When Even A Whisk Can’t fix it…………..
But A Drink Might! This blog is pretty therapeutic for me. I find my cooking and my life so interconnected that I realize that the more I “work out” what’s inside my head, the better my cooking gets. As I grow older, wiser and mature, I think, as I have stated before, that my cooking has more depth, clarity and a subtle naturalness to it that I desire in my being in general. This month, December, the end of the year, we embark on the meaning or shall I say acceptance of failure. Now I don’t want to sugar coat this and make failure seem to be something sweeter than it is. Failure is a lack of success; certainly I’m not a big fan and haven’t found too much satisfaction in the experience of failure in my life nor in the kitchen, but I have recently found it to be helpful.
Let’s start with the obvious dictionary definition of failure:
1. The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends: the failure of an experiment.
2. One that fails: a failure at one’s career.
3. The condition or fact of being insufficient or falling short: a crop failure.
4. A cessation of proper functioning or performance: a power failure.
5. Nonperformance of what is requested or expected; failure to report a change of address.
6. The act or fact of failing to pass a course, test, or assignment.
7. A decline in strength or effectiveness.
8. The act or fact of becoming bankrupt or insolvent.
I will first off admit I have experienced each and every one of these definitions of the word failure so I can attest in this blog, most specifically, that I am well qualified to write on this topic. I have had all kinds of failures in life, everything on this list including bankruptcy and insolvency. My kitchen failures have probably been a bit less than my personal and life failures; however I am now starting to believe that has only been a matter of perception. Failure, despite it’s very real and is certainly not succeeding. But what does “not succeeding” exactly mean and what positive impact if any can failure have on us, in our general lives and then how does failure in our general lives change our successes in the future? These are the questions I have been pondering as of late, due to the same sort of factors I speak about in my blog in general; love, work, family and friends, all of which reflect on my cooking thoughts, ideas, executions and ultimately my failures and success’. I guess my conclusion in all this thinking is ultimately that the energy that one’s takes out of a failure (whether it be positive or negative energy) and puts into the growth or learning process or general meaning of that particular failure, has a direct correlation with any future success on has not only in that particular failed, event, relationship or cake.
So let’s take three examples in my life of recent failures in all different categories and try and breakdown what I am saying or shall I say proving my hypothesis with examples from my own life, my own failures and how they have come to be paths to my future success:
Work I’ve been working on a particular large project in my fruit & vegetable world, one that I thought would be a total success and quite easy to be frank with you. As I entered into this project, everything I knew to be true was not, all I expected was not and I realized I wasn’t equipped to handle such wide spread differences that I was encountering in my daily work life. I wasn’t able to communicate properly with the new people I was working with, I wasn’t able to convey my expertise or expert opinions to the new systems and I wasn’t able to make the progress I set out to achieve. Ultimately I failed. In this case I failed myself, by realizing I hadn’t developed the tools for work failures like this. I hadn’t the people skills I needed in this new realm and I hadn’t quite mustard the patience to deal with the overwhelm I was facing. The good news is as failure began to get underneath my skin I knew I needed to find ways not out of this particular failure, as that was now out of my hands, but I had to concentrate on what it meant, what my role was in it and how I can deal with this type of failure in the future. Also I needed to address similarities in the general failure I was facing in life and try to correlate them with triggered behaviors or reactions. When I started to analyze the path and the other similar paths I began to take notice of patterns in my behavior that I needed to change, not for the sake of the work not failing but for the sake of learning better coping skills in the future for the possibility of disassembling future failures on the way. Meaning with my good attention paid to the real behavior problems (my own) that triggered or had a leading role in the failure I would be able to make changes to, not necessarily the failure, but my reaction to it, thus leading to the failures being limited in the future as the general rule of energy goes, what you put it you get out. So changing the very way I look at failures in this case was the pinnacle of what helped me understand that failure in the work place (something I rarely experience) is not only inevitable but invaluable for growth. The greatest lesson on took from this recent work failure would be my problems with reacting and my need to control reaction and this lesson I can also see needed in my cooking, which is often like my work, rarely failures but always room for subtle life changing improvements!
