Thursday, October 14, 2010

365 days later...A Piece of Cake

October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010 was the celebration of my sister-in-law's wedding or walimah anniversary.  (Congratulations to Hannah and Jamaal!) For me, that means it has been 365 days since I made my very first wedding cake!

I was nervous, sweating, cursing and everything in between in preparation for this cake.  I was pregnant with Faj and had swollen feet, among other things. A few times I had decided that I would just give up, why in the world would I sign up for this?! Was I crazy? Insane, or just self-loathing all together? Sure, I liked to make cakes but for fun, for friends and family.  Up to this point I had only made old-fashioned layer cakes, cookies, etc.  But I decided to take up the challenge.  Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I'm not one to back down from anything, especially not 10 pounds of flour.  When I changed my mind to think of the entire cake as three smaller cakes, which I made all the time, I could take a deep breath and dissect this monster one tier at a time. 

So, you got me, this post is not really about cake (although I did my damn thing on the cake! ;) ) It's about changing the way we look at challenges.  Regardless of what the challenge is, no matter how daunting and towering it seems, even the most difficult of goals can be attained.  The other day I was watching E60 with Rhymes with Rasheed, and we saw the story of a young man who was beaten up by another so badly that he had regressed in speech, movement, and function to almost nothing.  He couldn't move his limbs, walk or talk at one point; but he overcame that barrier and right before the show aired he had passed the CPA exam.  I am living this situation with my own mother, who is the survivor of three strokes and has recently gained movement in the affected side of her body. This really made me think that what I'm facing is nothing! Many people face challenges that are different or may seem more difficult that mine and yours.  But my challenges are my own, and if he can take THAT challenge on head first then I can face what I need to face, and so can you.

Do you need to change your diet? Do you need to exercise? Do you need to beat depression, or an eating disorder? Are anger issues hurting your relationships with family and friends? Do you want to learn to cook, or speak a language?  Are you trying to finish school, or adjusting to your children or being a stay at home mom?  Is it an addiction, or abuse or stress from school or work that are holding you down? Did you lose a boyfriend, spouse, loved one or child? All of these things are difficult, but we have to face them.  I have learned that when bad times and difficult choices come our way, we either deal with them in one capacity or another, or we die.  That's it! You handle it or drop dead; as long as you're breathing, life goes on! What matters is how you handle it, because that will affect the rest of the life that comes after, so let's make it good, eh?!

Like that wedding cake, it may seem like your vision is clouded with flour dust, and the path is made slippery by the goo of cracked eggs as you make mistakes along the way.  But if you see your goal like that same wedding cake, layer by layer, then you can make it to what you want.  I got over my fear of taking my skills to the next level, and have made many wedding cakes since then.  When Hannah told me she was cutting the cake, and sent me this pic I felt so proud and happy that I was able to do something wonderful for her and Jamaal on that day, and again on Monday (the cake was still tasty!) And 365 days later, I can honestly say that I am in a better place than I was then in terms of my confidence in myself and my abilities.  I have a ways to go, but looking back it seems like facing my challenge was a piece of cake!

365 days later!

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