Sunday, January 22, 2012
I Am The Greatest...
Not sure whether to laugh or hide, MyHoney rolled his eyes and tried to soothe my Inner Martha Stewart the best he could. While running around, opening the door to my apartment, turning on the fan over the oven and praying to God that my smoke alarms wouldn't start blaring causing another impromptu fire drill for my landlords kids... I swore like a pirate, and beat frantically at the smoldering charcoal cookies with a dish rag.
"This is why I don't bake! I totally suck at it!"
In a huff, I stormed off to sulk, and left MyHoney wondering what Hurricane Cilly would do next....
After checking my pride, and telling Cecilia to go take a long walk off a short pier, I composed myself enough to come back into the kitchen and apologize for my outburst, and pray that MyHoney wasn't contemplating running off with a disgustingly overly-cheerful, peppy perfect cook like Rachel Ray. Instead of retreating however, MyHoney was happily munching on burnt cookies.
"You don't have to eat those to make me feel better."
"I'm not" he replied with a satisfied grin.... "These are the best burnt cookies I've ever had!"
"Yup, that's me, I'm the best damn cookie burner this side of the Mississippi!!"... and he smiled and said "That you are!" and he reached for another cookie, and ate it with gusto and delight.
I am a HUGE success! I am the best at burning cookies! No one does it better than me! What a talent I have! I'm amazing! And while I watched MyHoney put away a half a dozen burnt cookies.... I began to realize that even this is a successful moment. Next time I make cookies, I will try to successfully NOT burn them... but I really am the best at what I do - because I always try my best... and if the result from trying my best is burnt cookies.... isn't that still a success?
My success at burning cookies has gotten me thinking about the paradox of success. Have there been other instances in my life where I felt like a complete failure... but in fact I was a huge success? What other cookies have I burned? In what other instances did I feel like my efforts didn't match up because I was comparing my outcome to someone who is much more advanced than me? Key words - comparing my outcome to someone elses. Of course my cookies are not going to come out like Paula Deen's ... I don't sit around making 100 dozen cookies a week, and go through two tons of butter a year. My cookies are going to come out like Cilly's cookies... perhaps burnt, perhaps not.
Comparing my outcome to someone else.... that has gotten me in a lot of trouble in my life. Cecilia thrives when I do that. I get a good case of the "I'm not good enoughs"... and it brings me DOWN. It would be rather silly to damn myself because I "only" hiked up Bald Mountain (a 2.5 mile hike to a beautiful summit in Western Maine)... because I didn't hike up Everest like Sir Edmund Hillary, or "only" skiing the bunny trail at Sugarloaf and not mastering the half pipe like Seth Wescott. That would be ridiculous to take away from my own personal success because I am not in the same caliber as professionals that have dedicated their entire lives to defining thier OWN success.... and now, it is time I define MINE.
What is the definition of my success? For today, it's burnt cookies.... tomorrow, it may be my own personal Everest... but what ever it is... you can be sure that I am the best.