Love failure in love is a heart wrenching experience, I don’t think there is any gentle way of putting it or any way at all to put it that is doesn’t totally suck! I talk in riddle a lot on my blog when it comes to love, mainly to protect the identity of someone I have deemed to be “the most positive influence to my life”. There will be no uplifting of this veil here today as to his identity, however I will say that I have recently encountered failure in this particular “relationship”, massive failure, which we will see evolves into growth not that it feels good but it does evolve into growth. It seems so dramatic and points to some sort of breakup or explosion of sorts, but to understand that this is not and could not be the case, I will first have to give some background to the very nature of the relationship that will help put it into perspective as well as shed some light on the beauty of “complicated” relationships. This “relationship” I have been a part of for many many years now has waxed and waned and evolved into many things, but the main thing it evolved into was a nurturing, supportive place for us to be ourselves and grow, evolve into better people. My cooking over the years waxed and waned as well and as I was nurtiered I in turn nutured my cooking. For whatever reasons our bond was unique and our ability to communicate, somewhat easy, although it required much hard work, especially from my part, as I had never encountered someone so pure in communication (not that he doesn’t has his communication faults) and our genuine care for each other always seemed to trump feelings of anger, conflict or confusion etc. The recent failure I have encountered in this “relationship” was all about my problems, my unresolved issues and ultimately my inability to deal with overwhelm as well as my inabylity to take care of myself. Essentially what happens to me is this natural occurrence of “shit coming to the surface” when it needs to. It was time for me to deal with a few personal, let’s call them “quirks”, so that I could take good care of myself and evolve as I needed to. I was stuck and he was my obstacle. I became stuck in the idea of this “relationship” and was so intoxicated by the beauty of the communication, the care and positivity that it didn’t matter to me that the tangible possibility of being didn’t exist, for many complicated reasons. My cooking was always stuck as well when I was and I began to realize I had gotten into a pattern that was unhealthy. I had failed myself by allowing myself to get too deep and now was having a hard time breaking away and taking better care of myself. The overwhelm, the anger, the negativity I began to drum up often, was sinking me and making even our beautiful communication and connection come crashing down. I needed to regroup to ultimately take what I am calling a failure; it was a failure at the time because I didn’t deal with it well and turn that failure into something positive. By really gaining clarity on my role in the failure, by taking accountability and responsibility, I began to realize that it was me, making this a failure and me making it a negative in my life which was prolonging more negativity in my life and brining more failure to all aspects of it. There is that negative energy again attracting itself! So without getting to deep into the nitty gritty of my life, I have begun to take responsibility, and on this slow path I am finding that with the support of this new “friendship” that has changed and evolved from this older “relationship” and with my constant focus on trying to deal with overwhelm and feelings, the failure has become a lesson, the “relationship” a beautiful story and the future will hopefully offer me more of the beauty of the past with a tangibility that appeals to me these days. I know my cooking with take with it the beauty of this long adventure as well as detailed wisdom. Wisdom and change were born of the failures in this love, which will ultimately give me greater access to real love in tangible ways in the future and this way of understanding my feelings role in my life an patterns led me to understand how it effected both me and my cooking.
Kitchen I am a feeling person, so many people say and my cooking is and has always been a direct result of how I am feeling in life; work, love, family etc. As I am evolving into a more, let’s call it, grounded person, I am beginning to separate the feeling from cooking and more and more make cooking not about my feelings but about me. The evolution has been great for me to witness, as it has given my cooking more power and my feelings less. Failure is what has helped me realize this, failure has made my cooking inevitably better, stronger, more detailed and it has completely given me a new artistic edge that comes with simple conviction, which I think is an evolvement of the conviction of who I am as a person. The lessons of failure in life have made way for me to learn and grow as a human being and most importantly make a distinction between who I am and what my feelings are. As this has occurred feelings don’t have that great of power over my cooking and I am somewhat free to have my talents in the kitchen separated from my feelings and what is happening in my life. Now this very occurrence ( my feelings and cooking being separated) have given way to the greater realization that I am not my feelings either, which has helped me manage in life better lately. I have found my cooking as of lately to be more whimsical, more grounded and more flavor merging that has surprised even me. I feel like my cooking is slowly evolving into the adult that I am and I am proud of that fact and I know that through my failures in and out of the kitchen I have come to be a better cook and a better person!
§ Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.