They say that your 20’s are some of the best years of your life. It’s a time of trial and error and discovery of one’s self. When I entered my teen years, I had dreamt up exactly what my life would be and what my wonderful 20’s would consist of. Yet, as most stories go, things change and life hands you some lemons.
When I entered my 20’s I had dropped out of my second year in college, had no job and a car that would die in the middle of the road if I pushed too hard on the brakes. I moved back home after finally gaining the courage to tell my mom that I had dropped out and didn’t plan on going back. Now telling my mom, a woman who has received almost every degree known to man, was not an easy thing and I was extremely disappointed for not only letting myself down but for letting her down. I had no idea what I wanted from life anymore and I felt like I was losing my identity, spiraling into a world of the unknown.
Fast forward to my mid 20’s, a recent college graduate with not one, but two degrees, a full-time job, a part-time job teaching dance and a brand new car. My career and business life were progressing in the way I wanted and the opportunities were pouring in, but that as it may, my personal life was heading in a different direction. I’m sure several of you can relate to a relationship of any sorts where you thought one thing when it started only to reconsider everything later on. Perhaps, the perfect “lemon” to your lemonade. That’s exactly what happened to me, a bright yellow “lemon” appeared in my life. Events in my life leading up this moment convinced me that this was going to the perfect lemon to my lemonade (life). Yet, after cutting into the lemon, I came to realize that the inside was very different from the shiny outside that had mesmerized me before. I had to come to terms that no matter how much I tried to nourish the lemon and care for its growth, my efforts changed nothing. Sometimes in life, you have to walk away from a situation that isn’t meant for you.
These last couple of years I have spent a tremendous amount of reflecting and soul-searching. My biggest obstacle that I had to overcome and face, was the person staring back at me every morning, myself. These past two years I learned that in order for me to love others I had to love myself. I know this may sound cliché, and much like a chick flick, but it was 100% necessary for me and the life I want. It started off small by going on hikes and escaping into nature and then progressed to accomplishing things that were out of my comfort zone. Entering into my 30’s I’m excited, motivated and above all, ready. Ready, for life’s lemons.
We’re handed “lemons” unexpectedly throughout our lives, they will appear when you least expect it and it’s how you handle them that will define the situation. You have to handle lemons with caution or you may get stung, but with patience, care, you’ll get a sweet result. Focus on the negative effects of these situations then the negativity will continue in your life. However, if you take the difficult or unexpected situation and focus on the possible benefits, then you can turn that sour situation into something sweet.
Too much sugar (negative actions) make lemonade sour and situations will worsen. If you put the perfect pinch of sugar (positive actions) you will get a refreshing lemonade. I’ve learned that if you put more energy into someone else than they do themselves they will drain your soul. Often times we feel that if we focus all our attention on a situation that it will have to get better because we are making an effort. However, if we only focus on that one situation we aren’t paying attention to the other things going on in our lives and other aspects may fall.
Ice: Strong Support System
If the ice (the support system) melts, then you just have watery lemonade, a watery situation. I’m a strong believer that the people around you can make or break you. I know that when I’m at my worst in life, I needed to take a look the people I surround myself with. Having realized that my support system was slowly falling apart or melting, I had to make a change. Much like when you replenish the ice in your lemonade, you have to pay attention to your support system. Yes, you can count on them being there for you but don’t take them for granted.
With this being the last year of my 20’s I’ve been able to take all those lemons and make some pretty tasty lemonade, and I plan on keeping that recipe close to me.
And adding a splash of vodka here and there!