“So how are you feeling?”
Everyone wants to know how I’m feeling a year later, the project complete, the work finished.
I feel lost in a sea of emotion, and it’s tricky to parse between all the variety of feelings mixed together inside my heart, but I am going to do my best.
I feel sad.
It’s a good sadness, like the sadness you feel at a wedding or a graduation. I am mournful that this sweet season is ending, nostalgic a little bit for what has happened and will never happen again. I keep flipping back through the memories this last year has held, all of it centered around food, and it’s the equivalent of watching the slide show of baby pictures at your daughter’s wedding. It’s sad to leave things behind, even hard things that require a lot of work, and lately I am letting the tears flow to commemorate the sadness.
I feel overwhelmed.
This is going to sound meta, but I really don’t think I understood until this week exactly what I’ve done. It’s overwhelming when I look at the project as a whole. I did the best I could to take in the scope of the project at the beginning, forcing it into spreadsheets and menu plans, but it was just words on pages at that point. When I look at the physical manifestation of this project, the pages of notes, the blog posts, the photographs, the amount of food I produced, I am overwhelmed. It’s enormous. How did I do that?
I feel proud.
This feeling follows quickly on the wheels of feeling overwhelmed. I consider the scope, let it wash over me, and then I feel insanely proud. Of myself, my team, and my community. Yes, I cooked, but this was not a solo endeavor. There is an army of people who made this happen, and I am so stinking proud of this work. We made something happen that was so crazy and off the page it was laughable. We did it. I am proud of every piece of this process.
I feel afraid.
Fear is a go-to emotion for me, so don’t be alarmed. I’m used to fear. In this situation, I feel afraid of what’s next. I feel afraid of not being able to do anything this cool ever again. I feel afraid of the unknown. I feel afraid of all of this fading and no one ever caring about this work in the future. I feel afraid of all of this blowing up and lots of people caring about this work in the future. It’s all fine, and I know by now that fear-based feelings are usually laced with subtle lies. I see them for what they are, and I speak truth to those place, but the fear is still there like an unwelcome guest at the emotional party happening in my heart.
I feel relieved.
All the deep exhales. All the shaking it off. All the walking away. I feel relived that this is over. I feel relieved that if I don’t want to cook ever again, I don’t have to. And I certainly won’t be cooking twenty recipes weekly ever again. EVER. The reality of having this work behind me brings an ocean of relief. Going back to “normal” life is a relief. And yet, oddly, I think I will deeply miss having something this massive to focus on.
I feel nervous.
I have a sense of where I want to go next, what I want to do with my time and talents, where I want to focus my business, but nothing is set or sure. And the lack of knowing makes me nervous.
I feel inspired.
This project taught me a lot, not least of which is that there are seriously so many things to talk about after cooking all of these recipes. I took so many notes, explored (briefly) so many thoughts and ideas, tucking them all away in my computer files because I had to turn around and keep cooking. But now I want to unpack all of them. I want to tell you all the details all the thoughts all the things I saw and learned. I feel inspired to dig up the treasure and bring it into the light.
I feel grateful.
More than anything, I am so deeply grateful I cannot speak of it without weeping. Suffice it to say, I am filled with thanks. Not just to the individuals who helped make this possible, but also grateful for the way I was able to lean in and listen. I have about twenty ideas every week. Most of them are short-lived and quickly get tossed aside. But this one stuck. It was hair-brained. Silly. Ridiculous. Out of reach. Too big. Too much. Unwise. But it stuck. I couldn’t shake it. The idea of watching this idea pass me by was unacceptable, so I took hold of it tightly and did not let go. It was a gift. I had to accept it and bring it to life without questioning why or how. That gripping feeling when an idea captures your heart and won’t let go, that feeling of knowing in your bones that there was something big happening here and to let it go was a monumental mistake, that confidence mixed with shaking fear and uncertainty, for that mix of feelings and thoughts, I am grateful. I am grateful I listened.
I feel ready.
Is ready a feeling? Probably not. But whatever we call it, I feel ready to move forward. Ready for the next adventure, the next challenge, the next frontier, the next creative endeavor. Ready is a good way to feel.