I have always been a foodie, I love every single thing about creating something that takes a skillful hand and careful consideration and tasting it in all of its delicious splendor! I especially love watching the looks on the faces of the ones I cook for as they take the first bite and their eyes slowly roll back. When the food morphs from necessity to desire and the foot starts to tapping and the head slowly nods from side to side. I have always been terrified however of a few dishes. Never really knowing what was in them and how to make them, I steered clear away from trying to make them myself, and lit up like a child at Christmas each time anyone else would make it and I got to reap the benefits. One of these dishes is quiche. I know, many probably already know how to make a quiche but growing up in a Hispanic/Italian family of 6 that were often as poor as church mice, we hardly ever had the luxury of affording to eat such delights as this. However, this weekend I tried my hand at it for the very first time and it was the best quiche I have ever tasted in my life. It could be because I MADE IT, therefore I tasted the fruits of my concentrated effort and time. Or it could be that it really was the best quiche ever made, I will never quite know which. I know… But what does this have to do with fear and stepping through it??? I’m getting there!
As I tip-toed through this unfamiliar world of quiche-making, there was a moment while I was combining the ingredients, that I learned something about myself and about life. I realized that fear more than anything has held me back from seeing my own full potential. As a child I was always very timid to try new things, to even pick a team in P.E to play dodgeball on. I was afraid of failing and looking like a fool. Of being made fun of. When I found myself years later divorced after a 7 year marriage that was way more frequently terrible than it ever was good, and caring for my three year old daughter — I had no choice but to step out of the fear. I had to get a job and support my child and myself. I had been a teenager and then a stay-at-home wife and mother with no graceful transition from one to the other. I had never had any other job than this. I knew a small bit about computers, to say I understood how they worked and I would often take apart and put back together my own just to figure out HOW they worked. So I stepped out and got my first job in IT, which later spiraled into a real and promising career. That was the biggest risk I had ever taken. Leaving a bad marriage and taking a job in a field most women don’t just willingly jump into. Each time I embraced a new opportunity that I had never experienced, I did it with great fear and trepidation. Nearly talking myself out of it every time. Believing inside that I couldn’t make it. That I would again, look like a fool and fail miserably.
As I made this quiche and saw the ingredients coming together to make a beautiful dish, that I had just moments before had no concept of how to make, another lightbulb went off. (Thank you Universe for your consistent lightbulbs!) I had allowed fear all of these years to keep me from creating something beautiful of my own life. In all aspects of it. I had talked myself out of so many would-be wonderful experiences because I was afraid. I let self-doubt and insecurity decide what my successes would look like and what I would become. If I had shed that fear, I would’ve known much earlier in life that I didn’t have to settle. That I could be in a truly happy relationship with a partner who loved me or that I didn’t have to accept whatever friends gave small bits and pieces of their friendship for fear of not finding any more. I would have known much sooner that I was worthy of love and loyalty and call the ones to me that felt the same about themselves. I could’ve become the things that my heart truly desired to be. Instead I let fear rule what I thought of myself. I let it govern my circumstances and decide for me. The road I’ve taken has been a long one with many hurdles that I have at times nearly let take me out all together. From fear I have given into situations that were never right for me and have staid stagnate in the mess for so long because of it.
So tonight, I made another quiche in preparation for tomorrow’s breakfast. This one a totally different flavor profile than the last. And I noticed as I was putting all of these ingredients together that I wasn’t afraid of how it would turn out. Much to the contrary, I was certain it would be fantastic! I whipped it all up within minutes and threw it in the oven knowing that it would be even better than the one before, with joyful confidence and not a trace of fear. In that second of my over-inflated self confidence I realized how easy and effortless it was just to believe in myself. The process was more fun and took me half the time because I believed in what I was doing and how it would come together.
We wear fear like heavy chains draped around us. It slows us down, makes us tired and subdued. It wipes the inner smile from our eyes and takes the spring from our step. It brings anxiety, insecurity and self-doubt. Every task seems to take longer because there’s no true joy accompanied with fear. When I decided to go back to writing, I was terrified that no one would want to read my voice, or that they wouldn’t understand me. That I would look like a fool, yet again and it would be a fruitless endeavor, but I stepped out. I decided that even if only one person reads my poems or blogs, and finds it at all comforting that I have done what I set out to do. I am watching myself become fearless before my very eyes these days and it is something I always wished to see in myself and found so admirable in others. It’s just a beautiful quiche, but if I hadn’t stepped out of the fear of failing, it would still be un-cracked eggs, un-shredded cheese and many many more untouched ingredients still sitting separately in their containers. If I can step out in these things, I can in all things.
Tonight, the house is filled with a heavenly aroma…. It smells like confidence! And quiche…