Bake it Forward: Find Your Why

I was watching some Instagram stories by my lovely friends The GG Sisters and they were talking about “finding your why”, which is such an important question to ask yourself if you want to live a happy and fulfilled life.

I know…you’re all probably asking, “what does this have to do with food?” Well, in my world, it has a lot to do with food.

Let me explain…

Way back in 2014, I wrote a blog post about Bake it Forward where I explained everything about this new initiative I was launching. I was going to start delivering freshly baked goodies to people that were either struggling or were doing fantastic things. It was going to be my way of telling them “you are rocking this ‘life’ thing!!” and this was the vehicle I needed to spread kindness through food.

Bake it forward

It was so exciting for me because it felt so right when I was starting out in this space. I knew I loved to bake (and cook) but I kind of felt lost in this big blog world. It definitely wasn’t as saturated as it is now, so in some ways, it felt easier to start back then. But, all of this tech stuff was new to me and the social media game – and all the learning that came along with it – wasn’t easy. But, like most things in life, baby steps always get you to where you have to go.

Bake it forward

So I began one Friday and it just grew from there.  People receiving my baked goodies seemed happy and, in turn, it made me happy too. This went on, every week for a few years.  I even did a Bake it Forward Lent – instead of giving up something for 40 days as some Catholics do for Lent – I baked and delivered something for each of the 40 days of Lent.  What a great experience!

But then something strange happened. I got a comment from someone who said that it wasn’t very “giving” of me if I had to post about my Bake it Forward initiative. She said that if it was truly an act of giving, I should just give without saying anything about it. I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t about me… I wanted her to know that the reason I was spreading the word on social media was because I wanted people to know that they, too, could create a ripple effect of kindness in someone’s life with a small act like this. I tried to let it go but I couldn’t. It made me think, “does everyone feel this way?”

Bake it forward

I kept at it and, even though her comment was still with me, I knew how much happiness was coming from this project. Then I received another comment…but, this time, it was different.

It was from a very good friend of mine and, while we were talking about Bake it Forward, she said this: “Suzie, please don’t take this the wrong way, but when I see you post about Bake it Forward, I feel immensely guilty that I’m not taking part in the initiative…and right now I am just so swamped that I can’t”. I realized that maybe it wasn’t giving all the “good feels” I wanted it to give. I know that I cannot make every single person on this planet happy (although, I would love that!!), but now I felt terrible. A close friend said this was making her feel bad. That was the opposite of what I wanted to come out of this.

Bake it forward

So, let’s come full circle, back to the title of this blog post, “Find Your Why”. For those of you that follow me here and on social media, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted about my Bake it Forward treats for a while. I want you to know that I am still doing it and happiness is still being spread through food (I made these dark chocolate and orange soaked cupcakes with a delicious orange buttercream [above] for a funeral I attended last week and I also brought a tray a cookies to a friend who was hosting a workshop).  In essence, by going through this process, I realized that this is my “why”… sharing love through food is why I do what I do. I now know that when I don’t know what to say to someone, I just bring them treats.  I also realized that making people feel good with food is why I teach cooking classes (to hopefully get  people to be more comfortable in the kitchen so they can do it themselves)…and it’s also why I try to show my funny side on social media – to hopefully let people know that they can relax and laugh at their mistakes.

So now that you know what my “why” is, tell me…what’s yours?

12 Comments
  • Bluebelle
    March 1, 2020

    Hi Suzy,
    I must tell you that this saddens me…I love your Bake It Forward it inspires me…yes I probably can’t do it often but it makes me think that hey how can I brighten someone’s day…after all everyone has a story…so to the person that said you should do this in silence…shame on her your message was bigger than the baking it was to try & bring some happiness in this sometimes so sad world…& to your friend that felt bad…this is your why & your passion so people shouldn’t expect to be exactly like you. Do what you can & if I can bring some light to one person’s day than I’ve accomplished your true mission of spreading some love & kindness & lord knows we need more people like you who give with their hearts! So Suzy keep sharing the light…you’ve brightened many of my dark days & I thank you! So looking forward to your book! 😘💙

    • Suzie Durigon
      March 2, 2020

      Oh thank you my friend!! I know that it shouldn’t matter – and with all of you sending me these wonderful messages, I know, deep down in my heart, it doesn’t. Thank you, always, for being a great cheerleader…it means the world to me!!

