I was watching some Instagram stories by my lovely friends The GG Sisters and they were talking about “finding your why”, which is such an important question to ask yourself if you want to live a happy and fulfilled life.
I know…you’re all probably asking, “what does this have to do with food?” Well, in my world, it has a lot to do with food.
Let me explain…
Way back in 2014, I wrote a blog post about Bake it Forward where I explained everything about this new initiative I was launching. I was going to start delivering freshly baked goodies to people that were either struggling or were doing fantastic things. It was going to be my way of telling them “you are rocking this ‘life’ thing!!” and this was the vehicle I needed to spread kindness through food.
It was so exciting for me because it felt so right when I was starting out in this space. I knew I loved to bake (and cook) but I kind of felt lost in this big blog world. It definitely wasn’t as saturated as it is now, so in some ways, it felt easier to start back then. But, all of this tech stuff was new to me and the social media game – and all the learning that came along with it – wasn’t easy. But, like most things in life, baby steps always get you to where you have to go.
So I began one Friday and it just grew from there. People receiving my baked goodies seemed happy and, in turn, it made me happy too. This went on, every week for a few years. I even did a Bake it Forward Lent – instead of giving up something for 40 days as some Catholics do for Lent – I baked and delivered something for each of the 40 days of Lent. What a great experience!
But then something strange happened. I got a comment from someone who said that it wasn’t very “giving” of me if I had to post about my Bake it Forward initiative. She said that if it was truly an act of giving, I should just give without saying anything about it. I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t about me… I wanted her to know that the reason I was spreading the word on social media was because I wanted people to know that they, too, could create a ripple effect of kindness in someone’s life with a small act like this. I tried to let it go but I couldn’t. It made me think, “does everyone feel this way?”
I kept at it and, even though her comment was still with me, I knew how much happiness was coming from this project. Then I received another comment…but, this time, it was different.
It was from a very good friend of mine and, while we were talking about Bake it Forward, she said this: “Suzie, please don’t take this the wrong way, but when I see you post about Bake it Forward, I feel immensely guilty that I’m not taking part in the initiative…and right now I am just so swamped that I can’t”. I realized that maybe it wasn’t giving all the “good feels” I wanted it to give. I know that I cannot make every single person on this planet happy (although, I would love that!!), but now I felt terrible. A close friend said this was making her feel bad. That was the opposite of what I wanted to come out of this.
So, let’s come full circle, back to the title of this blog post, “Find Your Why”. For those of you that follow me here and on social media, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted about my Bake it Forward treats for a while. I want you to know that I am still doing it and happiness is still being spread through food (I made these dark chocolate and orange soaked cupcakes with a delicious orange buttercream [above] for a funeral I attended last week and I also brought a tray a cookies to a friend who was hosting a workshop). In essence, by going through this process, I realized that this is my “why”… sharing love through food is why I do what I do. I now know that when I don’t know what to say to someone, I just bring them treats. I also realized that making people feel good with food is why I teach cooking classes (to hopefully get people to be more comfortable in the kitchen so they can do it themselves)…and it’s also why I try to show my funny side on social media – to hopefully let people know that they can relax and laugh at their mistakes.
So now that you know what my “why” is, tell me…what’s yours?