I threw away the first cake I baked.
I wanted to save it, because I hate wasting food. But it was too late… It had already been blended into an unsalvageable clusterfucked ball of overly-dense pound cake flavored mush. It was delicious though… I really could’ve eaten it with a spoon. But my frustration for my failed attempt at a light and crumbly cake outweighed my desire to make sense of the wasted ingredients and the money I really didn’t have.
“Trial and error, trial and error. You can’t tap out yet!” I told myself.
That’s when—after taking quite some time to research the best way to make a fluffy, cakepop suitable cake—I discovered that there is a lot more to baking than flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and an oven. Also, I had a flashback to the time I voluntarily withdrew any amount of effort from and failed Chemistry in high school.
Not only had I used too many eggs, but the pan I was using should have helped me to determine the temperature in which my oven was set.
Once I educated myself a little bit, my hunger to learn how to perfect a cake grew even more. I don’t even know why, except for the fact that I already LOVE food, and knew that my ultimate end-goal was to achieve the perfect canvas in which beautiful cake pops could be created from. Being that I am artistically inclined, my creative side has been STARVING.
Within a week and a half, I was finally able to bake a few delicious cakes with the right texture for breaking down and mixing homemade frosting into.
Oh, but the frosting tried to whoop my ass too. TRIED. Nice try, strawberry moisture! (Now, making frosting is easy.)
Soon, though my speed was (and is sometimes, still) lacking, I was baking, mashing, mixing, and balling within two sittings. I got past the baking and faced the design aspect of the cake pop world, wanting to play with some colors, textures, and test my sculpting ability (which has never really been that good).
I realized that sculpting was challenging.
I realized that getting everything to stick and stay put was challenging.
I realized that cake-popping is just freaking messy.
I realized that temperature is my best and worst friend.
I realized that I couldn’t substitute coconut oil for candy melt thinner,
and that, even worse, the candy melts were a bitch to melt and dip into.
In the midst of all this, I assessed what I already knew, gratefully.
I did MORE research. I reached out for help. I scoped out other talented cake-pop artists to get some inspiration from. I had really thought this would be easy.
At my bakery job, I had dipped hundreds of cake pops before into milk and white chocolate only to find out, in my free time, that candy melts and chocolate are not the same thing.
I realized that the time involved with this whole cake pop thing was a little more timely than I thought it would be.
But every time I overcame an obstacle, I fell even more in love with the art of it.
It began to feel more natural, more aligned, more in the flow—even in the face of a little resistance.
I still have so much to learn, but don’t we all? I am able to share my experience(s) and be confident in the fact that one “defeat” makes room for another victory.
Over the years I have learned that the patterns of experiences are never linear, but one thing always leads to the next as it should, if we surrender. As Kyle Cease, my favorite transformational comedian says,
“You have to fall in love with the unknown”.
What I’m trying to get at with all of this is exactly what I have tried to enlighten those around me with.
YOU—YES, YOU… CAN DO ANYTHING YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO.
Perseverance, my friends. It is true that you can LEARN to do ANYTHING.
You don’t even have to know how. You just have to START. No one can tell you how to get what you want until you give yourself the tool of STARTING.
The human brain is an amazing, flexible thing. Some gifts may come easily for you, and some may not. But we all have gifts inside of us, and it is a matter of opening those bad boys up like Christmas presents, with eagerness and excitement! You do not know what you are capable of until you try. It takes time, practice, and determination. It takes being super pissed off and crying and then getting over it to start all over again. It takes tutorials and teachers and tactic. If you really want to learn to do something, you can have it!
Sometimes, it takes staying up late and turning down offers to go out to dinner or see movies. Sometimes it takes hiding away from the world to focus on your inner voice without distraction. Sometimes it takes avoiding conversations and situations that just don’t serve you and your greater purpose. Or sending that email that you are terrified to send. Or telling your boss what you’ve really been up to, just to clear your conscience.
You cannot have passion without sacrifice. Passion is an investment.
If you are reading this, and you feel stuck, here’s my advice.
Get up. Try something new. And suck really bad at it ’til you start learning.
Get frustrated, then get focused.
I threw away the first cake I baked.