Your Mistakes Don’t Define You

On a whim, I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I enjoyed a day of much needed rest and watched Love and Basketball for the umpteenth time. Things were going great. Yet, I had a sweet tooth and absolutely no ice cream in my freezer. There was no way I would end my chill day by getting dressed and going out for dessert.

After scrolling through Google, I found a promising cookie recipe that aligned with my kitchen’s ingredients. 25 minutes later, I took my ruined cookies out of the oven, all I could do was laugh. Beforehand, I planned on taking a victory photo of my sweet creation. While my cooking is adequate now, I aspire to one day serve up greatness for family and friends. This time though, I made flat and inedible cookies, and shared the failure on Snapchat.

Although this evening’s defeat was just about baked goods, it made me think about mistakes in life. I struggle with not being perfect for myself and everyone all the time. Sometimes, I don’t make great decisions, and on occasion, I allow fear to prevent me from being my whole self. Those moments when I’ve sacrificed authenticity and dimmed my light just to “belong” have crushed me the most.

I am tempted to dwell on my mistakes and punish myself long enough to keep pain alive. How I hope to grow, however, is by learning to derive wisdom from my misjudgments. The next time I bake cookies, I’ll adjust my ingredients or use a different recipe that’s more suitable for me. The next time I inevitably make a weightier mistake, I will likely mull over it and feel some shame. Yet, I will also pray for forgiveness, confront my humanity, and try to do better the next time around.

For now, I guess I’ll cope with my sorry fail at chocolate chip cookies, and fix of bowl of cereal instead.

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