  • Vince Delisi
    March 1, 2020

    This is a beautiful post. From a beautiful person. I know you don’t post to toot your own horn. I know you do it to share your wonderful gift. I know. I’ve been a recipient and it meant/means the world to me. I love to tell people about you, your blog and your recipes. All my California cousins feel like the they know and love you too. So please, please keep baking it forward. We all need you.

    As for my why? Surprise: it is teaching. Something. Anything. At this point in my life it is more about music than math but I still get to tutor my grandnephews who live far from me but technology helps me be there. If someone says “you made me think I could do it” I’ll be a happy guy.

    • Suzie Durigon
      March 2, 2020

      You were one of the first people, Vince, to help me birth this baby!! Thank you for those days where I would bring treats to your office and ask, “Is this one good?”…you really gave me the confidence to know I could do this! I will forever be indebted!! And as far as teaching…it is definitely your “why”! If it wasn’t for you, I would have never understood math!!xo

  • Tina Cesaroni
    March 2, 2020

    Suzie, I’ve always known your ‘why’. You’re super special and good down deep where it counts. Great post.
    My ‘why’ is similar to yours – spreading acts of kindness to Mother Nature…
    XO
    Tina

    • Suzie Durigon
      March 2, 2020

      And your “why” helped form that small part of my “why” (gardening and helping show people how to grow their own food!!). If it wasn’t for your vision, my gardening skill would never be what they are today!!!

  • Mary Ann Rubino
    March 4, 2020

    Beautifully said Suzie. Your Bake It Forward project is inspiring. God bless you for bringing sunshine into people’s lives. We need more of that. Great food for thought (no pun intended 🙂 in your post !!

    • Suzie Durigon
      March 9, 2020

      Thanks so much Mary Ann…like a lot of things we do on this earth, there will always be questions about what we do and why we do it. I guess the trick is to keep it real and not let others convince you that your motives aren’t real. Thanks for your words!!!

  • barbara dellinger
    March 6, 2020

    Suzi
    Your Bake it Forward concept is just what the world needs. A small, personal gesture of spreading love wherever and whenever we can. Your baking is coming from your heart. It is simple and doable. If someone feels “bad” because they can’t do it….you can’t control how others feel. Just keep on doing what you are doing. And please keep blogging and instagramming (I just made up that word) about it to keep us inspired.

    • Suzie Durigon
      March 9, 2020

      Thanks Barbara! What a lovely note to get from you! I’ll try to keep posting but just know it’s always happening behind the scenes!!

  • Teresa
    March 6, 2020

    Oh my goodness! You’re doing such an awesome thing and I can’t believe those bad comments. They are making it about them. Why do people have to nitpick everything to death. We spend way too much time overanaylyzing everything. Life is way too friggin short for that. Why can’t we just celebrate our friends successes and their “whys”. I’ve never met you but I follow you on social media and I love what you do and how you do it. You are funny, talented, and everything you say and do is straight from the heart! Keep doing what you’re doing! Shout it from the rooftops!!! You’re making people feel good! And that’s what life is all about!!! 💕💕💕😘

    • Suzie Durigon
      March 9, 2020

      Thanks so much Teresa. I’m not going to lie…it’s not always easy but I think that’s what happens when you put yourself out there. I truly don’t blame people that don’t get it…maybe they just don’t understand (that’s what I hope). But, I guess we just need to trudge on. And that’s what I’ll do! Thanks you so much!!!xo

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