I’ve never understood what all the fuss was about. Walk up to a party spread with various offerings and it’s all oohs and ahs over the homemade brie. As if it’s some delicacy arriving just once a year (like Meadowkaas!). I’ve never bothered with it.
But, even the simplest of cooks gets inspired from time to time. Or runs across a pretty picture on Pinterest.
I mean, it was quite pretty. And looked so simple.
Just a pricey cheese disc, a roll of Pillsbury and leftover (or freshly-made, if you, say, never got around to making it on a holiday) cranberry sauce. Look at that beauty.
I’d bought it to make for Christmas. Along with about one trillion other things. Brie got pushed back in the fridge.
Then came New Years Eve. Plans took us out of town. The brie got left behind.
Then it was time for the Cotton Bowl. The one we didn’t watch.
We were into January and the Brie was losing its chance.
Enter game night. Friends were descending upon our home and it was the perfect opportunity.
I figured I’d throw it together while the women caught up on life and the guys brought home dinner. How long could it take and how hard could it be?
My friends were new to the Brie scene, too. We looked at each other oddly after we unwrapped the paper. What is this white stuff and do we eat it?!? Off to Google we went.
Well, it’s rind (for the uninitiated). It’s meant to come off.
There were instructions involving 30 minutes in the freezer (pshh…#aintnobodygottimeforthat). Out came the potato peeler. This wouldn’t take long.
Some embarrassing-amount-of-time later, it was in the oven. And then finally, the masterpiece was done.
I opened the oven door in quiet expectation.
First, there was shock.
Followed by confusion.
And then laughter.
Perhaps I should have adjusted the recipe for a Costco-sized Brie round.
Perhaps I should have sealed the crescent seams better.
Perhaps I should have researched ahead of time.
Or, perhaps I should have just left Brie to the professionals and overachievers.
In my personal opinion, it tasted about as good as it looked.
Yup, it was my biggest #pinterestfail yet.
I can laugh about this. (And I did. We all did.)
I can laugh, because this doesn’t get to decide who I am. My identity isn’t in what I do, in my DIYs, in my masterpieces and total flops. (If anything, part of “me” is someone who enjoys trying new things – especially when little is at stake – and doesn’t feel the need to hide it.)
But, the bottom line is this: this will be my last brie.
Now, I’m not advocating a path where one failure determines the course. Often, a flop pushes me to improve. To determine what went wrong and figure out how to get it right. To learn and grow from mistakes. Often, it is through failures and flops I find something I really enjoy. (Just ask my husband how many times he has run to the store at midnight for more cake ingredients!)
But, sometimes, this sort of thing shines a helpful light on what never will be. Take into account:
- I don’t even like cheese all that much. I like Havarti and Gouda (oh, yes, and Meadowkaas!) – otherwise, it had better be smothered in carbs and sauce.
- I don’t dig high maintenance dishes. No challenging rinds, peels, skins or seeds. No constant stirring. No intervals. No meanwhiles. No overnight.
- Someone else will always be willing to bring the brie. (And there’s likely won’t run away in the process!)
As a result of this endeavor, I discovered, brie is not for me.
It’s relieving to realize something is not your thing. Sure, there will always be things you don’t like or do well, but because of your responsibilities, you’ll still need to do them. But, there are many, many things we do every day when we could turn to someone else for them. Things we could set down while we pick up what’s actually ours. Things that drive us – and maybe us only – to paralyzing insecurity, stress, neglect and shame.
We open up Pinterest bombarded with subconscious phrases like should, better mom and someday?
We hear a friend celebrate something she’s done and instead of just engaging in the celebration, we jump to insecurity and/or judgment. Should I be doing that? What’s wrong with her? What’s wrong with me? Who does she think she is?
We get buried under projects because we didn’t say no.
We try to prove anything everyone else can do, we can do, too.
So, let’s make a pact.
Because it’s impossible for you to be you and me to be me all while making from scratch, catching every deal, limiting everything, doing it all yourself, growing your own, logging every step/calorie/book/chore, documenting every move/word out of your child, following up on every conversation, planning the celebrations of the century, being a fashionista, organizing every corner, being punctual, looking put-together, being on top of the news and in the loop, perfecting every task, reading every book, crafting every craft, doing every outing, decorating every space, telling every story, cracking every joke, unleashing creativity and cleaning every nook, all while being all-in and fully present.
So, let’s agree to do our thing. And,yes, to try a bunch of other things (because it’s exciting to find your new things!) But, in doing our things, we agree to let go of the not-for-me stuff. The things we do because everyone else is, because we should, because someone expects us to, because we aren’t sure we’re good enough if we don’t.
Let’s stop being templates for each other.
The world needs more snowflakes and less paper-dolls.
And, trust me, someone else will bring the brie.