I used to love taking photos. And documenting my day. And sharing my thoughts. And then somewhere along the line that shifted away. I began to feel dis-ease instead of joy when sharing. There is surely an irony in feeling a disconnect in attempts to create connections. Honestly, I think instagram caused a lot of the dis-love feelings I felt. It no longer felt like a place to actually connect— it felt like a battlefield trying to create the right content to be heard and seen.
But at the beginning of this year, I decided I would challenge myself to take and post a photo on social media every day. I wanted to take photos that maybe didn’t fit the algorithm box to be shared— but rather, could spotlight the little, seemingly insignificant moments in my day-to-day. I wanted to share photos and words that I felt value in and grateful for, even if instagram did not share my same sentiment.
Well, I posted for 14 days straight (with the exception of a day without cell service). And then I stopped. And I haven’t posted since. Not because I hated it, but mostly because it made me realize how I missed posting on my own time. Posting without self-imposed guidelines and rules. And posting because I wanted to share those passing snapshots in time and stories of small, but lovely moments I felt in my day and in my life. I wanted to share more than instagram would allow. More photos than the allotted 9 or 10. More words than the 2,200 character limit. More stories, more feelings, more emotions. And I wanted more security to have a permanent place to share my thoughts without worry that all would be deleted in a matter of minutes due to instagram’s new censorship model.
I missed this place.
I miss this place.
This place was part of my life and home for almost an entire decade before I checked out. I miss writing because I feel like it. I miss posting photos without worry about them being shown or not. I miss documenting my life and the ability to look back on things I might have otherwise forgotten. I miss the creative outlet this space provides me. And more. I missed this space not only for the connections (and maybe a bit for the income), but also: I truly missed this space for myself.
I’m not sure where I’m going from here. I want to say, “I’m back, I’m here again!” But I can’t make promises now because there are so many shifts and *up in the air’s* approaching in the next month and a half or so. I do want to say that I have started and very much intend to finish a long (omg so very long) blog story on my life in the year of covid— picking up and leaving, settling in an outdoor bungalow in the rainforest of Costa Rica, finding and making a home in Mexico, and more.
I want to share it all.
But like most things here in Mexico, things take far more time than planned. And while I do miss this place, I’ve much more enjoyed using my hands to make art outdoors every day rather than typing away on heat radiating device inside at home. For reference– I have been on the computer for a minimum of two hours from the moment I started this post to now– and I’m not near the end of the work to get this post completed and published. Everything in this space takes SO MUCH time– much more than imagined on the outside. But I want to find a balance. And I want to make a plan— or aim to plan— to come back here more often— to share the day to day— and more.
And… if I’m being completely forthright, there is also the reality that this place was indeed a full-time job for 8+ years. Both financially and in use of time. It won’t and can’t be that now. As of now, I have zero intent to post sponsored content. I’ll be honest, I truly loved working with companies that aligned with my life to create beautiful and unique content, but I think I’m just too far from that right now. And in a world where travel-blogging is now dead and living in a place without a mailman, sponsored posts won’t be supported well. So yes, in a weird way, this ‘pandemic’ killed my job too.
And while I’d love to have an infinite amount of time in my life, I sadly do not. Life is forever short and I’m not sure I can rationalize the idea of spending this much time daily, away from parenting and all my other day to day responsibilities without the benefit of a provided income as an outcome. After all, inefficiency of time is my biggest pet-peeve in life (and the whole scrapping of a metal utensil on your teeth thing). And the input to output in all things in my life must align.
I’ve had many people suggest adding a patreon option to my site. I’m not opposed to it— but only if I can truly guarantee somewhat regular content. I’d like to do this, but again, there are so many shifts coming up. I have zero idea what my day to day will look like over the next six weeks or so. But I’m sure it’ll be an adventure and I plan to live those days with a camera in hand. And I hope to share more posts of sneaks into my daily, sometimes humble, but sometimes (what I think is) magnificent life on here through the process.
And so, by recommendation of many of you and by putting all my personal overthinking and doubts aside, I’d like to mention that if you’ve ever felt helped by, supported by, inspired by, or connected to ohdeardrea and would like to support this place further, you can send a donation to this space.
Maybe you’ve enjoyed a recipe, or felt less alone in the world. Maybe you’ve seen gains in your own health by me sharing what worked to recieve health gains in my own. Maybe you’ve found a product or book you’ve loved or design ideas. Maybe you just thoroughly enjoyed spending your time reading my words and would like to offer a little money to support the works and efforts that have gone into this space over the years. This is a suggestion only, and of course, only if you feel called and are in a financial place to offer such kindness.
You can send donations to ohdeardrea using paypal, venmo, or cashapp.
The username is ohdeardrea on all three 🙂
Again, I don’t expect anything from you guys– except kindness, respect, and your support. It’s entirely up to you if you’d like to show monetary support. No judgment on my end. No expectations either. I love you either way 🙂
I’m even thinking to set up a private account– something where I can get more personal and open (is that even possible? Haha). A patreon membership of sorts. To post private content for subscribers only. The details of life, more recipes, more how-tos, more of whatever feels right– without holdbacks. A dream and hope for the future for now, but something I hope to make real.
