I’ve been thinking about the subject of fear versus faith lately.
Or more precisely, how fear can hold us back from plunging headlong into what we’ve always wanted to do.
I read somewhere once that sometimes it’s our fear of shining, of being brilliant at what we do, that stifles us; that acts like a piece of rope tied around our hands, leaving us unable to move forward into what we were meant to do.
There is fear of many things.
Fear of failure; of being imperfect; of disappointing others – and when we give into to this thing called fear, we withdraw from our callings, or destinies, or life purposes.
But I’ve also learnt that the opposite of fear is faith.
Faith is the belief in the things unseen. It is trusting in something that we know we do not control, and taking the first step even if we can’t see too far beyond that.
I made a new friend recently. Her name is Jane and she’s inspiring and cool and fun to hang out with.
During our first dinner together at the parilla Las Cholas, Jane told me that she’d taken a year off her comfortable bank job in Singapore so that she could travel around in Latin America.
She’d always wanted to live in Buenos Aires she told me; and despite her friends’ and family’s good-hearted worries and well-meant advice against travelling alone in a region she did not know, she headed in the direction that her heart was nudging her towards.
“I wake up on some days, and ask myself what I’ve gotten into,” she told me, between bites of juicy bife de lomo and papas fritas.
“Most days, before I came to Latin America, I was unsure and afraid… but my desire was greater than my fear, and because of that, I’m now here.”
I sat across from her in the salon where at least 50 people were having their dinner, the space bustling with the tinkering of cutlery and the sound of a dozen different conversations – and all I could hear was this.
“My desire was greater than my fear.“
I finally understand what people mean when they say that if you want something badly enough, you’ll do it, no matter what.
No matter how frightened you are of the unknown. No matter how terrified you are that you might be making the wrong choice. No matter how bat-shit scared you are of falling flat on your face and failing.
Most important decisions are made while we try to balance on the see-saw of fear and faith. And when desire is greater than fear, it tips us over to step out in faith, free-falling into a future that is so immensely full of potential.
Of all the experiences I’ve had in my life, the best were often experiences that took place when I decided to plunge into the unknown, when I was terrified and had my heart in my mouth, but went along anyway.
Moving to Buenos Aires was one such decision.
I was young, barely 24, and in search of adventure. But leaving my family and friends in Singapore to make a life out of nothing on the other side of the globe, without being able to speak Spanish, all in the name of love, was definitely scary, to put it mildly.
Let’s just say I was completely terrified.
What if things didn’t work out? What if I couldn’t find a job within one year? What if I felt too homesick? What if I couldn’t make friends or adjust to life in Argentina?
But I bought my plane ticket anyway; took the 30-hour flight to Buenos Aires, and created a home in the Argentine capital. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life – never mind the crazy 30% inflation rate, frequent subway strikes, and generally low wages.
And now.. five years after that decision, I’m thinking of something that is making me terrified. More like it thrills and excites me as much as it frightens me.
And I know I’m onto something that has the potential to make me very happy.
I told you sometime last year that I’ve always wanted to write a book.
Ever since I was a little girl I’d discovered my love for writing, and so the desire to write a book naturally came to me.
Finally, after so many months of hesitating, I’ve been working on a draft for an e-cookbook (which basically means a digital cookbook, not a physical hard cover or paperback one).
It’s something simple to start off with; nothing overly complicated. But it’s a start. And I’m bursting at the seams with excitement.
I think I’m at my tipping point.
You know, on the see-saw of fear versus faith. And I’m tipping towards the latter.
Now that I’ve told you what’s been on my mind, I wanted to introduce you to these amazing gluten-free brownies.
I was experimenting in the kitchen one saturday afternoon, determined to come up with a good recipe for gluten-free brownies that Juan could eat – he’s Coeliac, which simply means that his body reacts adversely to gluten. (If you’re interested in learning more about our adjusting to Juan being diagnosed with Coeliac disease, read this post).
We were in charge of bringing dessert to a dinner party with some of his ex-colleagues, so the pressure was on. Plus, his colleagues know I have a food blog, so the pressure was on, big time.
Thankfully, after about three different batches of baking and experimenting, I was finally satisfied with these amazing moist, rich, fudgy brownies that are so crazy delicious.
I’m not kidding, friends. I’m really not kidding when I tell you these are good.
They were so good that after baking the batch for the dinner party, I went down to the supermarket and bought ingredients for another batch (one that we would save for ourselves).
We devoured every single crumb. That’s how good they are.
But don’t just take my word for it, make a batch and taste it for yourself!
- 7 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 ounces chocolate, chopped
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour blend
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- Gluten-free icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 deg. Fahrenheit (175 deg. Celsius)
- Grease and line a square baking pan with baking paper
- Melt butter in a small saucepan oven low heat, then add in sugar and stir until sugar is incorporated. Add in chopped chocolate, stir well until you get a homogeneous mixture.
- Sift gluten-free flour and baking powder together in a large bowl, then add in the eggs and pure vanilla extract, and mix well.
- Finally, pour in the chocolate-butter mixture and stir until you get a homogenous batter.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let brownies cool for 15 to 20 minutes in the pan before removing and slicing.
- Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar.