If you want to be successful in today’s world, you need to be multi-faceted. That’s the lesson that Addie Broyles wants us to learn, and it’s something she’s been demonstrating with her own career. Addie understands the power of connecting with people.
Addie is a multi-faceted renaissance woman: she is a food writer, tarot reader, and podcaster. Addie talks with us about being able to be multifaceted in today’s world, the generational healing that impacts her career, and learning the power of connecting with people.
Addie Broyles is a writer who spent 13 years as a food columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, where she covered home cooking, cookbooks, and food culture at large. Last year, she left the paper to work on her own media projects, such as a podcast about her high school graduation in a small town in the Midwest. A mom of two teenage boys, Addie is also a freelancer who writes for magazines such as Texas Monthly, Metropolis, and Dwell and publishes a weekly column about art, grief, travel, parenting, and dismantling the patriarchy called The Feminist Kitchen. Addie also reads and teaches tarot through her ancestral healing company, Don’t Fear the Death Card.
[00:00:00] Mica: Welcome. To the 12th episode of the Savory Shot. My name is Mica and I'm your host with all the most.
I want to start the show by saying thank you for being here. You coulda been anywhere, doing anything. But you're here with me and that means a lot to me. So, thank you.
Last episode, I gave a little peppy pep-talk about why comparing yourself to others is pointless. And bad. As we head into 2023, it's easy to look around at what everyone else is doing and feel like you're not making enough progress, enough money, enough clients and blah, blah, blah. You compare yourself to other photographers and wonder why can't you get there too?
If you need a little kick in the culo then head [00:01:00] over and give it a listen.
But let's talk about today's episode.
Today y'all. Um, my guest and I went deep. Have you ever had one of those conversations where the person you're speaking to has the best kind of energy? And you're both on the same wavelength. Uh, you feel like you could talk to this person for hours about everything and anything. And they just get it?
Well, y'all that's today's episode. Meet Addie Broyles. Addie is a writer who spent 13 years as a food columnist for the Austin American Statesman where she covered home cooking, cookbooks and food culture at large. Last year, she left the paper to pursue independent media projects, such as a podcast about her [00:02:00] experience graduating from high school and a small Midwestern town.
Y'all. Grab an extra large cup of coffee and a thick notebook. Because Addie's episode is packed. We talked about how food photographers can use the written word to improve their art. The vulnerability of embracing freelancing. Knowing when it's time to move on from something that's not working anymore.
And tarot cards. Man, it got deep, y'all. But. Before we get into that. Let's start the show.
[00:03:17] Mica: First, thank you for being on the show. I'm super excited that you're here and that you're gonna be sharing all of your wisdom with, with the listeners today. Thank you so much for being here.
[00:03:30] Addie: I really appreciate it. I think what you do is really cool and I'm happy to open up and I have a lot of different things that I do in my life. Our paths inter have intersected in some interesting ways. So I'm curious to see what you wanna know about my life and how, what we wanna talk about for the Savory Shot.
[00:03:48] Mica: I first learned of you, I'd say in like 2014, 2015 when I was just getting started in food photography and I got a DM from [00:04:00] you asking about my photo that I, I did a photo for, um, Patrizi's. I was just getting started in food photography and you asked if you could put this in the paper.
And I said, Yes. Whoa and behold is in the paper. I cut out that picture and I have it framed, still in my house. It was such a huge moment for me to see my picture in the paper. And it'd let me know that, gosh, I, I think I can do this. I think I can do this.
And I called my mom and I told my mom that my picture was in the newspaper. She also has it framed in her house too, and so I just wanna start off by letting you know that the impact that you've had on so many people in Austin and the food industry. I don't think there's a single person who does not know you.
You're such a connector, and that's why I'm really glad that you're here today and it's an honor to have you here.
[00:04:57] Addie: I received that. Thank you. If that can be my [00:05:00] legacy from my time at the Austin American Statesman, then I'm, I'm pretty proud of what I did.
[00:05:05] Mica: Oh, yes. Yes.
[00:05:07] Addie: And, and it really symbolizes a lot of what my intention became after I had done it for a little while. So when I first started at the paper, I was just a cub reporter drowning really.
I had no idea what to expect from that kind of a job. I didn't even know really about the PR industry. When I was in journalism school, they don't really teach you about PR, so I had no idea that as soon as I started this job, PR people would be wanting to take me out to lunch and invite me to media dinners and sending me press releases.
I thought I had to respond to every single press release that was sent to me. I think that's where I first got a taste of this idea that I was a connector, not necessarily that I was somebody who was sought after. But, but really that like, oh, I'm gonna be meeting people in the capacity of this job and we're gonna be having conversations about the industry.
My job is not just me interviewing people about what they do, so then I can write a story about them. It's gonna be [00:06:00] talking with food bloggers, that was very new at the time. It's gonna be running into a prospective restaurant owner at a food festival who wanted to ask you your ideas about something. The Austin Food Industry at the time, this was 2008, was just starting to explode.
Tyson Cole had been there for a little while, and Shawn Cirkiel and then all of the people who cooked in those kitchens and then went out and started their own places. Then that was when Twitter started. I started my food writing career the same year that, that Twitter was really getting underway.
I mentioned that because it was a, a transformative time to be a content creator because we weren't using that term.
It was still food journalism was one thing, and then maybe you would have like an online web blog from the early, you know, the mid odds. But it became a thing. Julie and Julia came out that, that movie, and so food blogging and then that was the precursor to the Instagram era now.
Right. But food stylists, food photography, that was not the industry that it is now because restaurants, [00:07:00] they only had to have one set of photos, and those photos could last them for 30 years, and often it did, or if you had a big press campaign in a big glossy magazine, you would need to hire a photographer.
But we were not inundated with the food images that we are today, thanks to social media. And so to start my food journalism career at the beginning of that era, certainly informed not only how I did my job, but also the length of time I was able to do it before burning out and needing to do something differently or different.
But also the depth and the meaning of it. Because, you know what you were talking about, the Instagram campaign, we did this thing called hashtag Austin 360 Cooks. Many tens of thousands of people have used this hashtag now, and it was a, an easy, quick and dirty way to create a two way street.
So with social media, so often it's a one way street. You're pushing content out to people. But I'll never forget listening to Gary Vanerchuck, do some YouTube videos and do some Twitter and South by things talking about the importance of the [00:08:00] two way street. And if you only think about your readers or your viewers as your audience, you're missing the point.
[00:08:05] Mica: Mmm.
[00:08:06] Addie: That it's really about the community that comes from it. So all through my time at the paper, I was coming up with ways to engage the community. I was doing events early on. I called them Apps with Addie. It was very cute. We went to, we went to the Dart Bowl, and, and, and then I, I organized a group.
We went to Shiner. So very, very grassroots way to just get to know people, and to create something fun. I had a little baby at the time. I could take him anywhere. I just started meeting these amazing people. And so then by the time 2014 rolls around, it wasn't just food bloggers that I was interacting with, it was Instagramers that I was also interacting with.
And the idea of putting everyday folks photos in the newspaper was blasphemous at that time. So my editor, she didn't exactly say this, but this was the vibe. So you're gonna screen grab an Instagram from someone, just anyone. How do we know that they don't work at the restaurant?
