Let’s say your life, upon completion, ends up looking something like this.
[Yes, that’s a cake.]
Our lives, no matter how we choose to live them, are an addition of experiences, choices, actions, intentions, people, and feelings. Like ingredients, we mix these things together to create something we hope turns out wonderful.
Your life is a cake, and you are the baker.
I’ve been a Life Cake Baker for a while now. I’m baking a Life Cake of my own, and I’m helping my three kids to bake Life Cakes of their own. I won’t say that my Life Cake is better than anyone else’s, but I’ve been learning a lot, and I’ve got some things to share.
To help you to create the most amazing, most wonderful Life Cake possible, I’ve put together some tips, tricks, and recipe requirements.
I pray that this helps you!
1. Your final product is only as good as the ingredients you put into it. If you load up your Life Cake batter with sub-par or watered down experiences, choices, actions, and intentions, your final product will be sub-par and watered down.
If you fill your Life Cake batter with powerful experiences, purposeful choices, and turn all your intentions into effective action, your Life Cake will be HUGE. Extraordinary. Sturdy, so it won’t tip, and delicate enough to melt once you take a bite.
Delicious ingredients make for a delicious Life Cake.
2. Of all the things you add to your batter, be most careful about the people. It’s tough to tell at first which people will leave a bad aftertaste or make everyone throw up, so choose carefully. (Look carefully in their eyes and wrap your arms around them and squeeze, it might help you pick a good one.) Poisonous people are poison, and you don’t want to add poison to your cake!
3. If you discover that you’ve accidentally added a bad person to your batter, fish them out with a spoon and toss them in the trash. Don’t put them in the dog dish, it’s not good for the dog either. DON’T FEEL BAD. It’s not your fault that the person has gone bad. It’s not your responsibility to fix it. We don’t mourn food that’s turned, we toss it and try again.
4. Add butter. Life is better with butter in it.
5. Also add chocolate. (Because duh.)
6. …on that note, a dash of wine never hurts.
7. Don’t be in a rush to bake your cake. Spend lots of time working on the batter… it won’t go bad before you’re done. It can’t. Be intentional. Be careful. Better to make better, slower batter than faster, grosser batter. :)
8. If you make the batter and it’s total crap, you are allowed to dump it and start over. AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT. Nothing is tying you to what you’ve put in the bowl.
9. No one is allowed to make you add anything to your bowl that you don’t want. No one else has a say in how you do your job. They’ll try. They’ll try to make you do stuff. Some will say “I’ve been a baker longer than you, my cake is fantastic, just do what I say.”
BULLSHIT. (…which is kind of what they’re trying to add to your cake, when they do that…)
You do you. You build your cake the way you choose. Don’t like fruit? Don’t add any. Don’t want drama? Don’t put any in. Like black and white boundaries, but don’t want to add them to the batter? Add straight, black and white sprinkles to the top when you’re done.
10. You bake your cake, no one else’s. Sticking your finger in other people’s batter without their permission is rude. Dumping things into their batter, sometimes even when they say “yes do it,” is not a good idea.
When you add to the batter of others, you take responsibility for the outcome… and other than your children (who mix batter in the genetic bowl you gave them), you have no right to add to anyone else’s product. You do you, no one else.
11. If you find someone that wants to take their batter, your batter, and pour them both into one big bowl, BE CAREFUL. Ask lots of questions. Check all their ingredients. Ask about their baking process. Check the bowl they’re mixing in, and the one they want to share. Figure out how you’re going to decide what goes in your mixed up batter, BEFORE you mix them together.
12. If you don’t know whatthefuck you’re doing, GET HELP. Ask questions. Find people who have already baked their cakes and are in the decorating stage, “What worked? What didn’t? Any tips and pointers?” There are people all around you who have baked masterpieces, and most are thrilled to help.
13. Don’t ask advice on how to bake a Life Cake from anyone that has produced a Life Cake you would never, ever want to eat. Don’t make this decision based on how it looks, but by how it tastes and how it stands up.
