One of my biggest insecurities in life is my cooking abilities. Yup, I said it. These insecurities do not come from the fact I am a wife and feel the need to be perfect. Although, those thoughts have crossed my mind in times of my deepest negative self-talk.
No, these insecurities stem from myself and myself alone. I had these insecurities long before I met my husband. Growing up, I did not spend much time in the kitchen. The reasons why are not as important as the impact it had on me.
I never really got to watch someone cook. Many of my female friends knew a lot about the basics of cooking at a young age simply from being in the kitchen while someone cooked. I did not have that experience.
I did not think it would matter until I got older, especially when I moved out. When I moved out, nearly everything about cooking was new to me. I mean, I learned how to make sure water does not boil over by using a wooden spoon from a former roommate. That same former roommate taught me the “stick it” test to ensure pasta is ready. You get the point.
I didn’t know much at all. And because I did not know much at all, I instantly thought I knew nothing. I instantly thought I was a horrible, unteachable cook. If I have not mentioned it before, I have an all or nothing attitude. Instead of acknowledging what little I did know about cooking prior to moving out, I told myself I knew nothing, buried myself in a degrading pit, and expected myself to instantly know how to cook. Go figure, right?
Since being married, the Lord has brought women alongside me who can teach me how to cook. Since being married, I have slowly learned to overcome my insecurities. And I do mean, slowly. Very slowly. I cooked with a friend a few weeks ago and was a timid mouse. I had zero confidence in myself throughout the whole process. Yet, I managed to make a delectable pumpkin pie in the process.
My insecurities cause me to be prideful in a bad way. There is puffed up pride and there is self-deprecating pride. More often than not, I struggle with the tear yourself down form of pride. I deeply struggle with the mentality that if I tear myself down, I will feel better or look better or be pleasing to God. But, that is for a post completely of its own at a later date.
Nearly every insecurity I struggle with comes from the notion I am not good enough. Cooking is no exception. Yet, I write this in a week that I chose to make dinner on my own. I wanted to make a homecooked meal. My husband did not convince me. I motivated myself. I sought out to cook.
For me, this is HUGE. That was the first time in my marriage I wanted to cook because I could and had the ingredients to do so. Usually, I start out not wanting to cook, yet thankful I did, in the end. But, this time around, I was thankful and motivated throughout the whole process.
I did not tear myself down in the process when things did not go as excepted either. How I got to the end result may not have been the most conventional of methods, but I made a meal and I enjoyed it. My current cooking experiences are all about getting comfortable in the kitchen. They are all about building up confidence. They are all about overcoming my insecurities one meal at a time.
If I burn some food along the way, so be it. The price of learning to overcome my fears and anxieties is far more valuable than the price of rebuying ingredients to try again another day.
I challenge you: If you feel insecure in the kitchen, cook something small. It may sound cheesy, but part of my motivation to cook more was knowing how extra yummy I could make a sandwich. I had to start somewhere and so do you.
If you aren’t insecure in the kitchen, be the guide and friend to someone who is. The friend I saw a few weeks ago tremendously helped me. She challenged and guided me. She gave me the reigns and let me do the work. She knew I wouldn’t learn unless I did it for myself. In turn, I am able to recreate the dishes I made with her on my own.
I don’t know what I kind of cook I will end up being when I am confident in my abilities. I do know I have a sweet husband who will always support my cooking endeavors—big or small—friends who will continually guide me and challenge me to go out of my comfort zone, and a God who will love me, even if I am a wife who does not always cook.