When I took a cookie decorating class at The Fox and Pantry in November 2022, I remember one of my first thoughts being, “Instagram makes this look too easy.” My feed is often inundated with reels of bakers laying down meticulous lines of royal icing and seamlessly filling everything in to stunning effect. I, on the other hand, faltered and—in my mind—fell flat. It was reassuring to have Kym Joles declare the point of the class wasn’t perfection; it was to play.
Social media tends to tout perfection: the perfectly decorated cookie, the beautifully curated garden, the perfect snapshot of a delicious dinner. During the pandemic, I picked up a few hobbies, as I’m sure many of you did. Since the pandemic, I’ve been learning to let myself enjoy the process of creation and let go of the product. It’s nice to have something turn out, be it bread, cross stitch or otherwise, but I think there’s a growing misconception that you have to be “good” or even “perfect” at your hobbies.
In college, I started decorating my space by keeping a few plants in my dorm. It was cheaper than furniture and turned an impersonal spot into something more intimate. Over the years, my collection has grown, but that growth came through trial and error. I lost a lot of plants (and I mean a lot of plants), but I learned a lot in the process. While the losses were discouraging, the lessons I learned through them became the foundation of my knowledge, which allowed me to grow my collection to the point that I’ve quite literally run out of available plant real estate at my place. (Check out our houseplant care guide, Turning Over a New Leaf).
Spring is the time of renewal and growth. This spring, I’d like to invite readers to try something new and allow yourself the chance to play. While my cookies didn’t turn out perfectly in my eyes, I found myself among a minority. My partner was nervous about eating them, insisting I save the “prettiest” for myself. My family “oohed” and “aahed” over the pictures without feeling any of my doubts.