Want to know something wild?

real life wednesday I howsweeteats.com

These Wednesday posts. When I share whatever I feel and write about things I do and love, whether it’s important or dumb, the minute I go to hit publish? EXTREME ANXIETY. Like wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night anxiety.

Like, anxiety that necessitates texting a friend and needing reassurance. Anxiety that has me telling Eddie before he walks out the door that “there is no way I’m posting this!” because I just feel… weird.

The truth is that they make me feel super uncomfortable, open, vulnerable and exposed. Like, hey! Hit me! I’m telling you even more about alllll the things in my life.

But. It’s forcing me to go outside of my comfort zone. I am loving the feeling of feeling uncomfortable, except I also sort of hate it. A lot. Then I wonder how I can grow (as a person, as a writer, as a freak) if I am not forcing myself to do things that make me feel uneasy. This is one way. Even though it makes me want to punch myself in the face at the same time.

I’ve found that this is where I can write whatever junk I want to write about, the things I am crazy passionate about – other than food but still sometimes about food that I might not make. More about life and less about omgs and imobsessed and I made this pizza and you have to try it before I lose my mind. You know?

I’ve been passionate about writing for almost my entire life, though it’s gone in and out. I’ve talked about this to death but what I was a kid, I’d spend hours writing “stories” in notebooks – basically my versions of Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High. I would get so wrapped up in those stories and my own that I’d have a tough time focusing on real life. (Obvi not much has changed.)

When I was in sixth grade, I’d sit in front of the computer (which was pretty new at the time) and type up little poems and stories about love and heartbreak, because apparently at the age of eleven I was heartbroken.

It wasn’t a major loss. Trust me. I don’t even think my mom was freaked out by my weird writings. I think I was just pretending to be a tortured artist.

I journaled often – um, my favorite entries are the ones when I was clearly angry and ripped open a page and wrote mean things about my brothers. It was so hilarious but so drives home the point that I physically CAN’T get things out of my mind/heart unless I write them down. Happy or sad. Angry or elated. You know the drill.

It’s not like I write any great literary works of art and I sure could benefit from a good long sesh with a thesaurus and probably even a dictionary. But that’s not the point.

real life wednesday I howsweeteats.com

I don’t even know if I can’t explain how I feel about writing. Writing notes, writing my thoughts, writing stories, writing daily ramblings to invisible internet friends – all of it. It stirs something up inside me but makes me feel at home at the same time. I feel physically full when I can’t write. My head isn’t clear, I’m generally overwhelmed and to be oh so completely cliché, I don’t feel complete! For real.

I want to say something here a la Ryan Gosling in The Notebook and how it awakens my soul but that would be taking it too far. Maybe. But it’s true! Exclamation points and all.

Towards the end of high school and all through college, I pretty much ditched writing. Like, writing anything. I obviously had to write papers (which was something I never minded) but for enjoyment or release or therapy or growth… it wasn’t happening. Being (or wanting to be) social took over. Before I went to college, my parents tried to get me to major in English or some form of creative writing to which I would (literally) scream WHAT!! THAT IS SO BORING! THAT’S NOT ME! And that was that. I wasn’t interested.

When I first started my blog, it was like… lightbulb. Hello, brightest lightbulb ever. A few weeks in I went over to my parents’ house, sat in the kitchen and bawled like a freaking baby. Like ugly cry, can’t breath cry, hiccup cry. I was wailing I JUST LOVE WRITING SO MUCH! And all I was doing was talking about recipes. But it was enough for me.

I know. So dramatic. I think that comes with the passion thing.

I take passion to another level… except for the things I don’t care about. Then I’m apathetic. Basically, I’m passionate to a fault.

So me.

real life wednesday I howsweeteats.com

{I can’t find the original source of this photo – if you know it, please share.}

I’m rambling on about all of this today because I’m so curious. What are you passionate about? I will admit that I am such a passion-driven person (read: not rationally driven, hint hint) that I have a difficult time understanding when others aren’t passionate. I mean, doesn’t everyone have to be head over heels about something?!?! I think it makes living, like… worth it. It’s what makes me work really hard every day.

As invisible internet BFFs, I’m kind of dying to know what makes you tick. What makes you wake up in the morning or what is it that you HOPE to wake up in the morning for one day?

If I am not doing something I’m passionate about, it eats me alive from inside. Lots of people don’t understand. I’m paralyzed if I’m not following it.  Okay well. I don’t mean like in a Hannah-from-GIRLS type of way. But you know. Do I make sense? Probably not. Hey! Maybe next week I’ll not write ten thousand words. Something I am not passionate about: expressing myself in a few sentences.

