Without The Brownie…


By Kate

While a fair share of my time throughout college was spent studying too hard, playing intramural sports, trying to work a hair straightener, and experimenting with “cool” cocktail combinations like UV Blue and Diet Mountain Dew, I still managed to carve out a few hours each week for TV. Quality reality TV, of course, like Laguna Beach and The Hills. My girlfriends and I would huddle in our dorm rooms around our now vintage square screens and take in the relationship advice and life lessons of Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad.

That in mind, you can presumably imagine that fast forward to today, I’m quick to dismiss the majority of expectations and rules I developed during that timeframe. Yet surprisingly enough, one of the analogies I often referenced (way back) then is one that I still consider in a variety of aspects of my life today.

It has to do with brownies. Because if there’s anything I love more than a good analogy in and of itself, it’s a dessert analogy. And so, I declared to my mom, and sister, and anyone else who would listen to this new epiphany, perhaps due in part to my reality TV consumption, but more likely having to do with my full course load of psychology classes: I am a complete brownie. Everything else is the icing on top.

Stay with me here. I trust you will if for no other reason than that frosted brownies are delicious.

It’s easy for me to become invested in my work, hobbies, possessions, and relationships. So invested that a natural attachment to those things and people occurs. And over time, they start to feel like an extension of my identity as a human being. Yet I strive to remember that if, and often, when (the frosting of) school, or the sport, or the job ends, who I am (the brownie) at the core still exists. Because ultimately, as time consuming, enjoyable, and passion fueled as those external factors are, they still do not define me.

The significance of my life isn’t dictated by the icing on top. Or at least, I hope it isn’t. I’d prefer to be seen through my character, and through the traits that are imbedded into the fiber of who I am as a human being, regardless of my current season of life.

And yet, it’s hard, right? It’s difficult not to let our roles define us in some way. We give so much of ourselves and our time to our day jobs, side hustles, and relationships that it becomes confusing to try to remove any one hat entirely. Not to mention, there are certain aspects of life that create so much joy and meaning, we wouldn’t want to do without them.

Even though I’d never choose to order a brownie without frosting the same way I’d never choose to live my life disconnected from the things I love, deep down I know that I can’t rely on my paycheck, shoe collection, criticism, praise, title, or dress size to measure my self-worth. I want to feel whole and complete regardless of anything externally, so that at the end of the day, all the amazing things around me really are the icing on top.

If nothing else, I’ll try to keep the words of my wise husband in mind, “Without the brownie, the frosting would just be goop in a pan.”

{featured image via we heart it}