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Bad Muffins

There are a lot of farmer’s markets in New York City…which means there are a lot of stands where you can buy fruit and vegetables and pies and breads. Of course – because baked goods are my weakness – I have my favorite stand at my favorite market and, let’s be honest, my favorite pastry.

I stop at my favorite market every Sunday and buy apples from the same stand. I put them in my same reusable orange bag and after months of trying all the different apple varieties have settled on my favorites. That’s the routine.

The nonroutine is the baked goods. Once in a while, in true “treat yourself” fashion, I’ll stop at another stand and buy a muffin. This stand has the most remarkable muffins in so many flavors. I’ve had their carrot cake and chocolate chip and pumpkin. My rule, of course, is to try every flavor or every option before I can repeat. What can I say, I like to live a little dangerously sometimes.

One Sunday where I was overdramatically hungry, I dug the coins from my purse and purchased a zucchini muffin. Before I go any further, I should add that zucchini muffins/bread/cake/etc. are one of my favorite baked varieties. Growing up – and to this day – my father kept a large garden. One of the main crops was zucchini which meant for weeks we would have grilled zucchini, zucchini pizza boats, baked zucchini, roasted zucchini, and of course, zucchini bread.

Zucchini anything will always taste like home and that is what I was looking for when I bought the muffin that morning.

With all the excitement a spontaneous “treat yourself” can muster, I bit into the zucchini muffin. And I was instantly disappointed. It couldn’t compare to the chocolate cream cheese muffin I had gotten from the stand last time nor could it even hold a small candle to the zucchini cake my mother would make back in Pennsylvania.

Of course, I ate the muffin. But I wasn’t impressed and that got me thinking of something else. So the muffin was bad. Fine. I am still going to go to that stand in a few months and buy a blueberry muffin.

Here’s the thing – I love that stand. I think the lady that works there is awesome. I think she makes really great desserts. I like supporting her business. I had a bad muffin once. That doesn’t encapsulate her. She (and her stand as a whole) makes amazing baked goods.

Which leads me to my main point – you are not your worst muffin. Whatever mistake you think you made that has made you unlovable or unforgivable is not who you are. We all have zucchini muffin moments. But those don’t define us. At your best you are a three pack of pumpkin oatmeal cookies. At your worst, you get a little zucchini muffin-y. And that’s okay.

I promise the world isn’t defining you by your worst moment. Maybe it’s time you stopped doing the same.

Love always,


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