[00:09:00] We don't. How do we know that, you know, it's not a client work. We don't, we are trusting that somebody's posting it on their personal account or maybe even a professional account. It's worth showing off. Let's give credit to the person. Let's put a hashtag in print. Let's put an at sign and print. You know, let's try to bridge this gap between the digital world where food life is alive and the print food world where it can be sometimes flat if you don't keep up with the times. Print magazines and newspapers have had to keep up with the times to integrate some aspect of the digital life in there.
That's what Austin 360 Cooks was. I never had anybody turn me down. Of the hundreds of people's photos that we published over that project, which was probably five or six years. Nobody said no. Everybody was excited because exactly what you said, that feeling of feeling published. Why should only chefs get to feel that?
Why should only food writers who went to journalism school get to see their byline on print? Why can't our mutual friend [00:10:00] Kristina Wolters have her recipe? I can't tell you how many recipes she let me run in the newspaper because I would do blogger spotlights. A recipe of the week would often come from either a blogger or maybe a culinary Instagrammer who's cooking at home.
I wasn't even necessarily running recipes. I would even just give like an overview of the food. But I knew there was value in that to the reader. It was so fun to help bridge that. I really felt like I was a bridge between the older generation of folks who read the newspaper, they maybe weren't so plugged into what a hashtag was, but I could take your work and I could put it in print and offer it in a way that, who knew it was so meaningful to you?
A younger millennial. Are, are you Gen Z? You're millennial.
[00:10:40] Mica: I'm, I'm right in the middle millennial. I was born in 85.
[00:10:44] Addie: Okay.
[00:10:46] Mica: Right in the middle.
You bring up such a good point about Gary Vaynerchuk is like the bomb.com and I love him as well. But you bring up such a great point about social media needing to be a two way street.[00:11:00] It needs to be a conversation cuz no one likes to be talked at. It's called social for a reason. When did you come to that realization that this is a two way street? This is a conversation and this is how I'm gonna move forward from this point on?
[00:11:17] Addie: You're gonna die. You can cut this out if you'd like, cuz it's a little story, but I'll keep it short. When Gary Vanerchuk was on a book tour for one of his first wine books, he had an event in Austin where there were maybe, I don't know, 25 people who showed up. So I was there as a reporter. Earlier in the week, his PR person had for the first and only time in my entire career as a journalist, asked if I would drive him from one venue to another. The other venue was in Houston.
[00:11:40] Mica: Houston?
[00:11:41] Addie: I was at first offended and then I thought, but then I would have like three hours in the car with Gary Vaynerchuk.
I could handle that, I could learn a lot from that. And so I get my little Toyota Corolla and I had a CD player at the time, and I remember distinctly going through the CDs and pulling out some New Kids On The Block. We had some jam sessions to that. [00:12:00] But on that car ride, he said, you have to get on Twitter.
It will change your career and it will change your life. And you have to have some respect for the people who are reading your stories. It was so clear. He just had a knowing about the way that he saw the future and the way that he saw my industry. And it was so different than anyone ever talked about journalism.
In all of my journalism career and my experience, very little of it was, it was thinking about what the reader might need in terms of information, but it wasn't thinking about what the reader might need in terms of socialization and engagement.
So when social media came, just what you said about it, there's a social part of it, there's a community part of it.
There's a, an acknowledgement that the Statesmen brand mattered to people. That when they, what do they get so riled up when the paper doesn't arrive on their front driveway because it matters so much, right?
It was a unique experience to be at the forefront of it. And then everybody caught up and then I stopped using Twitter, and then a new wave of journalists came into the paper and had much more [00:13:00] digital savvy than I did. I can barely make Tiktoks. And I had to negotiate that online privacy.
And that, that burnout that I mentioned about what is it like to live a life that is so public. And writing first person's stories in the paper about my cooking journey and my kids' journey, and eventually turned into me talking about getting divorced and losing my dad and losing my grandmother and writing some really true things. I'm really glad I was able to do that and maybe model that for other writers there, or other writers just generally speaking who saw my work there and I hope I can continue to do this two way street thing. It's just changed. Twitter is not the primary space where that's happening, but I think Instagram, it really is.
But for me it's also happening in like the Buy Nothing community offline.
[00:13:45] Mica: Explain a little bit more what the Buy Nothing community is?
[00:13:48] Addie: Absolutely. So Buy Nothing is a movement that started up in the Pacific Northwest about a decade ago when some friends on B Bridge Island were just like, Can we just like have a free market of stuff? [00:14:00] Where can we maybe start a Facebook group where we post something that we have to give away and then somebody else might need it and they can say, Hey, I, I could use it.
So that's where Buy Nothing, the idea kind of started. People have been engaged in the gift economy for millennia. But the Buy Nothing community is a modern way that people are doing that. And so what it looks like today is there are more than 40,000 groups all over the world. There are 80 groups in Austin.
It's a hyper local gift economy. I'm an admin for my group up in North Austin, and there are 1200 members and people are giving and getting freely. It's a place where we center abundance. There's very little policing that happens. I'm an admin and if I have to gently enforce a guideline, it is a place for me to practice non-violent communication.
It's a place for me to practice the principles of abundance that I find so necessary for my own happiness and my own ability to survive and thrive. And it's a good way to get rid of your stuff, and it's a good way to get your own needs met. And it takes it out of the realm of charity. So there's a real two-way street there where if you're only giving [00:15:00] things in your Buy Nothing group, you're not truly engaged in the gift economy because it's also a place for you to practice asking and receiving.
[00:15:07] Mica: Mm.
[00:15:08] Addie: I could see some parallels there between how I use my local gift economy now and how I might have used Twitter back in the day.
[00:15:15] Mica: The Buy Nothing community reminds me of a website that I used to participate in called, I think it's called Paper back swap. It was like a book exchange. It's like the free libraries, but it's done nationwide and you have like your virtual library, and if somebody wanted a book that you have, you would send it to them postage free. Then someone, if they had a book in their virtual library, they would send you the book and it would just back and forth, back and forth and yeah. It's the cost of a postage stamp is the idea.
The more books that you send, the more credits that you get. And so it's just a nice exchange there. I was so heavily into that for a [00:16:00] good hot minute because I went to school in San Angelo, Texas, and there was nothing, nothing there. I wanted to read all of these great books that I couldn't find at my school library and I couldn't find at my local library.
I don't participate in it anymore, but I had so many good memories and you could message people back and forth and comment on the books, and it was just this really cool community. But it's the same thing that you said. It's like, if you're only asking for books, you're not really participating in the group.
It's gotta be a two-way thing. We're all here for this shared mutual love of books. And it was right at a time where eBooks were coming out and there was that strong movement where like, die hard I'm gonna die by the real book and not by the ebook. So it was even more vital for us to stand together and be together.
[00:16:49] Addie: That's a good example of this idea of thinking outside of the framework of capitalism, really. Right? And how we used to get our needs met was just to buy things. It's interesting to have transitioned away from [00:17:00] the paper into independent projects where I both participate in the capitalistic market and heavily in alternative economies and other ways of thinking and other ways of engaging with people.