If a cake is tippy, stand back. It may splat. If a cake is smooshy, it’s probably not too dangerous to eat, but it might make you feel sick. If the cake isn’t one you’d eat, don’t ask the baker for tips.
14. No matter what it looks like, if someone else’s Life Cake smells like bullshit, tastes like bullshit, and has a tendency to attract flies, it is bullshit. I DON’T CARE HOW PRETTY. People will decorate their Life Cakes to look a certain way, but under that gorgeous icing, there is nothing but styrofoam and crap.
15. Remember, it’s what’s under the icing that counts. When you come across Life Cakes made of bullshit, don’t eat them. Don’t be jealous for how big and pretty. Don’t ask for that person’s help, because they don’t know how to build a REAL Life Cake, just the fake kind. Instead, use these bakers as an example of what not to do. Use their results as motivation to create a real, delicious, wonderful cake for yourself, inside. It’s what’s under the icing that counts.
16. If you’re lucky, Life Cakes take a long time to bake. Let them. Don’t rush it. Once your ingredients are mixed and in the oven, enjoy the aroma of the Life Cake you’ve created. Visit. Laugh. DANCE. (Kitchen dancing is my favorite.) Spend the time reveling in your accomplishments. Help those around you with their own cakes, as they’d allow it. Support them. Clean their counters while they work. Enjoy the time in between work and results… the play time and waiting is a huge part of enjoying your final product.
17. Once your Life Cake comes out of the oven, DECORATE THE SHIT OUT OF IT. Sprinkles. Icing. Flowers. More icing. More sprinkles. Candles. Add experiences. Add flags and toppers. If the cake gets too small to add stuff, bake another cake. Bake smaller ones to flank the center, or add a tier. It’s your Life Cake, you can add to it any time you want.
18. It’s sad, but sometimes you will lose pieces of your cake. Don’t try and stop it, just be ready. Whether you give them away or they are stolen, you will end up with slices of your Life Cake missing.
It’s okay to feel sad when that happens. It’s okay to be upset, and to think back on a time when your Life Cake was intact. It’s also good that you’ve lost a part of your Life Cake, because the only Life Cakes that hit the end intact are the ones that are never shared.
19. When pieces of your Life Cake disappear, don’t try to fill in the hole with icing. Don’t hide it, don’t cover it up. Don’t fill it in with a random slice from another random cake.
When you feel the sting of a missing piece, just wait. And bake more, and build. Sprinkle and frost and glitter (yes, there is for real a such thing as edible glitter), and in time that empty space will be more normal. It’ll be okay! Your missing pieces make your cake even more beautiful, and they do not detract from the taste.
20. Sometimes, especially if you’ve baked a Life Cake with batter mixed from another person’s bowl, your cake will tip over. Don’t freak out. It will seem like the cake is exploding, but it’s not. It’s just tipped. It’s broken and smooshed and ugly to look at, but it’s not wasted.
CAKE POPS. [say that in a singy, happy, glorious voice, with vibrato]
Crumble that broken bitch up, mix in frosting, roll it into balls, put them on sticks, and dip them in chocolate. We’ll use those Life Cake Pops to decorate a brand new cake that you get to make all by yourself, in your very own bowl. Even in tragedy, we can make something of the pieces left over.
Your Life Cake, if you do it right, will be delicious. It will be gorgeous. It will be fun to make, and it will teach you as you go along.
It will also be YOURS.
From start to finish, your Life Cake is yours. It is your creation, built with your own two hands, using the recipe you have crated for yourself. No matter how it looks at the end, the only person it has to satisfy is YOU.
Most importantly, at the end of your days when you blow out your candles, your Life Cake will be enjoyed and remembered by everyone who comes after.
Be careful. Be mindful. HAVE FUN, and get to baking.
Your Life is yours, make of it what you wish!