So y'all know by now that I am a finalist in the Saveur 2018 Blog Awards. Let me regale you with how my spastic brain managed to completely not notice this for 5 whole days.
Usually, I obsessively watch my blog numbers, along with everything else in my life. I am that person that talks to someone and as soon as they leave I start to think about the interaction. Taking each moment and going over it. “What was that look? I was boring them, wasn’t I? Maybe I said something wrong?” Then I try to go back over everything I said and systematically pick out what it was. "No way it could be a simple answer like the sun got in their eyes or they heard a strange noise. It has to be something worse than that." So it’s no surprise that I check my blog numbers and how long people are looking at the recipes. “Only a minute? Why only a minute? Is my recipe not good? It’s my grammar, I am sure." Then I start mentally explaining myself to the person. "I write like I talk. I am sorry but trying to put a loud Cajun lady rant into proper words is hard. I am by no means an eloquent speaker." If I think it’s the recipe then I have to re-read and critique it, see where I went wrong, why is this one not good? As you can see I like to drive myself crazy with absolutely no help from others.
This past week has been a rough one. Dealing with crazy family stuff, kids starting school, putting out Real Estate fires, planning my 6-year-old's birthday party and add in making 750 Red Hot Tamales to pay the giant utility bill. It was just slightly overwhelming.
So after a long night of rolling tamales, I sit down at about 2 AM to decompress and rot my brain on social media. There it was - Saveur magazine had started following me on Instagram. I was giddy. I texted my fiancé, Lucius to let him know and then went to bed thinking nothing of it but "cool". I spent the whole next day checking, waiting for them to unfollow me because enough information had been gathered. After another long day and night "Momming" and rolling tamales, I check again and there they still are. Now, you think at this point I would have checked my email or the website but, no. I was just relishing Saveur following me. As I come back to life from the tamale tornado, I decide I needed to check the blog and see how it was going. As I am going through it I see all these Saveur referrals. I’m still clueless and wonder if it’s the magazine. "Why so many though? Ah well, who knows how a major magazine works." Hours later, I check again and there is even more. What the hell is going on? "Let me just click on this link..." Immediately, the Saveur 2018 Blog Finalist Page pops up. "Weird... I think this came out like 5 days ago." I scroll through it and don’t see Porch, Wine & Gravy and think, "well I tried. I mean some 23,000 applicants the odds are ridiculously small. But why are people going to my blog?" Finally, it seeps through my tamale soaked brain, it has to be related. So, I scroll again and there I am. I looked around to find someone to confirm that I’m not seeing things. All I had is the dog and he was absolutely no help. "Email! They would have sent me an email." So, off to the Porch, Wine & Gravy Gmail, I go and there it is. An email from a day and a half ago.
At this point, it had started to sink in. I start running a round the house exclaiming the news and forcing my children to dance with me. I guess I may have gotten a little over excited because all of sudden everyone had disappeared, including the dog. I found them all huddled in the top bunk of the kids' room hiding. "Fine joy crushers Ill call my friends."
As it sinks in that this is real, here comes the aftermath. The feeling that I get after something like this happens. Something good. My friend Claire says it called, Imposter Syndrome. These anxious overwhelming feeling that people are going to figure out your just faking. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this is not an uncommon feeling and that some very successful people feel this way every day. I couldn’t help but start wondering, “They read this right? I mean they had to have. What if they didn’t and then they read it and think, “What did we do? This lady is a complete whacka-doodle and now we have invited her to spend days with us."" I know this is irrational thinking. And I should let myself enjoy this moment. And I will. I will enjoy it in between all my other irrational ponderings. I have to look at this way, if I didn’t think like this I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t do this blog. I wouldn’t have a rolling clock in my head constantly reminding me the last time I posted a recipe. So, as they say, you have to take the good with the bad.
If you are reading this Saveur, it’s too late no takesy backseys.
To celebrate feeling fancy, this week I am sharing one of my fanciest recipes, Catfish Marie. Which, to pronounce it like the old Cajuns would, you say Cat-fish Ma-rie.