Walking On

The sun always sets, no room for regrets
I Walk Away – Crowded House

bridge over mississippi river at sunset

This is somewhat of a difficult entry to write, though it’s likely going to come as no surprise to the handful of readers I have left. But to get straight to the point for the people who don’t want to read much past the first paragraph, I’ve decided to let the blog go.

Sometime in March 2022 (I’d have to look up the exact date), Tramplingrose.com will go offline. I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep the domain name, but the website itself will be taken down, as I will not be renewing my hosting fees.

I’ve thought about this off and on over the past nine months. I haven’t posted anything other than my Galen Leather review since Christmas Eve 2020. I just haven’t had the time or the energy to do anything with it.

I admire and somewhat envy those bloggers who can work full-time and in essence also work full-time running their websites. Or those bloggers who managed to turn their blogs into their full-time jobs. My childhood dream was to be a writer, and I once thought the blog might be my ticket to making that dream come true.

It wasn’t meant to be. For awhile it felt like I could make a go of things, especially being in podunk South Dakota. I was one of very few bloggers in the state when I first moved here. That’s not the case any more.

But blogging stopped being fun once search engines starting demanding things be done a certain way, and sponsored posts became competitive. And there was always more. SEO has to be learned. Video is the new thing, or at least it was last year.

Social media is utterly ridiculous. I paid Facebook for ads for my blog a couple times over the years, and I’d’ve been better off actually burning that money instead. I refuse to promote anything on Instagram. I do not have SnapChat and am not on TikTok. I have neither the time or desire to learn yet another social media platform, and I can’t be the only one out there who HATES video. And though I haven’t been on Pinterest in months, I gather it too has become a dumpster fire.

There have been other things. I suck at marketing myself. What little business sense I have is self-taught. The blog never made enough that I could justify hiring someone to do my social media stuff, or invest in a scheduling platform. Probably the worst thing was going to IFBC, and being told that because I live in flyover country, I wasn’t worth talking to (and yes, a vendor actually said that to me).

There are also a lot of personal things factoring in my decision. A big part of it is that my “real” job takes up a lot of my time and is mentally draining. After spending 8+ hours jumping from task to task, it’s hard to want to even cook dinner, let alone write up a recipe and story behind it, photograph it, then schedule out all the necessary social media posts. I spent the summer working 50+ hour weeks in anticipation of attending the Supernova International Ska Festival, which was well worth it, though I am now severely burned out. Once I returned, I realized how happy I was during that weekend, which is something I haven’t felt in years.

And I’ll be honest, since my dad’s passing, I’ve struggled. A lot. I don’t talk about it with anyone aside from my sister, but my grief is still raw and painful, and as anyone who’s lost a loved one knows, it is always with you. It simmers under the surface. Sometimes it takes the form of quiet sadness, sometimes it grabs you in a choke-hold when you hear a song and the next thing you know, you’re sobbing after everyone else has gone to bed. And sometimes, you’re just really pissed off at the entire world because cancer took away your father, and you can’t call him up to vent like you once did. 

Which means I probably should see a grief counselor, but that’s another matter for another time.

And sadly, that’s just one event of many that made me decide to give up the blog. 2020 was scary and uncertain, and 2021 has been a rollercoaster of chaos and loss that I don’t feel I’ve dealt with since 2001, when both my grandmothers and my great-grandma passed away (along with everything else that happened that year). I don’t have the energy to go into all that’s happened this year, but suffice it to say, I’m trying to balance being more present while still being in a holding pattern because of COVID, which adds a whole other layer of anxiety to everything. 

So, Tramplingrose became less of a priority, and it seems stupid to keep paying for something I’m not really using any more. I would like to think that maybe I’ll find my spark again, but after almost a full year of nothing, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Better to let it go now, because waiting another year isn’t going to make much difference. And I can always start a new blog down the road, if I decide I want to come back to this. I’ve had an online presence in one form or another since 1995, so I probably won’t stay away for very long.

I would like to thank all my friends and family who supported me over the years. I used to really enjoy having my friends and coworkers taste-test recipes for me. That’s another thing that’s fallen by the wayside now that the majority of us are working from home. I have made several blogging friends and have had fun experiences (like teaching a cooking class) that wouldn’t have been possible without the blog. If you’ve made it this far in the post, thank you for reading through to the end. Thank you to the people who left comments and shared their versions of my recipes. I’ve never understood people who keep recipes a secret. Food is love and community and should be shared far and wide. 

Feel free to spend the next few months printing off any recipes you want to keep. If you want the actual end-date, leave me a comment, and I’ll look that up for you.