And honestly, it's a coping mechanism from the 2016 presidential election and pandemic. Like this is, this is, this is what a bunch of that shared collective trauma will get you is a strong sense of motivation to do something different. And for that reason, it's a, it's an awesome time to be alive, being a content creator. I'm grateful I was courageous enough to move on from the paper. That was such a dream job. There was no other job I wanted at the Statesmen. But I also knew it was those golden handcuffs. I could have stayed there forever and I wondered what would happen if I did stay there forever.
[00:17:48] Mica: That's interesting. Take me to the moment you realized you were ready to leave Austin American Statesmen.
[00:17:54] Addie: Well, I kind of had been talking about it for a long time. I [00:18:00] say that in, in entrusted, in trusted spaces. I had been wrestling for many a number of years about what I might do next because the writing was on the wall about the industry. And pay, and we had different owners and we had layoffs. I survived four rounds of buyouts over 10 years. After about the second one, I started thinking, Should I think about taking one of those at some point?
Is that the economically feasible choice for me and my family, for me to, to opt out of again, this career that I love. Mike Sutter, the former restaurant critic at the paper, actually took one of those buyouts and then he got another job as a restaurant critic for the San Antonio Express News, where he's doing a great job.
So he made this huge sacrifice and moved him and his family. Now that I am a little older and further on in my career, and my kids are a little older, that's the other thing too. I think I knew that it was time. My kids are 15 and 12 now. I would say maybe a month or two into the pandemic.
[00:19:00] I started thinking like, when this thing is over, I'm gonna really think about pivoting out. I knew it wasn't gonna be to try to get another journalism job, cause frankly, there just aren't any that interest me. In some ways it would be swapping out one deadline, never ending deadline, nightmare for another.
And I'd been doing it for 20 years. I'd never not had a newspaper job. I worked at so many papers over the years. But then they had some layoffs. And the layoffs were just too many. The cut was too close to the bone. That is, I think is when ultimately the scale tipped.
And I thought, you know, my own personal sanity, it matters more than the longevity of this job. It's like what Esther Perel says, The measure of success of a relationship is not its longevity. I had a very successful relationship with the paper. I was so proud to represent it. I still love it, adore it. Will forever be a fan of the Statesmen.
It feels like 2008 again, where there's this swell of social change, individual change, collective change that I get to be part of. It's a little [00:20:00] scary sometimes being out on the edge doing tarot readings and talking about grief and ancestral healing all over the place. But I also know that especially as a white woman, I have a lot of privilege.
And how do I wanna use that privilege? That's a terrible way to say that. But I've gotta walk to walk about unlearning a lot of things, deepening my own tap root. Part of white supremacy is the loss of white culture. And the need to assimilate meant that families like mine got as far away from their homeland and their home culture and language, and even the people they left as quickly as possible.
And that is a trauma that lives in my body and in the bodies of most white people. So that's my nine to five right now.
[00:20:43] Mica: I like what you said earlier about how with each social change you find yourself on the outer brink, like you can see these changes happening. Would you say that you can see them happening before they actually happen?
[00:20:59] Addie: No, I [00:21:00] should have seen so much more about racism way before I did. That was a 2014, 2000 14, 15, 16 type thing. It was a few years before George Floyd, but, um, and oh, I know what it was. Let's get into this. It was the 2013 Urban Farm Ordinance.
Were you in Austin at that time?
[00:21:20] Mica: I, I was, but I don't remember what happened.
[00:21:24] Addie: It's all right. That was the peak of the urban farm movement where there were several urban farms in East Austin. Most of them were permitted properly, but a couple of them blurred the line as an event venue. It was all about code, but it was really obviously about something more.
Because the urban farms are in these neighborhoods, there's parking issues. There could be smells coming from the farms, and there were black and brown people saying, We're not okay with what's going on. And the predominantly white food industry went up in arms and said, local food saves everything.
Look at these beautiful spaces that they've created, that they're improving the neighborhood. And then the question became for whom?[00:22:00] It was a time of reckoning for many white people in the Austin food industry, myself among them. I remember writing a couple of pieces that were pretty scary for me to write cuz they were the first time I was trying to sort it out.
And I was doing a lot of, uh, you know, I know I'm doing it right when I'm fumbling because it, it least it meanly means I'm trying. So that was 2013, and then it, it, it pretty quickly became apparent that I had a lot of work to do as a person from the Midwest and I grew up in a, an all white home, small hometown.
And yeah, it seeps into you and it's generational too. I have racism all throughout the family and so do I see that before anybody else? I think I was late in, in seeing like the reality. Like colorblindness. I would not have said that colorblindness was harmful until maybe just five, six years ago,
[00:22:50] Mica: Would you say that that realization changed how you connected with people in the food industry?
[00:22:57] Addie: It changed how I connect with people. It changed what [00:23:00] I wrote about, it changed how I thought about labor. It changed how I thought about food prices. It changed how I thought and wrote about everything. Food safety. Even during the pandemic, we had the power outages.
Just suddenly realizing that, racism touches every aspect of society. Then every aspect of food touches racism. And that is restaurants, agriculture. How food is marketed. You know, I'm writing about Aunt Jemima, and trying to figure out how do I cover these things that were legitimate news events that were happening in my field, and how do I write about them in a way that were my bias?
There's this idea that journalists are unbiased, but I, I was absolutely always pushing that because I did know that social justice was something that was important to me. And that as a columnist, I could occasionally write a provocative piece that was intentionally trying to push the narrative beyond what it currently was.
I still try to do that on the Feminist Kitchen. So I'm now writing on this Subs Stack newsletter. [00:24:00] Each week I put out a column about everything from the Little Plant Stand in my neighborhood where people swap plants to the Johnson's Backyard Garden closure and the concept of transformative justice, because I really wanted to make a statement that that was an opportunity when one of the largest organic vegetable farms in the state closes suddenly because of possible mental health issues and or bad behavior, dot, dot, dot.
At a certain point it becomes just gossip, but also it's an opportunity to call people in rather than calling them out. It's just amazing to me that food writing can be both as light and as airy as here's my sister's recipe for chocolate chip cookies, which I think is the absolute best recipe for chocolate chip cookies in the world.
Oh, they're so good. Little bit of cinnamon. Perfect.
[00:24:49] Mica: You mentioned something earlier, instead of calling out, you call in. What does that look like?
[00:24:55] Addie: In some ways, it starts with giving people the benefit of the doubt, but the heart of [00:25:00] it is remembering that we are all human and if you have ever faced oppression, your tendency is going to be to repeat it. And inflict it on someone else. We have a way of bypassing our anger about the true issue and putting it onto an individual who is suffering at the hands of that issue that we should be enraged about.
And so the individual canceling or calling out is not an effective way to actually get anyone to change their minds because all it does is causes them to feel shame and it causes us to feel righteous indignation. That is an ugly two step that we learned, and if we don't unlearn, then we are actively propagating. That's an awareness that I wish more people knew. And I'm glad we're talking about it because I see a lot of people just inflicting the same harm. I'll never forget, my dad when I was a kid, said something. We were learning about abortion rights at the time, and there had been some bombings at some abortion clinics in Kansas.
