping that the outcome would be something along the lines of “How Amanda Got Her Groove Back”. So far I have been avoiding writing as much as possible, but dammit, it’s the writing I need to work on the most, because that’s what’s holding me back. So here I am, writing about what inspires me. Nicole, that’d be you! Doing this NaBloMoDoJo, or whatever the hell it is, has me starting to feel like maybe I am still a blogger. And though we interact through facebook regularly, it has me feeling a little twinge of that inspiration that I used to get from you on the daily.
In the month where we as a culture are especially mindful of all we have to be thankful for, this post is for you! I’m thankful for your friendship and all you’ve been and done for me over the years. There were high points and there were low points, but that’s how life is. I’m so glad to still have you by my blogging side, even if life has once again separated us by an ocean. Consider this post one loooooooooong uncomfortable hug. Love you, my dear!