The other night, I made ice cream for the first time. Having never made ice cream before, I spent time in the days that preceded researching potential recipes, searching for the absolute best one. I read my ice cream maker's accompanying instruction booklet cover-to-cover. I wanted to be prepared. Finally, I found the one.
But when it came time to actually make the ice cream, I turned into a nervous wreck. I checked and re-checked the amounts listed in the recipe twenty-five times. I worried that I'd miss an ingredient, improperly measure something, drop egg shells in the custard or find some other way to completely ruin things. Me! Kitchen-confident, non-measuring me! Makes-her-living-writing-recipes-for-God's-sake me!
The ice cream, of course, turned out amazingly well (a last-minute addition of crushed Oreos made it even better). It occurred to me, as I pondered my bout of anxiety after the fact, that maybe this little incident is indicative of my innermost feelings about following rules: I am both a people-pleaser and a trail-blazer at once. An over-achiever and a rebel. I strive for success, with one caveat--I want to get there in my own way, on my own time. The ice cream recipe was extremely simple, but somehow, its very existence seemed limiting--as if the words could potentially leap off the page and berate me for doing it wrong.
I suppose I'll have to get over that.