Here I am in Missouri, [00:26:00] and my dad said, Isn't it interesting that in order to advocate for the life of someone, that people would go so far as to kill someone to advocate for the right of an unborn person? And he said, Just remember you become what you are against.
[00:26:15] Mica: Mm.
[00:26:16] Addie: I have to really hold and sit with that because I can see people slip out of their integrity and into the behavior that they loathe cause they're doing it unconsciously.
[00:26:26] Mica: You mentioned cancel culture and how that doesn't really help whoever's being canceled. I totally agree with you on that. It reminds me so much of the situation with Nick Cannon when he on a podcast said some pretty anti-semi tic things and people were just ready to cancel 'em right away.
A few rabbis actually reached out to him and he had a real deep off camera, off mic conversation where they explained to him why, what he said is harmful to the Jewish community.[00:27:00] Basically he said that Jewish people are known to have this control over the entertainment industry, and it was very harmful language. My husband was extremely offended.
But these rabbis took the time to educate him and explained to him why this was hurtful and he had a complete change of heart. He came back and he apologized firstly, but then he also explained what he learned from this experience and he owned up to it and it was a great thing. And I don't know if he did it to save his career.
I don't care. I'm even giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I respected the fact that he owned up to it and said it. I like to have conversations with anyone who doesn't agree with me because I'm not here to change your mind. We are not gonna see eye to eye, but I respect you as a human and I respect your right to believe or not believe whatever it is that you do, even if think, think it's crazy, you have that right.
Canceling people doesn't sit right with me because what do they learn from [00:28:00] that? Where do they go from there? Canceling is a finality of a conversation that could have been really beautiful. If anything, it's gonna make them stand even stronger. But I also understand that bad behavior is bad behavior and where did we blur the line between holding someone accountable versus throwing up our pitch forks?
[00:28:20] Addie: Well, it's the difference between a boundary and a wall, right? A wall is immovable, it separates, it creates a border, which is an act of violence.
And a boundary is the key to a healthy relationship, right? And so saying that's not okay that you did that I'm hurt and I have some feelings, and I'm working through that on my end.
Sometimes you have to withdraw your presence from canceling your subscription or something like that as a way to say, I cannot support this. If there's changes that are made and you resubscribe, that's your way of saying, I like what you're doing. I wanna support that. This whole idea that we vote with our dollar, what you pay attention to grows is one of the mantras of [00:29:00] emergent strategy has roots in Octavia Butler's, Afrofuturism.
This idea of what you want more of pay attention to it. And so if you want more growth and healing, pay attention to more growth and healing. If you want more criticism and thinly bailed violence, social media attacks, or even at home, how you speak to one another about the day's news influences, how you process what is happening, and then how you think about it two days from now and two weeks from now.
And so we're always writing this narrative and we have to catch, I have to catch myself, like just then I can only speak on behalf of me. I can't speak on behalf of anyone else. So just using intentional language, helps shape my reality and I'm shaping reality by participating in it in this way.
[00:29:43] Mica: I love that. I love that. So I wanna take it to photography cuz I'm loving what we're talking about, but I wanna take it to photography. How can food photographers use the written word to improve their photography?
[00:29:58] Addie: I am so glad we're gonna talk about [00:30:00] photography and writing and the intersection of what it means to create, I was a photographer. Was I a photographer before I was a writer? There was a love, there was a shared love at the same time. Like, I remember being a kid, you probably remember this, all the cameras with like the little film and the, just the sounds and, and we're of the right generation where like I learned how to develop film.
We did black and white, like negatives, all that stuff. And so when I went to college, I was a photojournalism major for a little while and I liked the art of photography. But I liked the, the, the truth of photography, which is interesting because I remember having some really interesting conversations in college about win win photos are true.
And when they're not true, even if they're not digitally manipulated, they're not always saying the truth. So I really loved that kind of conversation. Once we got to the color digital photography world, aka the 21st century, aka where we are now, it became, especially with food, like just so highly visual colors, flowers, architecture.
The built in natural world I think are so fun to, [00:31:00] to make photos of. And, you know, when I'm traveling that's when I get the most out of my photography. When I was at the paper and our photo staff was, being reduced slowly. They would have three assignments a day. And so if I could shoot at my house what I was making, then it would just make my life and their life easier. Nobody was saying, You have to shoot your own stuff, but I just started to, and so I would do it on my iPhone, especially as the iPhones got better. I would be able to shoot a food cover with my iPhone, like in the 10 minutes before we sat down to eat. What I liked about that is not to dismiss professional photographers and their actual gear, but to encourage people to have respect for the phone that's in their pocket and to, not let the tool be the thing that you think is limiting you.
Even though I was doing photography for a long time, it was kind of always on the side. And I knew that there were other people who had some natural talent at photography that I did not have. On the flip side, that I had some natural writing talent that my photographer friends might not have had.
So I pursued the writing craft, but I'm really glad that I left space for [00:32:00] photography to grow and evolve and then swell. And even to this day, photography's a big part of how I create content. On the internet you need a photo. Every story has to have a photo. So you would think then that photography is ultimately more important than writing.
But what I wanna advocate for photographers who are listening to this, is that the ability to write a caption for your photo, depending on what type of photography you're doing, but the ability to write a one sentence description of what's happening in your photo. And then if you have 10 frames, 10 different cut lines for each photo,
is an art and a skill, and it adds value to your work. If you're shooting an editorial spread, a magazine may or may not write their own captions, cut lines. So for you to be able to do that, it also helps you. There's nothing more cringeworthy than when your photo appears somewhere else with a caption that is either incorrect or says something cheesy and you're like, You just ruin the whole thing with this dumb, dumb headline or dumb caption.
I follow a lot of photo accounts and a beautiful image is a beautiful image. But man, when I [00:33:00] look down and I don't see a single word written in a caption, my heart breaks a little because I know that photographers are trying to say, My photo speaks for me.
I shouldn't be speaking because I want the image to say everything, and I wanna say, Can we use an and here? Like your photo says so much. And what is the thing that is, that you were feeling? What was your experience when you were making that photo? What thing did that make you think about in your history or about your future or, what metaphor do you see when you see this spiderweb glistening in the sun in a certain way?
That's like the art of Instagram, now. If I make a pretty picture, getting to think about how can I add meaning to this photo, But that's an art in itself and in the modern era, you have to have this multifaceted skillset. If you're going into a shoot and you only do stills and you never do any video, that's gonna last for a little while, but it's not gonna last forever.
Even the staunchest, I only do photography. People have now added video because they have [00:34:00] to. But being able to write emails clearly, being able to say thank you and use words and share something vulnerable from yourself about how you were changed by somebody purchasing your photo or your writing copy for your first show.
You've got your first show coming up. You have to have words that say when it's happening, where it's happening, who's invited, who's welcome, why you're doing it, what's it about? So you can't just do this minimalist, like 2:00 PM address. That's it. People need, they need, it's like the yin and the yang, like the black and the white.
The writing and the photography I think are so complimentary that it's dangerous for either people who do either to not do the other.
[00:34:45] Mica: I agree with you wholeheartedly. A point that you bring out that's so great. Is where you talk about the caption and how it's like so minimal and you're like, Well, how am I supposed to connect to this? Something that Jasmine Star, I dunno if you're familiar with [00:35:00] Jasmine Star, but she appeals mainly to like wedding photographers, business coaches, but she runs a company called the Social Curator and they provide you with captions and photos and things like that.
