The question or comment I get most often has to do with how “accomplished” I am at such a young age. Yes, I have a published book at 24, and am making decent money off of it. Yes, my second book is in the process of being edited and should be published this spring.
Yes, I’ve taught myself how to cook and take nice photos in the past year and a half. Yes, I have a good deal of artistic talent that I rarely use, but comes in handy when making multi-tiered cakes.
And when I compare myself to other’s my age, I do feel very mature. And very accomplished. And quite pathetic, actually.
Because here’s the brutal honesty, folks. You want to know how I have time to do it all? The answer is simple, really…
I have next to no social life.
If we go back a year and a half ago, things were very different. I had a core group of friends, a best friend that I was attached at the hip to, and very little time to myself. And when you are never alone, you never have the drive to accomplish things. Perhaps it’s because I’m lonely, or maybe because I like to challenge myself. Either way, growing apart from my friends has pushed me to do more with my time instead of sitting on my butt watching tv. In fact, I rarely watch tv anymore. And hardly any movies. Coming home from work and getting to work has become my routine now.
And as pathetic as it sounds, it’s become my normal. Yes, it sucked at first. A lot. Way more than I care to admit, because some stupid part of me is afraid of showing vulnerability and sadness. Anger is different. Angry is controllable, and directed at someone. But when you finally realize that drifting apart from your friends in your mid-twenties is completely normal, (especially when we all work at different places and have different schedules, and are starting to be in committed relationships that dominate our time), there is no one to direct your anger towards.
So while other 24 year olds go to bars, act their little hearts out (Hi, Ashley!) listen to loud music and get drunk with friends, or whatever it is that my peers are doing…I come home and write. And cook. And take pictures. And read about how to become a better writer and a better cook, and how to take nicer pictures. And skype with my boyfriend who is 300 miles away. And with all the money I save by not going out much I can afford to buy nicer toys for my expensive hobbies.
And to be honest, I’ve been hiding behind this image of “chef Sarah with her happy blog!” for quite some time now, thinking that it’s too revealing to actually share anything about my true feelings. But I’m hoping to change that, and be a little more honest. Even my blog name has nothing to do with me. A dash and a pinch of what? A dash of creativity and a pinch of neuroticism?
But that’s how it goes. And while I’m slowly building my social life back up (It’s hard with Taco Tuesday disbanded), I’ve learned to love being alone. Being alone doesn’t always mean you’re lonely, even though sitting in a room by yourself on a Saturday night drinking hot cocoa and writing a sex scene can be pretty lonesome.
But hey, I’ve made a couple grand from my book, and I receive emails from people who have read it and loved it. It’s pretty much what I dreamed about when I started it five years ago. I just didn’t expect I’d be doing it alone.
Or that I’d be ok with it.