Macarons and the Art of Being Stubborn

It’s Easter and I’ve been blessed to have a four day weekend. Four days of catching up on sleep, television, and much needed ‘me’ time. And I assure you, as an introvert, time spent alone is quite the indulgence for me.

Instead, I spent half the day baking a finnicky dessert I consider overrated. Not to mention I’m not the biggest fan of baking in the first place.

Why must I insist on living my life this way? Well, the recipe for macarons has the reputation of being incredibly difficult and I wanted to prove to no one but myself that I could make them successfully. Yes, really. That is literally the only reason I wanted to make them. 

Six eggs, way too much sugar and an undiclosed amout of buttercream later, I’m still wondering why I often get so stuck on wanting to achieve something, even if that ‘something’ is so trivial.

It’s something of a running joke in my family about how stubborn we all are. The personality trait occurs on both sides: my brother and I never stood a chance. My stubborness is often met with an exasperated sigh which I ignore in order to barrel through with whatever it is I’ve decided to fixate on. You see, it doesn’t matter what people think as long as I’m achieving the goals I’ve set for myself. Even if that goal is conquering a baking recipe.

Stubborness is a trait that’s often perceived as negative. It’s associated with bulldogs and dwarves (the Tolkein kind, to be clear); a hot-headed unwillingness to move, even if moving might be the better option. It lacks logic and empathy, instead focusing on a more primal sense of  want rather than need. It’s putting pride above all else.

But of course, I’d like to disagree. 

To be stubborn is to be determined. That, by far, is a more euphemistic description.

Stubborness means commitment. Example: fashioning a mortar and pestle from a bowl and rolling pin to grind down almond flour that just wasn’t as finely milled as I wanted it to be. 

Stubborness is the will to try again and again after failure. Look, don’t ask me how I managed to get yolk into the whites twice, but such is life.

Stubborness is thorough: researching for all the tips and tricks that might help me in achieving the perfect raised edges on my macarons.

Stubborness is the taste of victory when you achieve your goal. A little wonky and plenty of room for improvement, but the satisfaction is sweet. Quite literally, in this case. 

Whilst I recognise that my stubborn personality isn’t always a good thing, I definitely do see the benefit of it. It helps me set goals. And more importantly, it helps me achieve them, no matter what obstacles are thrown my way. It definitely shouldn’t be the characteristic that people look down on so often.

But then again, maybe I’m just being stubborn.

Best wishes,

Jia

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