One: Musings of Hope.
FROM ME, TO YOU: A PRELUDE
I found a stash of my almost-forgotten trying recipes the other day, and to my surprise, the almost-illegible scribblings were still there. Those scribblings, were remarks that I wrote at the end of every successful and failed attempts of trying recipes, as means to further remind myself to never repeat the same tricks twice.
After re-reading everything, I knew I never want to lose these pieces again. All those (life) lessons learnt, deserve to be heard and shared.
For it may benefit some, or not at all, this is my new chapter in #WMB.
"She had this way of always finding the good and believing in everything despite all that she had seen. And that is what I loved the most:
The pure magic of her undying hope." - Becca Lee
So I guess it's time.
No secrets. No hidden agendas.
I guess it's time to unravel every personal stories - as raw as it can get - behind each and every single one of my bakes and creations for #WMB. The stories behind the inspirations, the mood boards, the experiences, the unexpected realities, and all the hidden scars beneath each posted creations of mine - it's time for them to be heard and shared. Undeniably, it takes courage to tell a hidden story, but I'm giving it a shot.
For each lessons learnt are too precious to be kept solely to myself, I am finally letting you in. I am finally letting you in this journey of life, of me, of this journey to self-discovery and self-growth, of slowly whipping faith, hope and love, one at a time.
Again, it's never easy to open up so I hope you'll be kind.
As #WMB progresses over the years, I grew up alongside with it. I'm not the same baker who I used to be five years ago, although some parts of me remained in a few of my recipes. Till today, I still feel like I'm being baked over and over again, being moulded and re-moulded until the forces of the universe thinks it's time for a temporary halt. When the trends and mindsets change, I find myself almost always crawling back to an empty mood board again - starting afresh.
I needed to always re-educate myself. I needed to pick up the pieces again, and re-learn the tricks and practice. Always practice, practice and sometimes, experiment, and then back to practicing.
Of new tips, tricks and trying recipes. Of endless experimentations and bold flavours and decisions. Of moody evenings and of routinely having to get up at such ungodly hours before cake deadlines. Of trying to convince myself that "sleep is for the weak," and sometimes "it's okay, you can get enough sleep when you die." Of bullshit. Of heartbreaks and disappointments and of, inevitably, smelling like butter at the end of the day.
I dedicate myself to this life, unconsciously at first. But soon enough, this tightly scheduled life started becoming a norm. My family, they know why I'm doing what I'm doing so they try to understand. And sometimes, they try to lend a hand - and shoulders - too but to which I usually decline because - let's face it, I can be a very moody control freak. My friends, on the other hand, they never fail to call me crazy for always putting my orders first before sleep. But they can't complain much though, as they are my living witness that I am that stubborn multi-tasker who always puts her personal well-being second.
But today, I need you to understand.
Truth is, I didn't stop because it was only in the midst of consciously creating and baking and failing multiple times, that I finally managed to unconsciously understand myself better.
It was this journey - #WMB and I - that I managed to learn about myself the most. The random life curveballs that came along with it were the ones that finally led me to where, I believe, I'm meant to be. Throughout these years, I have met the loveliest of people along the way, including some equally awe-inspiring fellow home-bakers and budding cake-preneurs that I continuously keep up and look up to. It was their works, their words, their resilience, and their undying love and passion for baking that kept me grounded till today.
If I could say it out loud, #WMB saved me.
A reminder: There's no soul on earth that's just pure light. When your responsibilities becomes a little too much and you feel like your own darkness is starting to consume you, re-evaluate your purpose and start finding your own light. Cling onto your faith, as tightly as you can. And if you're truly honest about self-discovering yourself, start embracing your inner darkness.
My light, was/is baking. It took me a while to realise but, baking has that therapeutic power like no other. It's not just about giving and baking for others something sweet, it is a productive form of self-expression and mindfulness. At the heart of baking for others is the very act of giving. Stop seeking for validation and recognition while you're at it - it'll only get tiring and makes you weak. Instead, start doing (baking) things with a clear purpose in mind, and you'll be alright.
To the broken ones, here's to you. Here's to cake, and macarons, and Life.
I have always resonated with the broken ones, especially the ones who needs the most patching up. For I, am a trying one myself. Because maybe I see a part of me in them - like the missing piece who are always trying to fit in, the shattered soul, the ones that are hungry for a home, for warmth, for survival and for trying to get a little wiser, before deciding to give your heart away.
People like us, we keep inventing shadows even where there are none. They say, flaws in oneself open you up to flaws with others. But, don't we all know that reality will break our heart? And, survival will not be the hardest part?
So, what do we do now?
This life, it will never be easy. But, I know you can always start by holding onto hope if you got it. Hold onto your faith. Never choose safe over inspired, and this worldly life will soon become slightly more bearable.
Alas, allow me to straighten up your broken bones through this new chapter in #WMB. It may not make you feel any better, and I can't guarantee any instant gratification, but I need and want you to know by now that - you are not alone.
For I am still trying to fully comprehend the meaning of life and Life, here's to the beginnings of a very raw baking journal: from me, to you.