But one great point that she brought up is that, people connect with people and if you just put some weird emoji or they say something like, run it to the bank and it's like, uh, , Is that how you talk to someone? Do you just walk up to a random person and then say Piña Colada? That's just not the way people are. People are social. You have to connect with people who are following you.
And the way that they connect is through words. So I love that you brought that point up, but it is a lot of work to sit down at a keyboard and think of something to say that's like, how do you start?
[00:35:52] Addie: That's a good question. Well, let's talk about that. So I'm thinking back to my early writing days when I had to have a writing candle on.
[00:35:59] Mica: What's a [00:36:00] writing candle?
[00:36:00] Addie: Just, a candle, like a little rosary candle. But it was this psychological trick that I used to start writing. Annie Lamont, Bird by Bird is a fantastic book on writing and life.
Would talk about the shitty first draft and how it's okay to have a bad first draft, and in fact, if you can get over the fear of being bad. I mean, nobody's looking at your stuff. You know, let it be bad. So you could do a dummy, in like the notes mode or in, in a Google doc where you're writing some chatter.
But I actually find some of my best captions, especially for Instagram, come when I'm pecking it out on my phone because it's like I'm texting a friend and I can't see the entire piece all at once.
So I can only see the sentence or two that I'm working on. So maybe just change up how you're writing them or starting with something short.
You could have a whole running list of Google docs of ideas or phrases or things that motivate you or that help you find clarity and maybe keep that on your phone or something. So then that could be a seed for a future [00:37:00] post. Sometimes you just have to walk away for a minute, do something else, and then come back to it,
[00:37:04] Mica: I studied theater arts and I was studying to be a playwright. One of my strongest writing skills is I could write dialogue very naturally. Writing dialogue. There is an art to it, and it's very difficult. What I do is I would just talk and record myself, and I would like improv scenes in my head. I'd record that and I'd go back to my computer and I'd listen to it and I'd write out what I thought sounded great.
So that's what I do with my captions. I record myself with my voice memo.
What are some things that people don't know about writing about food?
[00:37:41] Addie: How much it intersects with a lot of the things we've been talking about. People just think food is, is one thing and I enjoy going out to eat, but sometimes it's hard because I almost know a little too much about everything that goes into it. And, I think about the person at the host stand and I think about the gender dynamics that play in the kitchen and the economic [00:38:00] conditions at the farm and the drought, and then the variety of the produce that the chef is having to choose from.
And there's just so many different angles, which means there's so many different ways to be a food writer. Every person who I know who is a food content creator does it in a different way. If you're wanting to maybe get more into food, or, take it on as a side hobby. I really wanna encourage people it's not too late to start a food blog. It's not too late to start a food Instagram account or a TikTok or a YouTube channel or what have you.
If you have something to say about food, then say it, because what you have to say about food is not what anybody else has to say about food. And it's nice for me to not be talking about food right now. Like I, I do very little food writing. Most of the food writing I've done recently has been about agriculture.
I'm ready for other people to be telling those food stories. And so for me now I'm writing about grief and gardening and parenting and travel and the generational healing stuff. This is actually, it's an Instagram story, not a a substack story, but I posted this Instagram of all the [00:39:00] blue sponges that I had accumulated underneath my sink.
I don't know if you've learned this habit growing up, but I learned that when the sponge is like half used, you throw it underneath the sink and then it dries out and then you use it for cleaning like the toilet later. So I was cleaning out that cabinet and I pulled out probably 10, easily, could be 20 sponges. And I took a photo of them and I put them on Instagram and it was ugly. It didn't look good in the grid. I didn't spend any time styling it. It was dirty sponges. I got more comments on this post because what I wrote was I tapped into the truest true thing for me.
I wouldn't have even posted it if I wasn't gonna post the story because the story was, I am a granddaughter of a woman who grew up during the depression and in my family tree is a frugality and a sense of maintaining and conserving your resources. That is a hard habit to break.
And if you recognize these sponges, I see you and thank you for seeing me. I had so many people comment, I couldn't believe I had 50 comments or something on that post with people seeing themselves in both what I had posted visually and what I had said with my [00:40:00] words. Look at what a specific example that was that turned out to be universal.
So I always encourage people that I don't know if the same is true in photography, but especially in writing, Annie Lamont talks about like the one inch picture frame. If you're looking at this one inch picture frame and I'm wearing a little necklace and you zoom your one inch picture frame right over the necklace, I could tell you a whole story about me, about culture, about society, about being a woman in America through the necklace.
So if you feel overwhelmed about what to say or maybe even what to shoot, narrow your focus and say something that is not just true, but that is even true or at a deeper level and people will respond.
[00:40:40] Mica: You mentioned something really great about making whatever it is that you're writing universal that so many people can connect with. My former food blog, I said, used to work at Johnny Rockets and they put cheddar cheese on Apple Pie, and ever since [00:41:00] then, that's how I eat my apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on top. I'm like, so are you for it or are you against it? Cuz my husband says that it's blasphemy. I'm over here like, you don't know what you're missing. And we got over twenty comments and I was just like, Wow. Who would've thunk that picture with the slice of cheddar cheese melted on an slice of apple pie would change the game over here.
[00:41:23] Addie: Okay. I wanna ask you a question. What do you think is the, the truthiest truth about why it is you do what you do? So what I mean, this is a Brene Brown idea about truth. Truth, truthier, and truthiest. So on the truth, you're a food photographer.
[00:41:35] Mica: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:36] Addie: What are two other layers of truth about it is that you do?
[00:41:40] Mica: Well, I learned about myself why food and the surface is I like color, I like the community. I like that it's universally loved by many people. It's cool to say I'm a food photographer. So I like the bragging rights. But deeply at its [00:42:00] core is that growing up I didn't have a lot of food. I grew up in poverty.
I grew up poor, and I used to look at these tv shows with these big giant meals and family gathered around the table. And that made me just feel good, watching that as a kid. It carried on into where I'm at now as an adult.
I'm not in poverty anymore, but I do still remember what it was like to be in poverty and how food at the end of the day made me feel hopeful. And so that's why I do what I do. That's why I love food, because I love the way it makes me feel. I love the community and I love the fact that I can talk about it to anybody and then it goes even deeper.
I have social anxiety. It's really hard for me to talk to strangers. With my camera going out to restaurants, people would see me with my camera and they'd go, Oh my God, what are you doing? How, what is that? And I'm like, Oh, I'm a food [00:43:00] photographer. And then that sparks a conversation. That's a great question.
Thank you for asking that.
[00:43:05] Addie: Thank you for sharing. It's really beautiful to hear you talk about that and watch you go from step to step to step.
You know that there's a lot of healing that happens for you at each one of these shoots.
[00:43:14] Mica: It's interesting how food has such a huge influence on me growing up, as an adult, as a food photographer, and how I can incorporate that in my work today.
Ironically, I'm not a curious eater. It takes a lot for me to go.
Yeah, I'll try that.
