It’s very odd, as a writer, to run out of things to say. I stare at the screen, I dig deep into my mind and try to evoke some kind of witty or insightful thought. Nothing. The old me would’ve gone screaming like a girl down the street tearing at my hair wondering Why, why can’t I think of anything? This can’t be happening to me! But the new me is somewhat baffled. I am not afraid that my blog will dry up because my empty head has nothing to spew onto it. Nor am I worried I will never write again, no. I am however somewhat amused that for possibly the first time in my 43 and a half years, I have actually emptied my head of thoughts and worries, things I’ve wanted to say to people that I’ve never had the guts to. No more ‘what ifs’ and regrets. No more setting the story straight. No more wanting answers to things I don’t understand.
What the hell is happening here?
When I turned 40 I had this very sudden urge to not put up with people’s shit. It’s a liberating feeling when all your life you have been too afraid to speak up in case you offend someone. And so you wind up being the one feeling offended. Before then, I would run through scenarios in my head during my morning shower (strange time really considering like Oscar Wilde, I think only dull people are interesting at breakfast) of how I was finally going to set someone straight. I was going to pick apart that one thing they’d said to me two and a half years ago that stuck in my mind and tell them my response, the one I couldn’t bear to speak at the time. I was witty and articulate in the shower, I was akin to a kick ass lawyer bringing people down! Only once I stepped out that shower, the thoughts dissolved along with the suds from my shampooed hair, never to be spoken.
I am by nature a deeply emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve, it sits there for the world to see pumping blood and shedding tears when I am hurting. People that don’t know me so well have told me I am incredibly calm and never moody. I wish I could agree. I have a calm exterior but the anxiety and panic inside me has been crippling at various stages of my life.
I had a conversation with a very clever friend a couple of months ago. We were discussing episodes in life that just knock the wind out of you, the ones where you wake up and you wonder which way is up. How will I, just for today, put one foot in front of the other. We were talking about grief, about losing someone in a way that just offers no explanation. How do we, as thinking, feeling human beings, ever get over that? How do we ever understand, really understand, why people that we love most leave our lives for good? The reality of it as I have discovered is, sometimes we just don’t. My dear friend said something that I think has changed the way I feel and think about disaster, something I have not dealt with so well in the past. “Sometimes there are no answers as to why something has happened. You have to stop asking why. You have to just think, it happened.” And just like that, I feel strangely enlightened.
I have dealt with a lot of unanswered questions in my life, years later they still swirl around in my head. I can tell you it isn’t a nice way to live, to constantly be wondering. There is no closure. And even if someone answers the burning question, there is still no real answer if it doesn’t make sense. For me the hardest part is letting go of something I just don’t understand, I want to understand it, I need to. That’s the way I am built. However since I really thought about this idea that sometimes situations do not come with answers, I have felt incredibly liberated. And just like that my head has let go of this mountain of questions catalogued for that one day when I have my morning shower conversation with one.
It’s like a new beginning every day. I wake up and I am no longer carrying yesterday’s unanswered questions. Instead I feel inspired to create and liven up my life in ways I have always thought about but was too heavy from life’s unanswered questions. There seems to be more room now in this head of mine. And I like it.
I have long spoken about keeping life simple. I think life is simple, it’s us people that make it complex. So in with keeping things simple, here, have some delicious mini vanilla cupcakes. I used this cupcake recipe from here and topped them with strawberry frosting. The cupcakes are delightfully soft and precious, and being minis they are the perfect shove-in-your-gob size. I had ‘mini vanilli’ cupcakes in my head as I wrote this. Good luck getting that out of your head.
Oh and it’s safe to say I am drastically disastrous at this piping frosting onto cupcakes caper. I seriously need to get some lessons from Megan and STAT! Nevertheless, they tasted delicious. And if you are partial to your strawberry frosting looking more pink, simply add a few drops of red food colouring. You can also use 3-4 tablespoons of strawberry jam instead of puree, but I love the fresh stuff.
Ingredients // makes 18 mini cupcakes
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80ml canola oil
150g butter, softened
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
6 strawberries, hulled and pureed (to make 1/4 cup puree)
Pinch of salt
Drop of red food colouring (if you wish)
Preheat oven to 180C. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners.
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla together until puffy and creamy in texture. Continue to beat while drizzling in the oil.
Keeping the mixer on low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until smooth and combined.
Pipe or spoon batter into cupcake papers to fill about 3/4. Bake for 15 minutes until puffy and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the tin and set aside to cool.
To make frosting, beat butter until light and fluffy. Put mixer on low speed and sift in icing sugar in batches beating until smooth. Add strawberry puree and salt, mix until incorporated.
Pipe frosting onto each cupcake and devour like Carrie Bradshaw without a worry about frosting on the face!