I’ve always wondered why people think that lemons are associated with something negative or bitter. Lemons are used in pretty much everything – lemon tea, lemonade, to make limoncello, in food to enhance the flavor – you get my drift. Lemons are good. So when ‘they’ (The ever elusive they.) state “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I usually think of it as “If I’m getting a lemon, how do I use it to make something even more delicious than it already is?” Honestly, I like lemons. They’re great. Similarly, the phrase – although a paradoxical one for the most part, is one I always associate with as being an out and out positive one. I don’t think that the proverbial lemon is an adversity – it’s just a little speed bump along the way that you needed to slow down for, before you carry on again, full speed ahead.(Wow, I’m full of analogies today.)
My summer, thus far, has been full of lemons. Just before summer started, I had this grand plan of doing something truly productive – spending time with friends, family, loved ones and doing the things I couldn’t throughout the year. But as usual, I planned too far ahead, had the idea of my perfect summer, but of course, nothing went according to plan. Well, this is me you’re talking to – plans and my life don’t sit too well together in the same sentence – and that was proven once again (thanks universe!) this time around.
Sure, I could go on and tell you that I’ve taken the lemons life’s thrown at me and made something wonderful out of them, but then I’d be lying. Instead, I decided to be a masochistic tit and squirt the lemons into my eyes, or as Charlie Sheen said in Two And A Half Men “When you get lemons, you just bite into them and suck them inside out.” Ick. I have for the most part of the last 2 weeks, put myself through misery. I’ve thought of every kind of worst case scenario and multiplied it by 10. On some days I’ve driven myself bat-shit crazy, and actually thought that I could be needing a trip to the cuckoo bin.
Eventually, I ended up speaking to some of my hashtag squad – who surprisingly (and scarily) had the identical thing to say, “Let. It. Go. (DO NOT go all Frozen on my ass – I will kill you.) Use this time to focus on YOU and what makes YOU happy.” Wise, wise words dear friends. But, easier said than done right? I still wake up every single day with another ridiculous and far-fetched concocted theory as to why things are the way they are and what could have been and the what ifs – you see how I’m sucking the lemons inside out here? Great. I cannot see anything positive coming off out of this, so I’m left with an overwhelming feeling that perhaps I’m bringing all of this on to myself, and I’m the only one who can use the sour tasting lemons to make something beautiful and saccharine.
I’ve said it previously once before, and I’ll say it again – we are so focused on our past and future that we’re giving absolutely giving zero attention to the present (like the myth or theory of being the middle child…), and destroying it completely. The lemons that life is throwing at us aren’t lemons of the future (I have a feeling we’re going to have oddly shaped ones by then…I digress.), but they’re of our PRESENT and the only thing we can do is embrace it, and accept it, and make something good of it. Truly, we may feel that it’s a shitty, shitty phase in life but as I’ve been told time and time again, and I’ll repeat it for you verbatim, ‘This too shall pass.’.
In order for the crappy bits to pass, it’s up to us to fix ourselves. Its up to us to allow ourselves to let the past go – it is done and dusted and there’s nothing you can do about it anymore. No, seriously – unless we could teleport ourselves back in time, our past is history – and there are a couple of things (and I’m pretty sure there are plenty more, but these two resonate with me at this moment.) we can do about it:
- Dwell on it and continue to wallow in self-pity and self-loathing and misery. OR
- Begin to use that past experience in a positive way and see it as a blessing in disguise (you may have to dig really deep to find that positive aspect, but, it’s there.).
I’m not going to say that I’m truly well on my way to healing myself and making something good out of those lemons that were thrown at me – but I will say, that I’m at the stage where I am pondering over how much longer I want to hold off using them. It is a morbid thought but I’m getting to a point where I’m pissed off at myself for being such a Debbie Downer and making people around me suffer because of my negativity. No one likes to be around someone like that – it’s annoying and aberrant at the same time.
So, although I still have a lot of healing to do, I’ve decided that perhaps, just perhaps I’ll see that whatever has happened will make more sense later on. Maybe not today, maybe not in a week, maybe not even in a month but maybe six months down the line, I’ll be able to look back and think of this as more of a minor speed bump along my road to happiness. That when life gave me lemons, I grabbed some salt and tequila and made the most of a bad situation and persevered as a stronger, and happier person.
To sum up, in the words of the late, great Whitney Houston – “I’m every woman, it’s all in me..”
Till next time,
Apparently, I need to post disclaimers after every piece –
“The thoughts expressed in this piece are solely my own – blah blah blah – and if you aren’t too keen on what I say then don’t be a keyboard warrior and spew vitriolic and hateful language my way. Ta.”
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