Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why Your Relationships Didn't Work

Someone I know recently posted a meme on facebook that is completely right and completely wrong, all at the same time. I agree with the statement in the post; I completely disagree with the apparent intended message of the meme.

This meme is spot on and oh, so wrong.
Here I am, walking into your life to tell you what you need to know about that moment, that future moment, when someone will walk into your life and make you see why it never worked out with anyone else.

If you are ever going to know why it never worked out, I know exactly who the person is who is going to make you see why.

It's you.

One day, at some point in the future, the you whom you are becoming is going to make you see why it never worked out with anyone else.

I'm 100% confident in this assessment.

And I'll even tell you why: you are the lowest common denominator in all of your failed relationships. You are the reason it never worked out.

Now, I'm not blaming you. I'm not shaming you. I'm not placing you at fault.

I'm sharing a simple and incredibly powerful truth. You are the reason your relationships have not worked out. And all of those people with whom it didn't work? Well, they are the reason their relationship with you didn't work out. And the person who will one day walk into their life and make them see this is their own future self.

I know this because I've spent some time thinking about my relationships and why they haven't worked out.

There was my first boyfriend, from junior high. He was a lovely boy. It didn't work out because I was twelve. I had no idea who I was and frankly had no business being in a relationship in the first place. The relationship didn't work because I was too young to be in a relationship.

I had a couple of relationships in college. I was immature, unhealthy, and totally incapable of engaging in emotional intimacy. These relationships didn't work out because I was not ready to be in a relationship. I had no idea how to relate to other people. I didn't know how to even relate to myself and be authentic.

In graduate school I had a relationship that didn't work out because I had different life goals from my partner and because my expectations for a relationship differed from those of my partner.

My most recent relationship didn't work out because I know my worth and I am not willing to remain in a relationship with someone who does not treat me with respect and who is not interested in meeting my relational needs. This relationship didn't work out because I was not willing to accept being in a relationship with someone who rejected me when I shared with him my deepest needs.

I'm incredibly fortunate that not two days later my best friend gave me a call and asked, "Can I meet that need? Would it be okay if I affirmed you in this?" She's a total rock star.

When that last relationship ended, I cried myself to sleep that night. Not because I was upset that it was over. I cried because I had shared intimately with my partner and been rejected and rejection sucks. I knew, in spite of my tears, that I would be perfectly fine, quite happy in fact.

This is why: I would rather be content in my singleness than lonely in my relationship.

In each of these relationships, I am the reason they didn't work out. As a young woman, I was too young, too immature, too distrustful, too unhealthy.

As a healthy, trusting, mature woman who is only interested in healthy relationships and (if it should happen) an emotionally intimate romantic relationship; I am not willing to be in a relationship that does not meet my needs, with a person who does not share my goals or who treats me with disrespect.

I really like the choices I've made most recently: dignity, respect, health and self-love.

Those are my choices, no one else made those choices for me.

The same holds true for you and the choices you've made.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Coconut Kind of Day

Having made coconut cupcakes today, I had things leftover and no real plans on how to use them. The great thing about coconut cupcakes is that I used a white cake recipe and simply substituted coconut milk for moo milk in the recipe. White cakes also uses egg whites. Lots of egg whites. In fact, it's the egg whites sans yolks that keeps a cake white rather than yellow.

So, in addition to half of a can of coconut milk, I also had five egg yolks just sitting in a bowl.

I decided this was the ideal day to make a coconut cream pie.

While the cupcakes cooled, I blind baked a pie crust. I used to make the best pie crust in the world, but being gluten-free means I've moved away from baking with wheat. This is sad, because gluten-free alternatives lead to a much more delicate pie crust, and I rarely have any interest in fighting with it. Thank the good Lord for frozen gf pie crusts!

For the filling:

1 2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp kosher salt
5 egg yolks
1 Tbls butter
1 tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix the milks together.

Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the milks and whisk to thoroughly combine. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and bubbling.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until lightened in color. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture.

Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan. Return to medium heat and continue whisking until mixture begins to boil again, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and extracts. Fold in the coconut.

Cover the surface of the coconut custard with plastic wrap and chill.

When throroughly chilled, transfer custard to pie crust. Feel free to top with whipped topping and toasted coconut. Refrigerate overnight. It's delicious.

Once the cupcakes were cooled, I poked holes in them and then infused them with a coconut simple syrup. I frosted them with a coconut buttercream and rolled them in toasted coconut.