I hate wearing the color pink, but it looks good on me.

I love to bake, but our family gatherings run short on side dishes and long on sweets.

I don’t like road trips, but I love to visit new places.

I love the sound of French, but it intimidates me.

How does someone avoid conflict in the face of paradox? You adapt. You get to know yourself, learning your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses. Dissect them and see what lies at their heart; chances are there is something more elemental that speaks to you. Once you figure it out, go after it. Then you can make those paradoxes work for you rather than against you. So…

French intimidates me because I don’t understand it. I feel like an outsider when I can’t communicate. So, I’m learning French.  I love the feeling of mastering a language.

When I’m stuck in a car, I feel as if I’m wasting time, missing more interesting things I could be doing. When there’s no other option but a long drive, I try to find interesting places to stop along the way, and I’ll bring an audio book to occupy my mind. I feed my curiosity about new places and the audio book makes the time go quickly. Sometimes I’ll even take a detour to listen to one more chapter.

It’s the artistic part of baking that I love, the part that allows me to take individual, unrelated elements and create something wonderful. The sensory gratification from the way my creation looks, feels, smells, and tastes provides me immense satisfaction. Once I figured this out, baking became irrelevant. I can achieve that same satisfaction by creating all kinds of foods, sweet or savory, inside an oven or atop a stove. Now I bring side dishes. I’m versatile like that.

I’m still not a big fan of pink; it makes me feel like a little girl. Oh well. You can’t win ’em all.