Today, my mom and dad came over for a few hours to spend time with my girls. I had a couple of hours off in the middle of the day, so I dropped by home to spend time with all of them. My mom had baked a cake with Anna, the recipe shown below, and it was so good that I ate three pieces in a row!
My mom showed me the recipe they used for the cake and explained that I’d made this same cake back in August of 1994 as a surprise for the family. What? That 15-year-old insecure girl who couldn’t seem to do much right with her life made a CAKE? I remember those days painfully clearly, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot remember this cake-making that evidently occurred. As you can see by the recipe below, my mom takes very good notes! That makes them extra fun to read 25 years later.
Learning about my teenage cake-making episode transpired just at the right time–as these things often do. Recently I’ve been processing my long-held belief that “I am a bad person.” Memories of my mistakes and all of the bad things I have done are plentiful and easily accessible in my busy, ruminating mind. Not so accessible, however, are the things I did that were NOT bad. Like baking.
Back in August 1994, I was the age that Mia is now. Through Mia and with the help of this new cake-making information, there is a surge of compassion and love for my younger self. It’s like water is flowing into an empty cavern, filling it with life. The cavern has been dry for a long time.
Mia is wise beyond her years, a kind and genuine soul–which perhaps I was not. But, like Mia, I was trying to figure things out and doing the best I could. Figuring things out when you’re 15 years old is not an easy feat. I gossiped about people. I talked behind people’s backs. I went along with teasing a girl for being fat. I cheated on tests. I complained and was ungrateful, and the list goes on. But, was I really as bad as I’ve been telling myself? Look, I made this cake. For my family, as a surprise that made them happy. That is pretty sweet. That sweetness came from me.
Today, this was an epiphany: I am not an all-bad person.