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152 Responses to “Real Life Wednesday: What’s Your Passion?”

  1. #
    Akram Taghavi-Burris — March 7, 2014 @ 12:57 am

    Thank you for this post! I read it after a long day of teaching my graphic design students, who many times seem to be unmotivated and passionate about design even when you give the a creative project.

    Our passions and creativity is what makes unique!

    As for myself, yes writing is one of my oldest passions, I would come up with stories, pomes and even song lyric every since I was in grade school. I would join these things down wherever I was. I remember once as a kid on the way home from grocery shopping a moment of Inspiration hit and I tore a chunk out of the paper grocery sack so I could write my ideas down.

    I’m very passionate when it comes to learning new things and being creative. That’s why I love your blog, your passions and creativity shines and it inspires me to do the same.

    Thanks for this post I enjoyed it :)


  2. #
    tracy — March 7, 2014 @ 9:31 am

    The only consistent passion in my life is food. I remember being very young and turning on PBS every afternoon to watch Julia Child and Graham Kerr. Unfortunately, I did not make my passion my job, which is my biggest regret. But I express my love for baking/cooking as often as I can. (it’s amazing the time you find to do something that drives you). Please keep doing what you do here Jessica, we definitely enjoy reading it. And the food, of course!


  3. #
    Brianne — March 7, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

    If I were fancier, I’d say my passion is “knowledge” but I think it’s more about just being “in the know.” I’m obsessed with being up-to-date about politics, and sports, and local news. My Feedly is jam-packed and I’m always a day or two behind but The Daily Show and NPR keep me on top of my game.


  4. #
    Laina Lamb — March 7, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

    Jess, I keep reading your blog because of you pouring out your heart in each and every post. I don’t wear any makeup except mascara, yet I read your beauty posts, I love your recipes, but don’t have much time to cook, yet I read every word. I love when you talk about your family, (all of them), and I feel like we are friends (please don’t think I’m a stalker :) Just keep writing, keep cooking and baking, keep taking pictures of the baby faces, and everything else. The world is a better place for people like you. {<3}


  5. #
    Larry — March 7, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

    The things I am most passionate about in life would be music (HELLO CHRISTINA AGUILERA MY GODDESS) and fashion. I just love clothes. And I don’t think I got this from my mom, but I did… does that make sense? LIke, I look back at pictures of me as a kid and I was always dressed so CUTE, but my mom never had this amazing sense of style that made me think “man, I just wanna dress like THAT when I grow up!” (duh and she’s a woman, so I would rather dress in men’s clothing). But I digress. I get so excited over a new music video or CD that I’ve been waiting FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRR for … or like the Chanel fashion show that just passed that took place in a fake grocery store. i DIED. So yeah, that’s about it. I love food, but it doesn’t make me go nuts (except nachos I LOVE NACHOS).
    Let’s hang out.


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — March 7, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

    I didn’t have time to read this post yesterday morning but I kept the tab open because I knew I wanted to come back to it. Jess, there’s something about these Wednesday posts that makes me feel like I’m reading my own internal thoughts. Everything – from the bit about feeling physically too full if you don’t write, to stopping writing in high school/college (university for me), to being either obsessed or totally disinterested, to feeling eaten from inside when you do something that isn’t your passion – ALL of this is exactly how I feel, and thank you for articulating it so well! (I know you think you ramble, but I don’t even want to think about how long this post would be if I had written it!)
    I didn’t think I enjoyed writing much in high school and university because ALL I really wrote were papers for assignments. And, because I have highly perfectionistic tendencies, I always insisted on giving group projects the final read over for grammar mistakes (of which I corrected a LOT). It stressed me out to no end because inevitably there was always someone in the group that left their part until the last minute, so I’d be often be left with the task of re-writing it to match the same voice as the rest of the report or paper or whatever. I found no enjoyment in writing for this reason – it stressed me out, and I wasn’t writing about fun things like food and fitness and goal setting, which are what light me up and get me out of bed in the morning.
    Starting my blog changed all that, and almost 4 years later I don’t know what I’d be doing without it. Thank YOU for being one of the first food blogs I came across, and for being such an amazing example of what happens when a knack for writing and a crazy passion for cooking ridiculous things come together. You’re one of my faves! <3


  7. #
    Ashley — March 7, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

    Reading this post makes me want to start writing, and I HATE writing. I am such a vocal person, I wish I could just record my thoughts out loud, or have a secretary write down what I feel. No biggie right? I always feel like I need to get something off my chest. I try to do that through what I am passionate about. Right now it’s school, keeping my nose to the grind stone and just being excited by the fact that once I finish school I get to be exactly what I want to be. At least what I want to be for right now. I KNOW that will change. I’m going to school for Early Elementary Education, but I have another passion for helping children with disabilities, so eventually I want to get my masters in Special Education. I would love to have my own blog but I literally feel that same anxiety you said you feel. I’m gonna start small with journals, but I plan on starting a blog once I am working in a classroom. It will be a great way to connect with other teachers. You inspire us, clearly!!! Please, don’t stop writing!


