Monday, August 31, 2015

Make Your Own Bacon!

Why not just make your own bacon, instead of bringing it home?

There's been lots to think about lately. I'm in the midst of a sort of chrysalis moment. Everything's suspended while I try to re-steer my life. Into freelance work. 
Typing that is scary. Trying to do it is scarier. 

The thing is, it's more rewarding. I hit my 2 year anniversary at Chicagoist last week. I took a trip through the archives to look at my first article and ended up perusing my journey thus far for a bit longer than expected. 

It's been amazing. I remember when I went to Station to Station, a "happening" at Union Station, and I was listed as "press" for the first time. I probably seemed way too giddy in a line full of tired and impatient writers and photographers, but I was beaming. I was on a list, I was getting access to something I'd already been interested in, and I'd be able to see it differently than a lot of people will have the chance to. 

I've talked to some of my favorite musicians, authors and comics and attended and photographed amazing events I'd always wanted to be a part of.  I've gotten to bring friends, loved ones and dates to things I couldn't actually afford to take them to without this opportunity. And I've made so many friends of the writers and editors at Chicagoist. It's been fantastic. There's not one second of that I'd want to change, even with spiked posts, misunderstandings, weird problems at events, broken down cars and forgotten cameras...

I can't say that about any 9 to 5 I've had, except maybe the bakery. 

Which is why I have to start "Actually Doing The Things." 

That picture was taken from the first story I had published for Chicagoist, "Come On, See Happy!" about an exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center which centered around an artist's investigation of what it is and how to find it. 

The first story was born of me loosing some of my insecurity chains thanks to GISHWHES, which was borne of some heartbreak and a desire to do the things that "always sounded kinda neat" like a kayak trip or a giant scavenger hunt. 

Where, in the two years, have I left that behind? 
This post popped into my head today, after I'd spent about two hours sending pitches to places I'd procrastinated sending them for months. After I'd applied for some amazing jobs after doing just a little bit more research than I'd done prior. 

All of that in one day made me feel pretty good. 

Why don't we just move on the things we want, then? What's the fear? It's not like we can't try again if we fail the first time. 

In talking to the boyfriend about this, I thought of our recent cooking adventure, and our also recent start of a food blog. 

We made bacon. 
From scratch. Cured and smoked by us. About 9 lbs of glorious, thick cut bacon. 
It was part of our 52 weeks of cooking challenge on Reddit, and if you'd have told me before I'd be doing that...I wouldn't have thought so. Doing things from scratch always carries this connotation of difficulty, crazy amounts of time-sinkage and the distinct possibility of it turning out to be a Pinterest fail. 

But so what? Fail and learn. Fail and do it better next time. Make your own damn bacon!
In the end, it wasn't that hard. A little research, a little hands on time, some contraption constructing...and a week of waiting, and we've got 9 lbs of bacon for the price of 4. Good deal. 

I guess what I'm saying is...get out there. All of us just...need to toss those chains off and do the things we say we're going to. 

Make your own damn bacon!

And, if you'd like, check out how we did ours over on that aforementioned new food blog, Our Blue Plate Special. We hope to be updating it with new cooking adventures fairly regularly. 

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