|crappy snapshot by me ~ cake by My Artistic Ventures|
I was once told by someone who thought they knew me really well that I want to have my cake and eat it too. The English idiomatic proverb You can't have your cake and eat it too is where this train of thought came from and it seems to make sense, right? You can't continue to possess something and be eating it all up at the same time. At some point you have less than what you've consumed.
However, this accusation was meant to be biting. I was supposed to feel guilty for being such a selfish little jerk of a consumer. Somehow I needed to see that having a cake life is not something I deserve, and if by some unrealized miracle I did in fact have this elusive undeserved cake life abstraction (someone please show me what that looks like), I certainly would be a total narcissistic hag for wanting to taste any of its pleasures from time to time.
The question of all questions is where does one find a cake life? I seriously cannot name one person I would feel comfortable on whom to place such a loaded label. Don't we all have challenges, struggles, and good times all rolled up in one? There are those who appear to have everything, but we can't always see what might be lacking in someone else's life. It's their life—their heart, mind, physical, spiritual self. No one can know all of another person's needs.
I'd like to look at life as more of a jelly roll sort of cake, except every so often between the cake layers you don't find that lovely cream or jelly filling—you get raspberry seeds stuck in your teeth or even worse. Someone might have dumped a load of baking soda into the batch that day or week or year, and you just have to keep on rolling with it. (Let's not even get me started on if there's too much salt because the imagery doesn't match what all that salt adding savor to life stuff tries to portray. Deal?)
Life can also be experienced as an infinite-layered cake with each day, week, and year adding an array of flavors to the whole lovely lot. Some years, we might get German chocolate with that divine coconut pecan concoction lathered in between. And then every once in awhile, you might not even get cake but this nasty garbage disposal-flavored cream sauce that soaks into any cranny it can find, inevitably spoiling a few layers in the process. The fabulous thing about this cake is how it continues to be added upon day after day, even moment by moment. A few unsavory layers can not take away the delectable ones, yet we can scrape off a layer or two by choosing to spend our time delighting in the good parts such as sprinkles and icing.
Friends are our icing on the cake. They add sweetness to even the driest of the dry layers. Friends connect the layers into something worth indulging in. And every once in awhile you have a friend who sticks with you even when garbage disposal cream sauce is doing its damage.
This leads me to the conclusion that the person was partially right in their assumption: I do want to have my cake and eat it, too; however, I pretty much demand that there be a mixing bowl of icing on the side at all times to get me through the bad patches.