Good morning everyone! This is my current view from where I’m writing. The past few weeks our skies have been filled with smoke due to all of the California fires, but our blue skies are finally back. (Thank you to all of the firefighters working tirelessly to keep everyone safe!). I am trying to enjoy every second that I can of t-shirt weather because here in the high desert, the nights have already gotten too cool to be barefoot and I’ve had to keep my feet toasty in my fake Uggs from Costco (my chilly weather essential!). Okay, it’s actually not that chilly during the day yet, just at night and the early mornings the temperature drops dramatically. After living in Texas, 67F/19C is “chilly” to me, lol.
Do you remember blogging circa 2009? I absolutely loved that era of blogging. Diary style, stream of consciousness writing with unedited photos. Before algorithms and filters and good digital cameras. Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful picture, and I’m constantly working on improving my photography. But sometimes I just want to invite people over without having to scrub the whole house from floor to ceiling, if you know what I mean? I feel like blogging can be the way that we match our outfit to the occasion….formal wear for a special event (like a recipe post), and casual shorts & flip flops for the beach (aperitivo chat). I feel like there’s room for both, the formal & the casual. Aperitivo chats are my casual, behind-the-sceens updates where I invite you over without getting dolled up or vacuuming the floors. (I’m currently rocking a messy bun and pajamas). So you’ll find a mix of formal & informal blog posts here on Italian at Heart because I love getting a glimpse into the everyday life of others. One of my favorite vloggers, Pocketful of Primary, even films walking out her door, putting the straw in her coffee, and turning on the lights in her classroom. The ordinary can be oddly satisfying.
Here are a few behind-the-scenes updates:
On Finding Purpose
A question that has been on my mind lately is “what is my purpose?” in blogging, my career, in life. This question was sparked by a comment by my dear Instagram friend Gina, @Foodiewinelover. If you haven’t met Gina yet, go give her a follow on Instagram because she is one of the most kind-hearted, fun-loving, passionate people I have been fortunate to “meet” online. Plus, she has a cookbook coming out soon that I am so excited about! So, thank you so much Gina for your comment because it really got me thinking, and I agree 100% that knowing your purpose can get you through anything.
I think we all essentially have the same purpose:
To do what we love and be happy.
Honing in on a single purpose has been my greatest life challenge. I’ll think, “Aha! I’ve found it!” and then shortly after there will be another shooting star that I’m trying to catch. I see life as a buffet, so many exciting dishes to try, and I want to try them all! The variety thrills me, and I feel relieved that I don’t have to choose one thing! At a buffet, it’s totally normal to have an enchilada with your pizza! (Can you tell I’m from Nevada?! Every casino has a buffet, and they’re actually pretty good!).
I’ve always thought that there is something wrong with me because I can’t (and don’t want to) choose one thing to do in life. People see me as indecisive, but I see myself as curious and passionate. I felt like I had to choose ONE niche for my blog, ONLY food, or wine, or language…because that’s what I saw many successful people do, and because how many people are passionately interested in all three like me? I kept trying to “figure it out” and made zero progress because I couldn’t choose one focus!
After being frustrated with myself and thinking that the inability to choose was a serious problem, I read something that changed my life and helped me accept who I am.
…Chances are good that you’re a Scanner, a very special kind of thinker. Unlike those people who seem to find and be satisfied with one area of interest, you’re genetically wired to be interested in many things, and that’s exactly what you’ve been trying to do.
Currently, my career wish list looks like this: I’d love to be an author (fiction & non-fiction), create language courses and materials, write about food & wine on my blog, teach Zumba, be a researcher in the field of linguistics or social psychology, be a guide dog trainer….(I used to want to be an orca trainer when I was 10 ahaha).
Fun fact: My friend’s sister read my palm once and said I would have 3 income sources…makes sense!
Can I do it all? Maybe not at once. Now that I can embrace my interest in many things without thinking there is something wrong with me, I can choose to focus on one thing at a time.
The core essence of all my interests has to do with curiosity and connection. Curiosity because my biggest passion is learning, and connection to ourselves, each other, the earth, and our higher power is how we get our sense of belonging in the world.
Curiosity & connection are my anchor words for all of my content here on Italian at Heart. I want to share my joy for learning how to cook, about wine and how to pair it with food, and the Italian language. I want to share the Italian way of dining with my compatriots, and bring back the dinner table as a place to connect. I think food is the best way to nourish ourselves, connect with each other by breaking bread together and chatting around the table, give thanks to the earth that provides us with abundance, and the people who produce it, and to pass on traditions and heritage. And what can be better than learning a language through your interests? My hope that by sharing my progress learning Italian in a creative way can make language learning more accessible to those who don’t thrive in a classroom setting. I know one thing is certain, I love learning and teaching, but I want to do it outside of the constraints of the classroom. So, what it boils down to is my purpose is to share my enthusiasm for learning and inspire others to get excited too. As long as I’m learning, I’ll never have to choose one thing!
Have you found your purpose yet? If so, let me know what it is in the comments!
Now that I’m more clear about my purpose, I want to make my vision reality. Yesterday, I spent a satisfying day planning out my blog posts for September and filling out my editorial calendar. I am striving to be more consistent with my posting schedule, despite this being my greatest challenge. I am a creature of inspiration, not routine. (Though I do think routines are necessary for consistency, which allows us to accomplish our goals). Really figuring out my purpose has made it easier to plan, and hopefully stick to a posting schedule. Although right after creating an editorial calendar, I was struck by inspiration and found myself writing a post that wasn’t on my calendar….
Do you have an editorial schedule? Any advice for making one and sticking to it are appreciated!
Italian Food & Wine Facebook Group
I’ve been wanting to be a part of some sort of wine tasting or recipe sharing group locally, but sometimes the people you really connect with aren’t in your city, and it’s certainly nice to interact from the comfort of your home.
- start planning dinner while you’re eating breakfast
- make grocery lists in your head (or maybe even during lectures or meetings)
- get excited to go grocery shopping, or even have your own garden
- have piles of cookbooks and recipes (or Pinterest boards) full of recipes to try & share
- want to learn more about food & wine pairings
- LOVE chatting about food & wine (Especially Italian food & wine!)
Please join us at our virtual table so that we can share anything & everything food & wine!
To be honest, I stopped using Facebook a few years ago, but I started using it again exclusively for the group feature (I also have my English/Italian exchange group– join us if you’re learning Italian!). I think there’s been a lot of improvements made to FaceBook groups in terms of how you can organize information, and I like that it is easier to interact with many people at once.
The purpose of these two communities is to learn together about our favorite topics!
Hope you all are having a great weekend, and ci sentiamo presto! Talk to you again soon!2