Three big things happened to me in 2016. I moved to Richmond, Virginia, I started a food blog, and Donald Trump won the presidential election
Two years later and my blog has evolved from a place for me to post recipes from all over the world to a logbook of my life. I’ve described blogging as screaming into the void, and sometimes the void screams back in the form of positive feedback or spam comments.
I’m young. I’m really, really, young. I’m not even old enough to vote. Every teenager has experienced their opinions being undermined because of their age. This blog gives me legitimacy.
The 2016 presidential election shook me deeply. I was 14, when it happened so I was not old enough to vote. I was scared, angry, and bitter. I began to write about it on my blog. It started off subtlety (some could say snidely). A recipe for guacamole would slowly turn into accusing President Trump of high treason. That sort of thing.
This blog has not just helped me channel my anger at the heartless, traitorous Trump administration. It helped me appreciate and embrace my culture. I am a first generation Indian American- but that isn’t cool yet. I never saw my culture anywhere. It has yet to be brought into the mainstream so all people know about Indian culture is chicken tikka masala and saris. I hid from my culture. I wanted to shove it in the back of my closet with my winter coats and old books.
So much of Indian culture is food. Hundreds of spices, lentils, and naans make up hundreds of regional cuisines. I never appreciated my culture so much as when I saw how broad and beautiful it is in a cookbook about Indian cuisine from different states.
I write about my life. I write about making meatballs for my dog on her birthday. I write about going shopping with my mom. I write about chipped nail polish, Starbucks coffee, my favorite fall trends, learning French, and the terrifying prospect of college.
If I had let my age get in my way, I never would have done all of this. The first few posts on my blog are *incredibly* cringeworthy. They have terrible grammar, unfinished thoughts and tons of oversharing. Even then, I didn’t think any of it was good enough to post. But I posted it anyways, and my writing has evolved into something I can read without feeling nauseous! It’s all about the small victories.
Every day I feel like I am in over my head. I have no idea what I am doing. It’s terrifying, knowing that other people read what I write, not just on my blog, but on numerous other places on the internet.
Writing is a messy, arduous, draining process. I get writers’ block all the time, and it is the most soul-crushing thing in the world other than reading the news, of course.
But what is far more terrifying is the thought of stopping. If you have a voice, you have to use it. If I were a soccer mom or a third-grade teacher, I’d say you either use it or lose it. I use it, so should you.