For now, I wanted to come here and share these snapshots from yesterday (1/20/21). A simple day, spending far more unexpected hours than planned in a kitchen— but enjoying every moment of it. Marlowe Paloma’s* school was canceled this week due to some of the families feeling sick with what may or may not be covid. Testing isn’t a common occurrence here. But with the winter air in full effect and the markets bustling with people, germs are surely spreading. And so, to be safe, for health, and for government compliance, a break is happening.
Ms. MP** wasn’t thrilled, she wakes up excited for school every day, but we had a great non-school day regardless. We had a slow craft morning at home before heading to the market. It was truly overwhelming how crowded it was. I mean, I’m overwhelmed in crowds in general, but still. We picked up our radishes, carrots, and herbs before running into friends. There is absolutely no way you can leave your home in this town and not run into a minimum of three people that you know. While I believe I am more on the introverted side than not, I don’t hate it.
After a quick stop to the papeleria for string and sticks, MP and I made our way home. And my day in the kitchen unfolded from there. I had no intention of spending the rest of my day and evening in my kitchen. But I also did not mind it either. I can say, without hesitation, that out of all the kitchen spaces I’ve lived in over the years, that this is my favorite. This is one of the smallest, my oven is scary as can be and I’ve all my arm hairs burnt to a crisp because of it, but this kitchen is still a favorite. I love having windows at every angle, Clean white lines, and access to my balcony from my over the sink screens. Fruit, natural light, and fresh air, there’s not much more I need.
Filtering water and washing of produce is a must here. Both are dirty. Both will make you sick. First I filter my water and fill a large bowl with clean water and a bacterial cleaner. I then, section by section, soak the different herbs and products I’ve brought home. In the case of yesterday it was four bundles of carrot tops, cilantro, basil, four daikon radishes, and a small bundle of floppy, funky, oh so very dirty tiny carrots. There is a whole factory line system that takes place. The picking through, the filtering, the soaking, the draining, and finally the organizing and storing.
One thing led to another and next thing I knew I was unpacking our goods, making smoothies to soothe us over until dinner, then running across the way to borrow a processor from my neighbor, making carrot top pesto, grated radishes, cabbage, and carrots for kimchi, roasting cauliflower and sweet potato for salad, and Marlowe Paloma was by my side making an avocado mustard dressing and cassava dough of sorts for a yuca flatbread. In hindsight, the pesto was not needed. If anything it was more work than it was worth in the tiny processor, and while I’m sure purple basil has its benefits, it tastes far too medicinal for my taste.
And it’s funny now, looking into my fridge— because it’s almost empty. A market run and an overhaul of work, and somehow the fridge is mostly empty with the exception of far too many containers of carrot tops and a tiny bundle of cleaned carrots. On the bright side, I have kimchi fermenting on the counter, and both Marlowe Paloma and I agree, dinner was absolutely fantastic.
We eat mostly the same meals each night. Other than cutting salt and heat, I still don’t see much of a reason to ever make different meals for kids and adults. But sometimes we modify things to taste– not because she’s a child (she’d like me to specify that she’s a tween now), but because I would do that for an adult who had a preference for one option over another. Marlowe Paloma’s salad and mine were the same, except I piled in the roasted sweet potato to mine. And since the oven was going anyway, I toasted up the extra daikon I had for myself. It wasn’t much, but it was good. We each had a little jar of pesto made. Hers with garlic, mine without. And I added saurkraut to my plate– something she is extremely fond of, but not something she was in the mood for yesterday.
Today is wet and dark– but somehow warm for the first day in weeks. Despite the wet, warm air, we’ll be having a big bowl of soup for dinner– something I can throw bundles of all those extra carrot tops in. And the next day? Probably a pesto– again, taking into account the mass amount of carrot tops we have and the lacking produce we have otherwise.
There is something that brings me so much incredible joy about planning my meals. I feel forever appreciative to be able to put a nourishing plate of food on the table and into my body each day. Fresh food and clean water in general is not something I take for granted. And the fact that I can look at my plate and say that I’ve met the farmers who grow each item on my plate– and that each item is in fact truly local, organic, and grown with love, brings me so much joy. I often complain about the fruit variety here– it’s one of my few complaints really. But the winter vegetables are abundant. The only thing that came from a faraway place was the cassava flour. Which, without going too far off on a tangent, is incredibly confusing to me– because I’ve seen it grow wild here! But still, everyone seems surprised to see a fresh tuber when I come by one. But again, I’m grateful for all of it.
And I’m grateful to share these slow and sometimes messy moments here. To find beauty in the quickly passing minutes every day and hope to inspire you to do the same. We don’t need to ache– to buy more physical things to fill an emotional hole that exists in so many of our own hearts. There is something truly beautiful about just existing in the everyday and being grateful for the things that keep us well and alive.
Thank you for sharing this space and my life moments with me. I hope to be back soon.
PS. random, notable fact of today. It is the first day that it has rained in weeks. And it was a terrible day for me to choose to do laundry, but apparently, a wonderful day for my clothing to take a shower in the rain.
*We’ve run into issues with Miss. Marlowe’s name. As many of you know, in spanish speaking countries, Marlowe chooses to go by the name Paloma. Well, with the exception of a few, the town mostly knows her as Paloma. But after ten years of calling her Marlowe, I’m struggling to make the change. But I need to– because it’s gotten to the point where many people think I have two children– one Marlowe and one Paloma. And so, to transition, I’m aiming to call her Marlowe Paloma.
**MP for short 😉