One of my all-time favorite bridal shower gifts (one of the only ones that still resonates with me today, post-marriage) is my aunt’s gift of a Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.

I love that recipe. Why? Because I make amazing cookies with it. People rave about them. They request them. They actually ask for them as a condition for me coming to their events.

I make them for holidays, birthdays, family get-togethers, friend’s BBQs, and random Tuesday nights when something special is called for.  

These cookies were the first thing I ever made Kerry.  He ate them the night of our first kiss. (I secretly think they may have had something to do with our magic).

For years, people would ask me for this recipe. I hesitated.

I didn’t want to give it out because I had a fear that I wouldn’t be special anymore– that I’d be relegated to the box brownie category of ordinariness.    

What if I gave my recipe away willingly and freely and then everyone else did them better? I didn’t want to compete with the people I loved and lose.

A few days after I gave out the recipe, a friend called me.  “Stace, thank you so much for this recipe and yet they don’t taste like yours“.

Suddenly, I got it.

It wasn’t the recipe per se (although it is amazing).  It’s my unique blend of me that I bring to every batch.

Just like in life.  

Sometimes we hold tight grips to our “special-ness” because we think that someone can re-create it exactly like us.

They can’t.

No one can do you.

There is no competition– because your gifts are yours and their expression is all you baby.

What I learned was the only thing competing with me is me. And that’s a recipe you can always tweak.