What would you do with three extra hours on a Saturday?
I was speaking with a friend over the weekend and she asked me, "If you had 3 extra hours on a Saturday, what would you do with the time?"
"Easy," I said, "I'd write, do yoga, eat cake, and go to the lake."
But she saw clearly what I could not when I first responded. Not only is it impossible to do those three things in the span of three hours, but it is probably that I wouldn't actually do yoga in a surprise additional three hours of time on a Saturday afternoon (or morning, for that matter!)
She challenged me, pointing out that yoga was likely something that I thought I should do with the time, rather than the thing I'd actually want to do with the time. I conceded. I probably wouldn't do yoga.
In all honesty, I would probably maximize the time to write and eat cake - a different answer than I might have given a few months ago when I was still too afraid to admit I not only enjoyed writing (and am pretty good at it) but that I truly loved it.
Hi, I'm Amanda, and I'm a writer.
Even saying this "out loud" scares me. Like I somehow haven't earned my right to call myself a writer, and am somehow a fake, a fraud, and imposter.
My friend asked me, what is something that over the years you have continued to pursue, no matter what, whether or not you were "successful". And the answer, still, is write. I've got the journals and notebooks and blogs from the past and present, not to mention the countless word documents of stories begun but never finished. I have always, throughout my entire life, written for pleasure.
I have never, however, called myself a writer. Until now. I simply said I loved to read and even wrote sometimes.
Then there was the next part of my response to consider. The cake part. With three additional precious hours on a Saturday I would not only write but I would absolutely 100% luxuriate in enjoying a delicious piece of cake.
This is not cake that I would make myself, but rather buy from one of the many fine and delicious bakeries in my neighborhood. Why on Earth would cake come to the forefront of my mind?
My self-quarantine secret's out - I have been eating cake almost every single day since COVID-19 struck Berlin. Even when the restaurants closed their doors and shops followed suit, the Feinkost (delicatessen) in my neighborhood remained open. And so, there was cake.
My friend inquired further about what it was that I felt when I was eating cake. I had no response that I could clearly articulate. How can I put into words the anticipation I feel when I found a beautifully delicious looking piece of cake from a bakery I love with layers of cream or marzipan or chocolate covering the outer edges, with layer upon layer of decadent joy in between? I did my best, but I fell short. Just as I did here. I can't put it into words. I just feel happy. Joyful. Lustful. Delirious with sugar. And fulfilled.
This articulation brought up the realization that something about the luxurious, and possibly even wasteful, experience of indulging in gourmet pastries during a global crisis - when so much is at stake in the world - gives me something that other things in my life did not.
It gives me time to think. Time to reflect. Time to be fully present in what I am doing. Joy from nuanced flavors. A break from the rest of the world. And a feeling of satisfaction and indulgence that reaches down to my core - revealing a part of my true essence.
And so it was revealed to me (and my friend) that there is a deep connection between my writing and my indulgence in cake - but what exactly that connection is, remains to be seen.
I am proud to welcome you to Cake Stories - a series of posts I will be writing over the coming 30 days to share with you what I think about when I eat cake.
You will come on an adventure with me to explore what emotions, thoughts, ideas, ruminations, and feelings come up for me as I explore the mystery of my cake eating experience. I cannot promise you that everything I uncover will be applicable to your own life, but I can promise it will be authentic, vulnerable, and maybe even silly.
Looking forward to explore my sweet side with you.