Until I try it. And then once I try it and I like it, I'm like, Hmm, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stick around with this and not try anything else. So as a photographer, that allows me to be very curious. I wanna photograph this because I've never eaten it. How do I photograph something I've never eaten in a way that's beautiful?
And it's the same thing when you write about food. How do you write [00:44:00] about a dish that you've never tried? Or how do you write about a culture that you're still learning about and still be respectful of that culture? I think about that with every shoot that I do. Cuz I wanna honor it and I wanna respect it.
It's not just about a photo for me. There's so many more layers to it.
Do you think that that also influenced your food writing as well?
[00:44:21] Addie: Yes. Because what I hear is I wanna help people not feel so alone. I felt like that was my job at the Statesmen. We're all trying to feed our families, we're trying to feed ourselves, we're trying to make it in this world with the money we got in our pockets, in the hunger we have in our bellies.
And it can be a lonely experience to do that day after day after day. So if I could write in a way that made somebody feel like they were seen or that they belonged and ultimately the crux of that is that they weren't alone. Now it's interesting because I had that all nice, nicely wrapped up with my why in my previous job and now my why.
I feel like there's still that [00:45:00] aspect of it, especially when I'm posting on Instagram or engaging with people trying to do the deep listening. Having the commitment to my own healing, doing that as a way to honor and respect myself and other people. But the overarching why of my work now is this ancestral healing thing, which is seeing beyond just the Tuesday night in the dinner trying to feed my kids, I now see cuz I can see myself, like a 29 year old, about to be divorced, single mom of two who is part of a much longer lineage of people who have also been single parents, 32, not sure about what their job or romantic future holds, you know?
And that I carry with me inside of me many generations of people living lots of, of, of traumas and of joys and successes and births and lives and it's so easy to get lost in the Tuesday dinner and not see the multi-generational. [00:46:00] Beautiful, beautiful performance piece that we're part of. Expression of imagination, that we're part of. Spiritual experience that we're doing.
So if I can write about that journey of taking one step further back and, and maybe even slowing something down in my life. Leaving my job that was very high paced, and doing things like dog walking. My dog walking part of my career now is very much part of this healing work where I can make money with my body and not my hands, which, is a real, it's a privilege that I haven't used my body in that way.
I've done some restaurant work before, but for the most part, I make money with my hands and my head and my, my typing hands, my tick, tick, tick hands. And I needed a break from that. Part of that was I needed to get a, a right size sense of self about what labor meant as a person with a college degree.
College has just held up on this pedestal and do this kind of work and have this kind of job, and have this kind of 401K and then you'll have this kind of status in society. When you get that, you tend to look down at [00:47:00] other parts of society and you lose your compassion for them.
And so having a job that is as menial as picking up dog poop. It's such a joy to do because, well, it's a choice, right? And, and to be able to choose that as a job, I feel so lucky that I get to, to piece together this new career, but I wanna bring in level of intensity to it, intentionality and intensity to it, right?
By talking about it in this way with you, by going to dinner parties and saying, I don't have all the answers. It's been a humbling journey, but it's an exciting one.
[00:47:28] Mica: You mentioned something earlier that I wanna touch on. You had mentioned about being multifaceted. Why do you think it's important to be multifaceted in today's industry?
[00:47:39] Addie: The economy demands it, and I think our inner selves demand it. You're so much more than a food photographer, right? You have many aspects of, of your, your personhood, and I'm interested in a lot of them. I want you to be interested in and to see value in the things that are just hobbies or my volunteerism or my parenting, or my grandparenting or relationship with my grandparents is [00:48:00] what I can think about.
I love being a grant. I don't have any grandparents left. I've had to bring in some more elders into my life because I don't have any more grandparents. But being multifaceted means that we acknowledge that we have many sides and for too long we had a work life balance that was a work life binary.
The truth is, we are whole beings who are around and integral, we have integrated pieces of ourselves. So when you acknowledge that within yourself, I'm a writer, I'm a photographer, I'm tarot card reader, I'm a dog walker, I'm all these things. I'm a ukulele player. When you write your Twitter bio, when you rewrite your Instagram bio to say what it is that you are, and you show the world some of these multifaceted things, it encourages other people to do that.
And for me, it's an expression of my wholeness. If I can encourage that in the world, then I know that I am doing transformative work.
[00:48:50] Mica: I like the point that you bring up about listing all these things that incorporate what makes you, you. You can see where the [00:49:00] influences show up in your work, show up in your writing. I remember you came to Frank's class. You came and you presented your newspaper clippings and something that you said that stuck with me is that you have got to wear all the hats and you've got to use whatever medium that you can use to share your work. You've gotta be ready to, to change with the times.
Either you're gonna swim or you're gonna sink. And that stuck out to me.
[00:49:32] Addie: Oh, I'm so glad to hear that. It's so cute. I think we were fairly newly dating at the, that time. It was pre pandemic.
If I were to condense what you were just talking about down into maybe even how I would phrase it or teach it now in such a class would be about seeing opportunities. Being willing to look for opportunities rather than limitations.
So, I can't do this because of this, or I can't do that, or that's not for me. Or that's, that's very, picking lane and that lane isn't creation.[00:50:00] Sometimes it's fear that's motivating it. Sometimes it's just, you don't wanna look, you don't wanna mess up and like lose.
If you fail at trying TikTok, then you, you worry about losing your reputation. But if, if that's where it's coming from, the product is you're gonna get what you want, you're gonna get what you asked for. But if you say, if you see it as this is an opportunity for me to play, this is a way for me to show my humanity.
This is a way for me to remind the world that it might look like that I'm an expert in my field and I am not afraid to be a beginner.
That I have a healthy relationship with new. If it doesn't work out for you and you don't wanna use it, then don't use it. There's no harm in trying something out and then pulling back from it.
That is one not helpful thing that we do in our culture is think we start something and we have to carry it on forever. And I'm the worst about this because I have a really hard time of stopping and saying, All right, we're not gonna do this anymore. There are all opportunities to connect and it's gonna be a different audience on each platform, and you might even have something different to say on each platform.
And, and that is a really neat thing to explore where you have maybe [00:51:00] a more playful self on one platform and a more professional self on another. Or I'm actually trying to streamline those where, I have the same voice across all the platforms. But, people are different places in their careers, so.
[00:51:10] Mica: That makes total sense. You mentioned something that popped out in my mind, everyone should be seeing these opportunities. Do you think food photographers should be looking for opportunities or making opportunities?
[00:51:21] Addie: Oh that's a really great question. Yeah, both. Yes. And also redefining opportunity.
I would spend some time thinking about that. What are the existing opportunities that are out there? What are the opportunities that I know I can make? By hustling, going out there, giving my card, you know, marketing, traditional marketing, and then how can I use my God-given imagination to think about opportunity in a new way so that everything that's happening in my life can feel like an opportunity, because it's easy as a self-employed person to just feel like doors are closing or I can't, I can't, I can't because I can't do this.
Either money's a limiting factor [00:52:00] or time, or I can't, I don't have enough talent, I don't have enough people, that is not being creative about. About what is possible. I have a wedding photographer friend who is teaching me a lot about this, where he'll take a rejection and turn it into an opportunity.
