I’m spending the weekend taking care of my nieces. One of our traditions when I watch them is to bake.
We decided to make caramel brownies. I found a recipe online that looked good. The food blogger has been posting her recipes for over a decade, the recipe had high reviews, and the comments were all positive. The pictures looked amazing.
The blogger claims to have a community of over 5 million across social channels. She has been featured in many national outlets. Plenty of social proof.
I’ve made hundreds of batches of brownies in my lifetime.
These brownies were among the worst I’ve ever had. My nieces said the bottom of the brownies was like “rubber.” It’s telling that they didn’t ask for seconds.
Nothing about it worked. For me. Or my nieces.
It was disappointing. We followed the recipe as written, got a result that looked like the photos, but it lacked the taste and texture we were expecting. It wasn’t what we actually wanted.
How often does this happen to you?
We can get pulled by the seduction of something that isn’t really what it seems.
We are inundated with beautiful images, from influencers who have large followings, and even from our own friends. Everyone is presenting their best photos — the highlights of their life. It’s tempting to think we want what others have — especially in a culture that conditions us to believe a story of needing more.
Why settle for regular brownies when you can make caramel brownies?
There’s always room for growth or improvement, and we should be striving for it.
Except that what you see as a potential “improvement” may not be real. Just because someone has millions of followers and a fancy website doesn’t mean their recipes are tried and true, or would work for you. The positive reviews of their product and the testimonials about their work generally don’t include the negative reactions.
Even if everything that someone posts online is honest and true, you don’t know what their inner world looks like.
The online world contains a lot of illusions. Plenty of people portray an image of “having it all” yet they are miserable inside, caught in the trap of a life image they created and can’t live up to. There’s nothing better about their life.
Sometimes it helps to stop and ask:
- What am I actually striving for?
- Do I know that that I’m chasing is real?
- And even if it is real, why am I striving for it?
- Is it really what I want?
No matter how good someone’s recipe is, even the best recipes don’t work for everyone. The best way to find your path is to look within.
And remember that sometimes the simple chocolate brownies are the best bet.