  8. #
    Laura Dembowski — March 9, 2014 @ 8:24 am

    Coincidentally I am also passionate about writing. I know it’s what I want to do, what I have to do with my life. But with my struggling blog (not that I can figure out why it’s struggling), and my repeated failure to secure and agent for my screenplays and novels, I don’t know how to do it. That’s eating me from the inside.


  9. #
    Krista Dial — March 10, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    I can completely empathize, Jessica. :) It can be scary to put yourself out there! I don’t know if you follow Brene Brown or not, but she talks quite a bit about vulnerability and how when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable…while it can be scary and opens us u for rejection…vulnerability is what opens us up to connection…and that’s what we crave, isn’t it? Love your blog. I’ve pinned a TON of your recipes. :) Thanks for all you share!


  10. #
    Robert Hollis — March 10, 2014 @ 11:21 pm

    Thank you for opening up, Jessica. First time to read your blog, and i can say, I am amazed! I believe you are passionate at what you do coz you I feel that you put your heart into it. Writing this kind of blog is not easy unless you’re passionate about this. You are good at what you do. Would definitely follow your blog. I’m glad I came across your site. More power!


  11. #
    Devon — March 11, 2014 @ 9:55 am

    I love this post! What you’re saying about “forcing yourself outside your comfort zone” is so true…and one thing I wish that someone had told me a long time ago. I find that the things that make you feel terrified are usually the ones that make you feel the happiest when you’ve completed them. But no matter the outcome – they’re growth and learning experiences!

    I still remember sitting in my first Intro to Psychology class. Throughout school, I always enjoyed challenges and learning, but never before had I really felt that “passion” that people talked about. A lot of things were hard for me at the beginning of college, and it was definitely a period of adjustment. But sitting in that class, I finally realized that there was something that I LOVED. I found myself researching and reading for pleasure, not just for school. Granted – I didn’t do well in the first class. But I knew it was what I wanted to pursue, and I continued to take classes. Eventually, it started to click, and I felt a lot happier in general. Not only did I find something that made me wait to learn, but I also found something that challenged me – leading to overall feelings of happiness and accomplishment.

    I also love hearing about what makes other people passionate – seeing the way a person’s eyes light up when they find / talk about / do what they love. One of the best things about passion – it doesn’t really matter what other people think, or if they validate it. Keep doing what you love, and do it for yourself. (P.S. – your blog is AWESOME :-) )


  12. #
    Gaby — March 11, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

    LOOK at all the comments on these posts!! I’m realizing that I’m going to need to cut back on Facebook and other social media as I enter the throes of the thesis writing process within the next few weeks…but I’m definitely going to keep checking out your blog on the regular, because your passion inspires me to stay excited about what I love and love all the hard work that it involves! Please keep up writing and sharing with us- don’t feel pressured to share more of course, but know that this is your space to share what you want and have it accepted by people who are just as excited about lots of awesome life things, just like you are.


  13. #
    m — March 12, 2014 @ 1:36 am

    you should feel anxious, that kind of sharing isn’t sustainable nor is it healthy. regardless, thanks for the healthy nachos idea!


  14. #
    Joanna — March 13, 2014 @ 7:47 am

    The thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is the hope that one day I’ll be able to leave my corporate job and work in food advocacy – making sure people get enough of it and the right kinds.


  15. #
    Amanda — March 13, 2014 @ 9:11 am

    I’ve never thought of myself as a passionate person. Now that you asked I’m pretty passionate about reading and running. Decidedly solitary activities. I recently let my husband read a novel with me…yup let him read over my shoulder. I utterly hate when people read over my shoulder. I must like him.


  16. #
    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — March 17, 2014 @ 2:37 am

    For as long as I can remember I’ve gone just about everywhere with a pen and a journal. It’s like my best friend. I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t write. Your passion for writing definitely shows in what you do here. This is one of the few food blogs I follow that’s actually interesting to read. Thank you for being vulnerable. It makes your work so much more interesting. I love it!



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