So he got booked for a wedding, he thought he got booked for the wedding, and then the bride was like, Oh, I actually can't hire you cuz we already hired this other person. I didn't know about it. Or, you know, something weird like that happened. So here he was like out this being the main shooter at this wedding and he thought about being a second shooter on the wedding, you know, and doing like a paid, like 50 buck an hour thing, whatever.
But then he thought, you know what, this is gonna be a really amazing wedding. The photos that I would get, even if I gave my services for free, would be worth my time because he, his portfolio is what sells his product. And the more like high end weddings that he can have, as part of his portfolio.
So he ended up shooting it. But in his mind he wasn't doing a free job. It was not, I'm giving away my labor. It [00:53:00] is, I am getting, so look at this access that sometimes wedding photographers pay money to go get portfolio shoots, like $500 for a half day mock wedding. I'm not having to pay for that right now.
He made that opportunity and he used his power of perspective as the seed for making that shift in, in how he solved the situation. It wasn't poor me, it was lucky me.
[00:53:22] Mica: Oh, I love that. One thing I've learned in my time so far and building what I'm building now is that every opportunity that comes my way, thinking about why I said yes, and then seeking out more opportunities that are similar to that. Why? And one of them was shooting a cover for a local magazine, it was very low pay and I knew that whatever I was making that was just gonna be enough to cover the costs.
But I can now say that my image has been on the front cover of magazine. And that's a huge deal to me. That's something I always [00:54:00] wanted. And that was a great opportunity.
[00:54:02] Addie: You didn't get paid very well and you know that you might not necessarily do it again. That they're not just gonna keep getting you with that low rate. You were getting a lot out of that. Did Frank ever tell the first, I'll give you the second one for free comment. He loves that one. When people ask him to do like, Oh, well, can I have the first one for free? And I'll be, he's like, How about we do the second one for free? You pay me for the first one. We'll throw in the number two. He has so many good business clips like that.
I have been doing some consulting work and some of it is also like mentor mentee work, but because of my digital skills and all that I bring to the table, there is also some consulting that is, we're. Getting closer to doing some consulting, but there's also a lot of co-learning that's happening.
All year I have been having these conversations and learning so much from them, and also knowing that vibrationally, I can feel when it's starting to shift into where I would be needing to get [00:55:00] paid to go deeper into that subject or to do any actual work with it, or, you know. So I wanna encourage people to find that in themselves about where is the line between their, you're at a party and you wanna take some fun pictures of your friends.
At what point are you turning into the, would it be a paid gig? Right? If you're breaking kit, you're bringing lighting, all that stuff, don't go that far. Right? For me, it's, what can I give away for fun and for free? Because if I can't give it for fun and for free, then I shouldn't be giving it. And if I don't have it, I can't give it. If I don't have the time, then I shouldn't be giving it. If you can get in touch with where that lives in your body, that line, that will help you make those decisions about when you do pro bono work. When you, like the old, your friend is getting married and they wanna do it on the cheap and they ask you to do their wedding, right?
It might be the right time and the right place in the right circumstance where you make that call and you know it, and there's gonna be a time when you tell your very best friend, I to charge you my full rate.
[00:55:58] Mica: Yeah, I, [00:56:00] I totally connect with what you're saying. If a brand reaches out to me and they're like, Hey, we wanna send you some products in exchange for a post and they have all of these conditions. We want you to say this, we want the pictures to look like this.
And I'm like, Okay, that sounds like a job.
So here's my rate sheet and let's have a conversation about that.
[00:56:20] Addie: That asking thing. This comes up with my tarot readings a lot where, I love having terror cards out and about and, and being playful with them and letting people feel them and try them. But very quickly it can turn into me offering readings for free.
And so my line for that is if it is a free reading or if it is something that there's not gonna be any money exchanged, I let them pull them and I let them read the card. I just ask them leading questions. What do you see here? What does fire mean to you? Or I'll give a little clues about what the cards mean, that's so terrible.
Or I'll just say, here's the guidebook. Because then they also see that tarot is, you know, there are a million different guide books. There's some ideas about what the cards mean, but it's [00:57:00] really about the tarot reader and the spirit and the wisdom traditions that they embody and bring to the reading.
And so I do that in every room I walk into. When there are cards involved and where I am dropping nuggets of wisdom with them. It's gonna be a paid situation.
[00:57:16] Mica: Speaking of your tarot card business, tell me more about that. Why that name?
[00:57:21] Addie: I started reading tarot probably about four or five years ago. I actually was listening to a podcast for a number of years before I started getting into the cards themselves. So there's this great tarot podcast called Tarot For the Wild Soul.
Anybody's interested, it's a great way to get started. And then picked up some decks and they were really helpful for me during the time when my dad was really sick. Then in the transformative year that followed, I can remember pulling the death card and thinking that I was excited to pull the death card.
I was like, Oh, yay. And I realized that that was perhaps a unique expression after pulling the death card. And it also spoke directly to what it is that I wanted to talk about, which [00:58:00] was particularly healing from codependency and living with grief. And my own journey towards being in healthy relationship, some old parts of me had to die. I had to become a new person in some ways, how I am in relationship with other people.
Then losing a parent is a transformative experience that if you're lucky, you bury your parents, that rather than the other way around, that's how it's supposed to go. So being able to be at a place of acceptance with that, a ton of grief work. Just will say generally that Hospice Austin is a wonderful resource if you're dealing with grief.
They have free classes and support groups for loss of parent, loss of sibling, eight week, once a week kind of things. It's free even if your loved one did not receive care from hospice. They offer bereavement support. So there's lots of free support that's out there for grief work.
There's a really wonderful book called Notes from the Wild, or Sorry, that's of the Wild, Edge of Sorrow. I have an occasional blog on Don't Fear The Death Card.com, called Notes from the Wild Edge. Living on this [00:59:00] wild edge of having grief be part of my life on a daily basis, flows through how I read the tarot and I feel like has been an amazing experience to get on the other side of being so fearful of loss and change. If I can use the cards to help other people on in their journeys through loss and change, then it just feels like yet another way that I can be of service. It's interesting to, to charge money for something that is, feels like a spiritual practice. It's not therapy and it's not church, but it's some kinda weird in between space.
I'm getting better about being okay with the gray and the in between and letting things evolve and change. And so the tarot practice itself evolves and changes. I did my first corporate tarot team building session for an advertising agency in town that brought my cards and they told me their conflicts that they had been having with some of their clients and internally. Then I used some cards to explain some ideas about how they could [01:00:00] possibly change their perspective about the situation and find some learning and healing cuz life and work are not as different as we think they are. And the tarot speaks to all of it. So. I've done some weddings. But I do a lot of one on one readings just via Zoom and those are lovely.
I started doing Airbnb experiences so people can hire me. If you're visiting Austin, you can come and will like, do tarot on the Pfluger pedestrian bridge or at Zilker Park or at the top of Mount Bonnell or you name it.
[01:00:29] Mica: You mentioned earlier about how you're getting more comfortable with the idea of charging for your tarot readings. And I, I totally understand that. A lot of photographers struggle with that part.
It's like being the artist versus being a business person. You feel icky getting to a place where you don't feel that way.
That's something that is just super duper duper hard.
