Almost six years ago, to the day, I was working in a high rise in Philadelphia, on a movie set with Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd, and Reese Witherspoon. The job was coming to an end, as film projects always do, and I was happy. Even though I’d enjoyed being a production assistant (as completely unglamorous as that position can be), I was also ready to move in a different direction.
I wanted to share all the food I was making at home, to write about the new relationship I’d made with food, talk with other people about weight loss and balance and what a torturous beast maintenance can be. And I knew that I could do all of that…if I started a blog.
The day I bought the domain canyoustayfordinner.com, the film job I had taken to follow that one in Philly had just abruptly folded, and all of us lost our jobs on the spot. There Daniel and I were, stuck in a lease in Hamden, Connecticut until May. I sat at my computer, and for a gray day in February, felt spring.
I fell hard with food blogging, with the same intensity that makes me free fall into love. I blogged three times a day then. It was insane, absolutely, and so cringe-worthy, yes, but oh I just loved it. I didn’t have brakes I could’ve pumped at that point in my life. And I’m not sure I would’ve used them even if I knew how.
When people (you) started coming to read, it was amazing to me. When I cooked, so did you. When I talked about weight loss, you wrote back. When Daniel and I broke up in 2011, you felt it; I know you did, because you told me so. When I fell off the map, struggled hard in 2012, and re-emerged with a post about crippling depression, you knew, and you had waited, and you were there to say, “I understand. And I love you.” When I gained weight in 2013, gave a Ted Talk, and told you about my shame, you reminded me that you don’t need me to be perfect–a lesson I work on every day of my life. And when I published It Was Me All Along, and worried about sharing so much of myself with millions, you came out in droves with your unbelievable kindness. You make me know, every day, who I’m writing to, and why I’m writing, and what I’m so unbelievably grateful for.
Blogging is not journaling. It’s an attempt at sharing—at starting a conversation. If it were meant to be a diary entry, I’d just jot down my thoughts into the pages of one of the 20 beautiful Rifle Paper Co. notebooks I’ve picked up at Target in the last two years, and stuff it in my nightstand. But no, because you’re here, sometimes listening, and sometimes talking back.
I know I’m past Thanksgiving by a few days, but I’m chronically late and if my mother hasn’t rectified her lateness in nearly 60 years, I have very little hope for myself. But that’s not the point. The point is, I am thankful for you every single day.
Changing to AndieMitchell.com
I changed the site to Andie Mitchell for two reasons: one because I felt like I was outgrowing Can You Stay for Dinner? and it didn’t seem to encompass all the many things I share now—about weight loss, about life, about me. The second reason, and a more obvious one, is that, as an author, none of my books carry that name—my memoir is It Was Me All Along and my cookbook, out this spring, will be Eating in the Middle: A Mostly Wholesome Cookbook. My name is what ties all that I write and create together, and I like that. I feel comfortable moving into that, even though it feels a little…I don’t know, grand, maybe?
All the links out there (on blogs, Pinterest…you name it) will redirect automatically from canyoustayfordinner.com to andiemitchell.com, so don’t worry if you’re still clicking them, or typing the old address into your search bar for a while.
I hope you’re at home here, that you come over regularly, and you feel comfortable enough to chat and share as if you were sitting on my couch (because we eat here, too).
I love you,