Really, hello. Is anyone there? How have the last six months been for you? Mine have been funky. I moved to South Korea. It is a long story that I maybe will get into later. Today I only want to talk about some mental happenings that have resulted from some life happenings, rather than detail the life happenings. Yeah?
I haven’t posted because I didn’t really know how to be frank and say that I’m not working as a dietitian, nutrition is not the primary interest in my life, and it might not ever be again, either. I don’t know. When I started TMT, it was with the hope of potentially growing a business as a new dietitian who didn’t want to partake in clinical work, but who wanted to be practicing intuitive eating and health at every size frameworks. (If you’ve read any of my previous stuff, you know I am not a fan of traditional weight-focused health care.) But, right after my last post, in making the decision to leave the US, I also made the decision to leave dietetics altogether. Not with total permanence, and not with overt disdain, but as a natural consequence of the choice to live in another country. Whenever I thought of my dietetics career goals then (versus an absence of those goals now) maintaining this blog felt like a farce. I had rationalized starting TMT as a way to eventually becoming a private practice dietitian.
As a result, TMT felt like an extension of something that I wasn’t doing anymore, and therefore it was something I had no business doing anymore. This thought became more prominent the longer I went without working in nutrition. Honestly, I felt relieved to not be “in it” every day. I don’t know if it was because of leaving right after starting (I only worked 10 months post-graduate school) or if it was trying to cope with the choice to leave that which I had dedicated six years of life. If I was so “okay” to not be doing this work, was my whole education a waste? I was never a person who could honestly say that becoming a dietitian was “my dream.” (I am passionate about people being well, but nutrition isn’t the answer to perfect health.) But I know that the opportunities that I have had and exposure I’ve gotten as a dietitian are no small thing. To be even a bit happy that I wasn’t working as a dietitian felt like I was doing a disservice to all of the people who poured time and energy into me to help me become one.
I’m still thinking about it, but the negative association with nutrition and dietetics was not at all related to working with people and patients. That was my favorite part. Rather, it was a disenchantment with the system and always questioning whether this was actually helping people. A big part was the realization that diet culture and our fat phobic society have groomed the health care system (a generalization, but one that I believe evidentially to be true). The other part was noticing how much easier it was for me to personally think about food and nutrition in a more balanced way when I wasn’t surrounded by it all the time. I wouldn’t have said the latter was true, until I left the field and realized just how true it was.
In short, I have been questioning and reflecting on my decisions and the resultant consequences. Because the purpose of this blog was tied up in career aspirations and self-imposed expectations, I haven’t really known what to do with it now that those things are different. For now, though, I shall move beyond this who-am-I-if-not-a-dietitian rumination :).
Regardless of any conflicted feelings towards my vocation, I am keeping this blog. I still want to write about food. The last several months have reminded me that the way I naturally think about food is rather romantic, something that became lost amongst the scientific training. Perhaps I am trying to say that for all of the knowledge and perspective and exposure that dietetics has given me, it became a barrier to enjoying a hobby that I had before experiencing disordered eating, schooling, and having a mid-20s identity crisis (kidding).
Something that did emerge from those years, though, was a fascination with food relationships and the countless intersections between food, us, others, and society. I am lucky to have the ability to curate a space to write about these things as I like (this quite possibly makes me a product of my generation to consider the internet that place). Plus, it is always fun when it leads to connections with others, and it is even better if it is helpful to anyone. So in a way, TMT may keep me tethered to the things that I do miss, which is trying to grasp all of the intersecting variables and (maybe) helping any readers think about having a better relationship with themselves and food.
So, if it is of any interest to you, reader friend, life has indeed been full of change, and all of this has changed my person. I don’t know whether to attribute it to expat living, a career hiatus, relationship dynamics, culture shock, or a combination of them. Life is just utterly different, so wherever I ramble will be different, too.
I’m not sure how to categorize TMT moving forward. It’s a mixed bag. I’m keeping the moniker because it does indicate, albeit in sweeping generalizations, what will be on TMT. I think all the time, make things sometimes, and taste things, both figuratively and literally. See? Annoying and corny, but darn it, it works.
Here’s to change, and have a lovely week.