[01:00:56] Addie: One thing that's weird about the, is that it's hard to [01:01:00] show proof of anything. Right? It's something that you feel and experience, not something you can see or even replicate. It's interesting that it's like what I'm offering to people is a an hour long space to dig into things that you don't usually do. And podcasting is an example of that. There's a lot of therapeutic benefit that comes from having conversations like these and more people would benefit from having those conversations, quite frankly. And so I think that in the future we will actually see some kind of paid podcast.
Or not therapy exactly, but something that is be beneficial to, but it's like, who's paying whom? I don't know. It, it gets really interesting, like if I were recording my tarot sessions and then you wouldn't do that cuz of all the sensitive nature of the stuff that comes up, but Esther Perel figured out how to record a therapy session and make it meaningful to people and anonymize it and, and keep it a safe space and uphold the integrity of the industry.
So, [01:02:00] yeah, it'll be interesting.
[01:02:02] Mica: So I wanna take it to my last question. In your interview with, Within Light, you talked a lot about grief healing and ancestral healing and going through the mourning process of, losing your father and the work that you did, what did you learn about yourself during that process?
[01:02:21] Addie: I feel like I finally got to know myself. I think about it in, in context of the tarot, where there's a fool's journey that goes from the fool all the way to the world and from fool to world, you experience death. Well, first you like strength card, wheel of fortune, you get to death and then you get to tower, and then you finally get to some sort of healing resolution type thing.
But you can't get to the end without going through all the monkey parts in the middle. And I've learned so much from those parts. I wouldn't trade that knowledge, that understanding, that sadness, that grief, that the wailing, the, the pain. I just wouldn't trade any of it. I [01:03:00] love what I've learned through this process.
I also don't feel like it's the same for everybody, obviously. I'm really grateful that at some point during the experience, I realized that this was something that was happening for me, not, that was something happening to me. If more people could get right with that idea, that there would be less unnecessary pain, less unnecessary suffering.
I think that suffering is part of life. Death is part of life. Longing, all of that. These are things that we have for a reason and what a gift that we have them. Just being able to, to flip my perspective on that, that has been the root of the what it, why it has been so transformational. It's so wonderful to get to bring that into the world and everything I do, because everybody goes through these things.
Everybody has these ups, these downs, these losses, these, these changes. And that's one of the universal things that, that binds us. You know, I thought food was what, what bound us together. Grief is what binds us together. Grief is an expression of [01:04:00] love. And not everybody loves food, but everybody experiences love and loss.
Some people just eat just to get by. They don't see what all the fuss is about, right? But everybody has a longing to be loved. And with that longing, the price that we pay for that is the experience of grief. When you experience and you go through it, not everybody has that type of transformation when they go through grief.
Some people get stuck there and they just stay. And that's okay. But at some point your ancestors will deal with it and so in some ways we are dealing with unhealed stuff from, from the past because, it goes into how people are, they parent their kids. It goes into how they teach them if they're the school teachers.
Imagine all the school teachers, they have such an influence on us as kids. And they too, were going through all of the things that life holds. If they weren't getting healed, they probably either passed that healing onto us or they didn't. In our work, every day we get to choose, am I passing down regardless of whether or not you have kids?
Am I creating this from a place of [01:05:00] healing or am I creating this from a place of unhealed trauma?
[01:05:04] Mica: Learning more about what ancestral healing was such a eye opening thing because I feel like I'm doing a lot of that with my therapy. When 2020, the pandemic started, I mean my mental health went down the crap hole and I decided to go back to therapy and I'm like, okay, well if I'm gonna go, I'm really gonna put in the work because I'm tired of being tired.
So I've been working so hard to unravel this childhood trauma that I went through and this adult trauma and not carrying that into the next generation, which are my nieces and nephews. A point that my therapist made about feelings that people don't take the time to feel something, especially if it's a, a discomforting feeling, if it's unpleasant feeling.
So they just wanna get over it really fast, really quick. It takes 30 seconds to process a feeling. [01:06:00] But we don't take more than six seconds to do that because we don't wanna feel bad, we don't wanna feel uncomfortable, we don't wanna feel sadness or pain or anything. And that the best thing that we can do, she's like and imagine people have like every painful moment, every discomfort, every unpleasant moment that they did not feel has just been bottled up inside you.
So that's like really interesting learning about, like listening to your episode and learning about grieving and taking the time to grieve the loss of my father and the kind of relationship that I had with my father and grieving the relationship that I wished that I had with my father.
Like that was a huge. Thing to like circle back around to and and come to terms with.
It's hard work. It's really hard work, like finding that, that balance. And so
[01:06:50] Addie: Right.
[01:06:51] Mica: that you talked about that that episode is just beautiful episode. So
[01:06:55] Addie: Thank you.
[01:06:55] Mica: anyone, I will put it in the show notes that you go and listen to it.
[01:06:59] Addie: I'm [01:07:00] so glad you shared. Thank you for sharing this, this part of your journey with listeners. Cuz I think that for people who are listening, I think it's a reminder to not be afraid to get in touch with some of these deeper things that either motivate you or dismotivated you or make you terrified.
[01:07:16] Mica: Yeah.
[01:07:17] Addie: They say, if it's hysterical, it's historical. So in those days when you're all wound up, cuz something isn't going the way you want it to, you're not getting clients, there's an interpersonal thing that's going on. You've got somebody who's struggling with addiction in your life and you're freaking out about it, right? That there is history embedded. That response is a clue about where the wounds are in the ancestral tree or generational tree or whatever you wanna call it.
These feelings are such a gift because they show us the way.
[01:07:49] Mica: What do you help people walk away from today's episode?
[01:07:52] Addie: I hope people feel hopeful. We live in a time that can be scary with the economic stuff that's going on and the [01:08:00] war in Russia, Ukraine, and just a lot of uncertainty and it can be easy to let the shadows get the best of us and overshadow the light that is within each of us.
It's just easy to, to lose hope and I want people to know that there's so much good stuff that's happening out there, and it's just a matter of looking around. When you see the good stuff, focus on it. Think about how you can contribute because that is the generative way to participate in the world that is more helpful than you realize.
And we do it in our work. We do it in how we text each other. We do it in how we plan our holidays or how we book our gigs, or how we clean our gear. Everywhere we go we can either focus on the stuff that's not working we can focus on the stuff that is. And make decisions accordingly.
[01:08:47] Mica: Where can we follow you and where can we support you?
[01:08:50] Addie: So I am at Broyles A on Instagram. It's my last name and then the letter A and at Don't Fear the death card for Instagram. And if you wanna book tarot session [01:09:00] with me, you can do that through Don't Fear the death card.com. I would love it if folks considered subscribing to the Feminist kitchen.
So I'm continuing to write each firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a paid and free option. It's primarily a paid newsletter, but it's a great way to support independent journalism. If you wanna book me from Rover Rover for babysitting your dogs, you can find me there.
[01:09:23] Mica: Well, thank you for being on the show and gosh this was such a great interview. I love that we had this conversation. This, this was the best.
[01:09:32] Addie: Me too.
[01:09:33] Mica: for being here.
[01:09:35] Addie: you. Thanks for hosting it. You have created a space, much like I do with tarot where there's a, uh, feeling of safety and, and it a portal opens, right? And so thank you for creating that space for all of your guests.