Heather Saffer: Dream Slayer. Crushing Dreams One Party At A Time

December 16, 2013

Days #71, 72, & 73 of The 90-Day Do Something Big Project I was hovering over the food table chomping on baby carrots when she walked over and introduced herself. Her opening line was something about having read my blog, and she recalled the post I wrote several months back detailing the failed launch of my ready-to-eat frosting line. I thanked her for reading and we chit chatted for a bit about her past and present baking experience. The conversation then turned to the cookies she had baked which were sitting over on the dessert table, and her dream of packaging and selling them in the frozen food section of supermarkets someday. But she didn’t know how to make that leap, she explained. And I knew all too well, I said, of that scary leap of packaging and selling a food. She just didn’t know how to do it, she repeated. I’m notorious for avoiding social gatherings. Typically someone has to convince me, drag me, or threaten me to attend. One effect of my introversion is my tendency towards awkwardness and my inclination for saying inappropriate things. And then there’s small talk—small talk is just downright painful. After listening to this woman articulate her vision of bringing her delicious cookies to the masses, I responded in a way that I think may have crushed her dreams. This was not my intention. But I found myself talking to her about market research, product differentiation, and the grotesque tasks of finding manufacturers, buyers, and suppliers. And then I asked her, “Why would someone buy your cookie over the gazillion other cookies out there?” And she just kind of looked at me, with a forlorn look, said, “yeah…” And then she excused herself. I felt awful. I felt as if I completely crushed her dreams. My cynical nature, my logical sense of reality, and my passion for what I do pummeled down upon this poor woman. I was trying to relate—to show her that I understood. If she’s reading this, my sincerest apologies. I wish I were more adept at small talk. This is not the first time I’ve offended at parties. Early Sunday morning as I reflected on my party faux pas, I decided to do some personality research on myself. I’m often reflective, seeking to understand myself and better myself, but much more so lately as the year winds down. Since I was a child I’ve had this deep-seated feeling that I’m different. In most ways I embrace my differences and honor them even, but along with that there has also been an underlying negative association with some of my differences. A belief that people just don’t “get” me. And that I barely even “get” myself. I talk often about how I hope to inspire people to break outside the box, to not be afraid to fight and create, and to take chances. But in all of that, there’s something to be said for being able to relate to others. So I began to wonder if this was maybe personality thing and if there were others out there struggling with the same sensation. And in this wonderment I decided to take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. I hadn’t taken this test since studying psychology in college and hence, I had no recollection of what my results were. After working my way through the test I began to read through the descriptions of my result, INTP (Introverted, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving). And I cringed. I cringed and I simultaneously hailed at the homogeneity of the description of the INTP personality type with the feelings I sense inside. It was as though I were reading a description someone wrote specifically about me. And in that moment, I swear, a few of the 5-ton bricks were lifted off my chest. Only 2.5% of the population is classified as INTP, and only 1% of those are females. But for someone who constantly feels that they don’t relate, or that no one understands, or that they don’t even understand themselves, there’s a bit of magic in the revelation that I am in fact, not alone. And it’s caused me to think more, and reflect more on my life this past year and my future for the next. And to feel honored to share a personality type with the likes of Tina Fey, Albert Einstein, and Abraham Lincoln, versus feeling ashamed. I’m in good company. Best yet, I’m finally in company.   Speaking of good company, today marks the beginning of the final week of my Holiday Blog Tour! If you’ve missed out catch all the posts and recipes here. And for today’s amazingly insane recipe head on over to the super sweet blog of Erica’s Sweet Tooth where she’s showing you how to make Fireball frosted jello shots using my Cinnamon Whisky Buttercream from The Dollop Book of Frosting: Sweet and Savory Icings, Spreads, Meringues, and Ganaches for Dessert and Beyond!   *Need more frosting gift ideas? Follow the tour and check out my Gift Guide For Frosting Lovers!” Did you miss my frosting demos on Hallmark’s Better Show last week? How dare you! (kidding! kinda.) To see how to make Cookie Dough Frosting with Rebecca Budig and JD Roberto click here! And to see how to make Gingersnap Stout Frosting Pie click here                    

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