• callysmithau

Where's your cake?

Updated: Apr 6

How's your week been? We've just come out of birthday party season for our mothers group and I've been seriously impressed with the improved pass-the-parcelling from one party to the next and the calibre of catering at these events.

In many households across Australia there is a tradition (now passed down through generations) of flicking through the Australian Women’s Weekly children’s birthday cakes cookbook and excitedly pointing your pudgy little finger at the object of your hearts desire.

The cake that would take center stage at your upcoming birthday celebration and that your poor parent, parents, grandparents or even mildly-gifted-when-it-comes-to-baked-goods-neighbour were now tethered to.

As a child, even if you never mutely requested your parent spend multiple hours attempting to excel in a skill they hadn’t thought about for the previous 11.9 months you probably had them coordinate your birthday party. They picked the day, venue, guest list, food, maybe even made a pass-the-parcel and hung balloons from now festive tree branches.

Everyone would show up and celebrate you for being you - cause you’re awesome and should be celebrated - and all you had to do was wear the outfit that had been picked out for you and try not to cry while people sang happy birthday at you (lest the wise all knowing oldies croon ‘oh she must be tired poor love’ while still being all up in your grill).


Now, I imagine you’ve probably reached an age where no one gets the cake book out and lets you browse through it until your eyes light up - and you likely have been pretty involved in your more recent birthday celebrations.

I’m the same - I invite who I want to celebrate with, plan the menu or at the very least pick where we are going out to.

So why then when it came to celebrating my PhD graduation did I wait for someone else to organise what I wanted to do?

And in fact, I got my little academic nose out of joint when Dave didn’t book a weekend away for the three of us and my Mum didn’t think to take the day off work (the ceremony was at night so don’t worry she was there for that).

My expectations were out of alignment with what I had been asking for and talking about. We have had recent upheaval about wether the ceremony was even going to go ahead and spent the majority of the last year with a closed border and very unlikely travel options.

So I had been putting a dampener on my expectations - outwardly this looked like I didn’t want to make such a big deal about the graduation ceremony - but that’s just not me!

I’m a massive cheerleader and my heart was excitedly waiting for the mini-parade of well wishers to pat me on the back, bestow oversized bunches of flowers at my door and pop bottles like any Baz Luhrmann production.

I think I was still waiting for someone - a promotion prince charming - to come along and do it for me… sing my praises, celebrate and announce them to the world so that I could sit demurely by his side and add the "graceful in her humility" feather to my "practically perfect in every way" hat.

The thing is - I am not practically perfect in every way. I have flaws and they help me everyday. They are part of my brilliance. And I have embraced them like a flock of preschoolers on a cracked pinata. Why then does it feel more difficult to embrace my strengths and achievements as part of my brilliance?

I’m not sure we have time for that today and frankly, I’m a little over waiting for someone else to tell my story and pat me on the head while telling me what a good job I’ve done.

Can we still blame Disney for expecting our metaphorical Prince charming equivalent for career promotion/achievement celebration to come along if he still hasn’t shown up yet?

Apparently, not only is he not that into you - he’s not even coming to wake you from a poorly timed nap.

Consider this your own wake up call to start celebrating your brilliance.

A reminder to book yourself a celebratory lunch, take yourself out for a drink and start to share about your achievements.

When you do it might make writing that about me section on your website that little bit less awky turtle.

And the next bio that is requested from you flow nicely onto the page.

Or even have you finishing and sharing about THAT BIG project you’ve been working on in stolen moments for the last 6 months.

When I was younger my Mum would arrange my celebrations.

Now it's time that we do that for ourselves - book your own graduation celebration lunch, invite your friends to your own party, proudly announce to the world that you are doing (or have done) the thing!

-Cally xx

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