Cakes in a Box
I bake cakes for you. Sometimes, I write.

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March Madness (and a playlist)

Lol no I don’t watch basketball, but I do like alliteration! 

March has come and gone and this first quarter of 2019 has been kind of a whirlwind. Some highlights include: 

- Finding not one but two wedding dresses (don’t worry, I’m not that conceited—I’m selling the one I like less)
- Going to Portland and seeing friends while eating all the food
- Spending more time with my mum, which honestly was unfathomable for a while since we’d always end up fighting

But this first quarter also brought on a lot of really anxious self-reflection. Mr. Cakes in a Box and I are planning to start a family in the future, and I’ve been working as a self-employed copywriter and social media manager for over three years now. This means no job security, no extended health coverage, and, well, no maternity leave if and when that time comes.

I don’t know. I initially became a contractor because my grandma was really sick and I wanted to spend more time with her. After she passed, I continued on with this path because it really does provide so much freedom, and it was obvious that was the only way to also grow Cakes in a Box. But have I really made the most out of my time? Probably not.

It’s hard not to compare yourself to your peers. My friends are really smart, talented people. They have big goals, and what’s even more important than setting big goals is achieving them. So when I feel like I’m stagnant in my own professional life, it’s hard not to feel a bit down on myself.

One thing I’m really bad at is being kind to myself. I am extremely hard in myself, and it’s really obvious to everyone I know, and even to those I don’t know all that well. In my first year of University, I was in this really boring geography class that required a very big group project component. Long story short, by the end of the semester, one of the girls with whom I had become quite close wrote me a Christmas card, which included a sentence that both left me a bit embarrassed: “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

Now, I know I’m neurotic, but I always thought I hid it well. I’m not sure why embarrassment was the main feeling it elicited. It was just… always how I lived my life. When I was decorating cakes at a destination wedding last May, a friend remarked how I was such a perfectionist, how I seemed to beat myself up when the frosting wasn’t absolutely perfect.

“But that’s how you get good, I guess.”

So, yes, I’m still hard on myself. And yes, I really do think that the only way to improve is to push yourself until you can’t anymore. But I’m trying not to be so hard on myself.

I’m trying to remind myself that when I want to rest, I should. I’m trying to remind myself that when I feel sad, it’s okay to do so. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s really unfair of me to compare my own career trajectory with those of my peers, since we’re doing such different things anyway. I’m trying to remind myself it takes time to grow a business and a brand, and it’s okay that it might take a little longer than expected.

So, next quarter, I’m going to focus on letting myself feel the things I need to, and do everything at my own pace. You only get one you… or whatever.

Anyway. Here’s a nice little March playlist for you. Hope you find something you like.


baked-goods-mar-2019.jpg

1. Rhye - “Open”
2. Tame Impala - “Patience”
3. Flume ft. JPEGMAFIA - “How to Build a Relationship”
4. Cautious Clay ft. UMI - “Saturday Morning Cartoons”
5. Noname ft. Smino & Saba - “Ace”
6. Solange - “Stay Flo”
7. Tierra Whack - “Unemployed”
8. ScHoolboy Q - “Numb Numb Juice”
9. Angel Olsen - “Never Be Mine”
10. Rex Orange County - “Waiting Room”

Joyce Ng