I’m the type of person who requires a certain level of order and calm in my life to function–there are times for being spontaneous, but I sure do love a good, established plan. When things begin to get hectic, I’ll look for any small moments of familiarity and control that I can grasp: making my bed every morning even when the rest of my room is experiencing denaturation of sorts; blasting 80’s rock in my headphones and lip syncing as though I’m alone while uncomfortably maneuvering through a crowded bus; packing a usual lineup of snacks every day when my rehearsal schedule is anything but usual. I’ll freely admit that in the face of chaos, I have a definite predisposition towards denial– towards finding the nearest available distraction and sinking into it like you sink into a full bathtub, focusing on the cold tickle where your skin is just submerged, until the sounds of the world are muffled and replaced by the thick silence of water.
The past two weeks have called for some intense sinking. I’ve had performances for the past two weekends and am about to begin a third; I’m almost completely moved out of my home of three years; my roommate is leaving for Texas in less than a week; I only have two more days left as a student; I’m currently preparing to go visit my family in Charleston…I could go on. It’s shocking how packed life can feel in an apartment with no furniture!
But though I’m tempted to race toward those comfortable, under-water things this week, I can’t. With so much coming to an end at the same time, every moment I spend truly present with the people around me is precious. The thing about distractions is that they don’t just get rid of the uncomfortable, anxiety-prompting sensations–they remove it all. A decision to tune out stressful thoughts by getting lost in my Instagram feed before class might cause me to also lose one of the last laughs I have with a friend sitting nearby who’s leaving next year.
What I’ve grown to understand (still working on the execution) is that there is so much joy to be found in the middle of chaos. And I’m not talking about simply pretending everything is fine when it’s not quite fine chaos. I mean unapologetically messy, frizzy hair, smudged makeup, no faking it chaos. My brain is racing at maximum speed all the time right now… I am freaking out about the change from student to working adult. I have no idea how to handle the fact that in just days I won’t be living with the two girls with whom I’ve spent two years of my life! I’m scared of falling on the stage tomorrow because it was really slippery today!! I don’t know how I’m going to get my mattress out of my room in time for my lease to end!!!
And you know what? It’s okay.
Because it turns out that relishing the craziness is a whole lot more fun than pretending it’s not there. As contradictory as it feels, this week is making me thank God for the fact that I am far too incapable of acting like I have all my ducks in a row. Everyone knows I’m a mess, and that’s exactly the way it should be.
Please don’t be ashamed of your chaos. Don’t shy from the insanity that comes with new jobs, different people, busy days. No matter how noisy and embarrassing and strange life can seem, keep your head above the tub water.
Since he is not the God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the holy ones
1 Corinthians 14:33
Mini Grapefruit Drizzle Cakes (V)
These mini cakes are moist and sweet with just a hint of zing from the grapefruit and a sweet sugar crust on top!
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, melted (earth balance is great)
- 1/2 cup sugar (vegan if desired)
- 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 2 TBSP grapefruit zest (zest of about 2 whole grapefruits); save the fruit for the juice
- 2/3 flax egg (2 tsp ground flax mixed with 2 TBSP water, left to thicken in fridge for at least 5 minutes)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup + 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
- about 1/4 cup sugar (vegan if desired)
- grapefruit juice
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease and flour three miniature bundt pans (use a cupcake tin if you don’t have any).
- In the bowl of a food processor or cup of a Nutribullet, combine the sugar, melted butter, grapefruit zest, and chickpeas. Pulse until smooth.
- Pour blended mixture into a larger bowl, and stir in the 2/3 flax egg.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
- Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet until all is incorporated. The mixture will be quite thick.
- Split the mixture evenly between the three pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cakes comes out clean (check both the center and deepest parts of the cakes).
- While the cakes bake, make the glaze: put the sugar in a bowl, and gradually mix in grapefruit juice until a glaze consistency is reached. Add more sugar or juice as needed.
- Remove from the oven, and immediately turn out onto a drying rack.
- Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes vertically throughout each cake.
- After a minute or two, when cakes are very warm but not hot, pour the glaze over the tops. A sugar crust will form on top of each one, but if none of the glaze is running into the cakes, add a bit more grapefruit juice.
- Drizzle while the cakes are still warm for best results. You can enjoy immediately, but I prefer them once they have completely cooled and the sugar has hardened on the exterior. Keep at room temperature.