I honestly can not believe I am here again. Not just here but alive. I walked away from being Suzie The Foodie a year ago. My health was an absolute disaster, life was in shambles thanks to the pandemic and I was just so done. So bloody done.
My Year Of Darkness
I was hoping if I put all my energy into getting better, I would. Life had other plans for me. I continued to lose weight at a rapid pace and even though I attempted to make friends with winter, I would barely have enough strength and energy to get out for winter walks. My parka crushed my now tiny and super fragile frame and I had inexplicable moments of flirting with fainting just a block from where I lived.
Then Covid found me and I ended up in the hospital to get antivirals which they refused to give me because my lungs in my stress test (in an attempt to find out why I was losing weight and consciousness) showed my lungs were really strong. In February. It was June and I had just tested positive that day and Covid was already in my lungs.
Covid pneumonia slammed me to my knees and I was drowning in fluid. My booster had run out and they were only giving them to people over 60 and after a year and a half of very serious chronic health issues it kicked my ass and scarred my lung.
Back To The Foodie Light
Another summer lost in bed, I went into the fall determined to let go of all remnants of my foodie life. My dream had been to become a chocolatier so these are the last tools and books that I tried to let go of. I held off taking this photo and putting it on Kijiji. I cried when I told my boyfriend I was letting them go. I had to hide them in my room because they haunted me.
The Energy Shift Begins
I had finally gotten enough strength to get out for my walks again. The carrot that kept me going was the iced coffee or capp at the end of the path. I would take my inhalers and begin with the Tim Hortons where everything went to hell at last year. I had my journal and tarot cards and sat and breathed and breathed and then slowly walked home until one day I went a little farther. Then, a little farther…
Ironically when I was recently at Balzac’s they served me a decaf hazelnut mocha with chocolate milk that had gone bad. I know them very well because they are my absolute favourite and Balzac’s was closed for the first year of the pandemic. Getting there was a huge deal because it is a long walk and I knew the cold season would be upon us and my trips to their outdoor (yes I am still socially distancing and masking because for me Covid is not over) patio would soon end.
I wrote to them and told them about my experience because I did not want anyone else to get sick on bad chocolate milk. It is a nasty experience. They thanked me for my feedback and sent me a gift card which I enjoyed with the above delicious iced decaf mocha and a stunning and surprisingly crispy chocolate hazelnut tart.
When I sat down to journal, like I have been going every single day since I had the strength to do my walks again, I felt the energy shift. Their customer service was perfect. The server was shocked to hear about my experience and apologized. I felt like, bad things happen and we heal and move on. At least that is what I keep trying to do.
It was the death of Julie Powell that did it for me though. I felt like a part of me broke open and my heart gushed out. Her book The Julie/Julia Project changed my life over a decade ago. I watched the movie hundreds of times. No exaggeration and I do not watch anything twice! You would think that a woman dying before she reached fifty would have me running in the opposite direction but her fearlessness and tenacity infused me with a desire to return to food.
I made the decision, if butter gets me, then that is a good way to go.
From there it was like I was infused with a fire that I had lost years ago. I was devastated by Julie’s death but she reminded me that food blogging does not have to be all about pretty photographs, how many Instagram followers you have… It is about your love of food and your desire to connect with other people. Period.
I created Secret Foodies Club on Facebook to stick my toe back into the online food world. This time it is a private group and no trolls or bullying are allowed by anyone. Ever. No dialogue, no nothing. You will be tossed. The response and support has already been amazing! Oh I love my foodie friends.
I encourage you to join if you would like to participate and share photos of your own food, support other people answer their foodie questions, ranting about crappy service you had… It is a safe place to be honest and true. I will never regret standing up for that husband who was worried to death about his paraplegic wife outside that Tim Hortons. Ever.
That said, I am glad I have made friends with that location and the people who work there! I walk in there the only one masked and they smile when they see me. I go outside and wrap myself in my Wonder Woman blanket and write in one of their deck chairs. Now it is too cold to do so, so I have to come up with another ritual for the winter!
Product Reviews To Come
I was so excited to see that the President’s Choice Holiday Insiders Report is being printed again and I have already gone out and invested in two of their products to review! Getting back to my opinionated roots and you know me, I do not hold back. Another reason to join Secret Foodie Club! I will be sharing all the behind-the-scenes intel and experiences there first.
In Other News
I am still making jewelry and will continue with my Etsy store until the listings expire but am moving towards custom made pieces through direct sales. Etsy’s fees combined with shipping has made it impossible to make a profit and I now want to focus on food.
Next Foodie Step
Shifting gears back to food feels so right. I am not naive enough to believe my health woes are over but I do know that I have gone through to the other side of a ton of challenges and what is fuelling my fire again is food. I have lived on wraps and canned soup for the last year, became malnourished and bored out of my mind. I have taken down the ad for my chocolate books and am trying to start to make real food again. With, a healed lung!
Sometimes we need to walk away from who we are to realize, damn, that really is me! It is not a phase, it is not a hobby… It is my life. It is my essence and to live without it made me feel soulless and miserable. I had to heal everything all over again and may the foodie gods protect me from another onslaught of health issues.
I am your vessel. Let’s get cooking.