It’s been a little while since I last posted (yes I’m great at euphemisms), but I realized that I actually have never shared here that Pancakes & Wafflez is now much more than a blog !
Insert all the party emojis because it is a par-tay. This blog started in my room one day in April five years ago, after years of wanting to get back on track. Because I’ve always had a blog. Let’s be real I always was that girl who had too many emotions and needed to lay them out somewhere. And after having stopped in my early twenties because I’ve let myself get shaken up and wanted to « outgrow » my passions – dumbest decision ever, what you like is what you like and never let anyone try to make you feel bad for it – I decided that yes my dreams were still a valid thing. No life didn’t have to be this serious, and yes I was allowed to do things I liked no matter how frivolous they seemed.
And after letting all my bottled up emotions, depression, did all my actual therapy (both in my therapist’s room and in here), I finally found myself again. I finally made peace with who I was. I finally understood that all that I did in my life wasn’t really my choice. I just did what everyone else was doing. Studies that were « safe », jobs that were safest, all the regular paths. All the choices that were never really mine. I finally got that to live, I needed to be a 100% true to myself. And boy was it hard.
When you’re a smart kid, your parents can’t stop praising you. You’re often the teachers’ favorite, and you get applauded a lot for pretty regular things. I’m not saying that kids shouldn’t be rewarded for their achievements of course, I’m just saying that in my case in particular, I associated that praise with love. All those people loved me because I was a brilliant little kid. Who was good at writing and memorizing things. Who often was top of her class without even really trying. So I equated love with being perfect. I was loved because I was perfect. I needed then to always be perfect.
Writing this right now makes me feel all sorts of emotional, I have such a soft spot for this little me, who is still here inside, and who doesn’t know how to be anything else than the best at what she does. Otherwise she’s never happy. Never truly satisfied. It’s never enough. I still work with my therapist on that. I haven’t seen her since I started this blog and five years later I felt like I needed it. To recalibrate things a little. A lot have changed, I’ve overcome a huge amount of things, but there are still some that I need to work on. Like we all do.
So anyway, that freaking perfection thing. That is so, so, so off. I know that intellectually, but emotionally it’s a whole different tune. I know intellectually that my parents love me just for who I am. That my friends do, that my husband does. But it’s hard to let go of that necessity. I hardly know how to be anything else. And yet at the same time I’m extremely proud of myself for gathering the courage to let anything that wasn’t me behind.
I’ve had the courage to say that doing a phd is not what I want. It’s not my dream, it’s been my dad’s for always, but it’s not mine. He didn’t push it on me, I just felt like it was something that would make him happy. But when do you stop doing things for other people’s happiness and start caring about your own ? When do you start making choices for your own life ?
That’s what I did when I stopped doing anything that wasn’t giving me joy. I sound like Marie Kondo but it’s actually true. Until you find the thing that lights you up and make you happy you aren’t truly living. You’re just getting by. I know cause I’ve been there. And I know what depression feels like, when you get up at noon and still feel like you haven’t had enough sleep. When you need pills to sleep, when getting into the shower is the hardest thing you did all day. And when seeing your friends in the afternoon pretending that everything’s fine, smiling through it all and getting by. It’s just getting by. It’s not what life is about.
So after all that I decided to start this blog, start anew and start fresh, and little by little, I started getting back to my passions : writing, baking, taking pictures, travelling. I started getting back to things I needed to live. And I ultimately decided that I was done with my phd or any other thing I wasn’t doing for me. Even though I’ve already been published in my first year, stuff that my dad still talks about and feels very proud of. I can’t take that away from him, he’s proud of his little daughter, being the bright kid she always was. But being great at something doesn’t mean that you have to do it. I write well, fast, and I’m quick at understanding things. If I put my mind into it, I can do it. But doesn’t mean that I have to.
I have to do what I want to. And that’s why I started baking for real again. I did a shy little tentative years ago, and I quickly stopped because it wasn’t serious enough, and I felt like I was « wasting » time instead of doing more research or any other thing I deemed worthy of my time. But this time around I wasn’t gonna stop. Because I decided to be me once and for all. And that’s how Pancakes & Wafflez was reborn again.
And that’s what I’m here to tell you, that it’s hard as hell, that you have to find all the motivation in the world, that it feels scary to go against what you’ve known your whole life, that you see all the people around you making safe choices and you’re here trying to make it on your own, be your own boss and carve a path for your self. And I can say that I feel proud. Because no matter how hard it is, and how physically tiring, I get happy whenever I receive warm feedbacks, and most of all, because I’m doing something that brings me happiness.
So what I’m trying to say here is, do what you like, even if it’s not for a living, even just as a hobby, do it, and do it often, and do a lot of it. Don’t let the kid inside you stop dreaming.