March 27, 2017 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Scene: The Hubs, aka Mr. Eats, aka Legal Boo, sits at one end of the dining room table. I sit at the opposite end of the table. I talk with my hands, and he nods as I recount the adventure I began the day before called Kroger ClickList, an online feature from the grocery store chain that lets you select your groceries online and pick them up at the store. I pause so he can appreciate the enormity of the discovery I’ve just made.
“I haven’t seen you this passionate in a while,” he says. “You should blog about it.”
So here I am. Not just to tell you about Kroger ClickList (which is, indeed, a game, nay, LIFE changer), but to dust off the old blog and remind myself that I’ve still got it.
I’ve taken breaks from Ashlee Eats before. Sometimes, it was for personal reasons, like a hefty quarter life crisis. Other times, I stepped away to work be a student. And then there was the time I wrote a book *cough cough Louisville Diners is still available online and in stores cough cough*.
But this last absence was different. For me, it felt like the end.
Nearly two years ago, I got what would be my dream job at CNET where I review ovens and cooking gadgets and write about smart city efforts in my hometown. With the position of senior associate editor at the top of my resume and the accompanying glee I felt every day going to work for CNET, I thought I was done with Ashlee Eats. The blog had kept me sane for a good chunk of my adult life. It gave me a reason to get to know Louisville again, and fall in love with the city. It gave me a voice during times when I was overwhelmed, lost and wading through my 20s. And most importantly, it connected me to readers who turned into friends and helped me find a community of people who love food and Louisville as much as I do. I began as an AmeriCorps intern, and now I was an author and editor. I thought I was too busy to be a blogger, too.
Then, I turned 30. Pardon my language, but shit got real. We bought a house. We put our beloved dog, Roscoe, to sleep after an illness that came quick and left us devastated. We want to start a family in the next few years. I worry about things like 401Ks and life insurance and remodeling. I call my congresspeople and attend rallies and host fundraisers and do whatever it takes to try to make my country a better place. For God’s sake, I eat shredded wheat for breakfast — AND I LIKE IT. If that’s not being a grown up, I don’t know what is.
In all of the madness that came when I embraced adulthood, I lost the slice of freedom this blog gave me. This was where I could focus on two things I love: food and Louisville. This was where I could share the adventures I had while I ate my way through the city. I could be myself here, and I didn’t have to worry about the rest of it.
It turns out that I need the blog now more than ever to balance being an adult. So I’m back. I won’t make any promises about frequency of posts because I still have to find a place for Ashlee Eats in my schedule — blogging and working a full-time job in which you want to invest your energy isn’t easy. But I have to do this for myself. I have to reclaim that fun, creative part of my life that this blog created for me. And honestly, I just need a place to gush about all the cool foodie finds I discover, like Kroger ClickList. Seriously. Remind me to tell you more about it later.