A friend once told me that if I ever had a cooking show, it should be called ‘Clank’.
Clank because I’m renowned for my ability to drop pans, forks, and ingredients as I cook. Clank because my guests are due to arrive in 30 minutes and I finally read step 7, which says ‘marinate overnight’. Clank because my linens are known to be wrinkled, my wine glasses adorably spotted, and things coming together as the cocktail hour is winding down. Clank: imperfect, messy, noisy.
I spent years trying to be Martha Stewart, in many parts of my life, and I quit cooking, I stopped having fun, I lost my love of it (it being anything) as I got tied up in the quest for perfectionism. The need for everything to be neat, tidy, approved of, clean. The opposite of clank.
Recently, I started cooking again, taking an ingredient and making something up. An inherited trait, as my Mom jokes none of her meals can ever be duplicated because of her improvising. I love this. I realize now, clank is where the juice is, the fun, the creativity. It also means there are meals I create that aren’t so pretty and some that aren’t so delicious and it means I’m having so much more fun. The journey to creating them was filled with a lot more flow and joy instead of referring to a recipe every 10 seconds. While I can remember the names of all of my 5th grade classmates, looking at a recipe and holding that info in my brain for the 20 seconds it takes to implement escapes me…and it feels stifling. So un-clank.
I spent so many years trying to be perfect, to be loved, to get it right…I forgot to live. I forgot that life is a shit show and things happen. Pans are dropped, ingredients forgotten and you can still end up with a pretty amazing meal. And most times, even better than the original recipe because its all your own and laughs were had along the way.
It’s the moments of dropping a bag of cinnamon that delight me now- the bungles, the whoops, because this is where so much of our humanity is. When I started traveling I was told the worst moments make the best stories and it’s so true. Whether it’s the Friday night I made pulled pork for my Catholic friends during Lent (it was delicious and they did take some for the next day), my first attempt at ice cream sandwiches involving brownies on sheets pans and too melted ice cream as guests watched, cardamom instead of coriander, tablespoons instead of teaspoons…this is the beauty of living.
So I’m learning to laugh again, ease my shoulders, learning to love my particular form of Clank in all parts of my life, trusting that all is well and enjoying the imperfection in all of it. What’s your Clank? How can you have more fun and delight with it? Where can you give yourself more space for your humanity to show up?
*no pans were dropped or damaged during the writing of this blog.