Since childhood you’ve had this dream about what life should be like – you wanted the house on the hill, the white picket fence, successful in your profession, a beautiful family, etc. Then you start adulting and realize that life isn’t what you ever imagined and things hit the fan with the quickness. We spend quite a bit of time setting goals for our ideal lives, only to discover later down the line that things just don’t happen the way we thought they would. I don’t know about you, but by 25 I had imagined something totally different for my life. This past week I have been reflecting on my ability to be flexible enough to reinvent myself. While I believe it is okay to set standards and goals for your life, remember that happiness and success should never have a specific cap. Happiness and success should be determined based on what you’ve made of your circumstances, regardless of limitations and setbacks (when life gives you lemons).
In effort to be transparent about baggage that I have carried, I figured this week I’d share a perfect example of a time that life gave me a HUGE lemon. Picture this – when I was around 13, I met a girl who attended the high school I planned to go to and we hit it off. Speed things up, she and I grew close – I mean so much so that she was like my big sister and best friend. All through high school we spent all our time together, worked at the same job, had the same friends, went everywhere together, and eventually I went to the same college as she did. It wasn’t long before we got an off-campus apartment together too. Toward the closing of 2015, we had a disagreement and our friendship began to wither – I made the decision that I should probably move out. After nearly a decade of friendship, we couldn’t even look each other in the face.
There I was… fresh college grad, had recently signed a contract with a new job, away from home, and was suddenly all alone. I had moved to another state thinking me and my homegirl would start new adventures together. I soon realized I had lost my best friend, I didn’t have anywhere to live, and my money was certainly a little funny because I had just started working. So, what did I do? Grabbed the vodka, sugar, ice, and a splash of triple sec – baby I made me a lemon drop! In no time, I took the risk and mustered up whatever coins I had, found a place, started building friendships, became active in my new community, decided to go back school for my Masters degree, and my whole life changed. It definitely was not easy, but I did what I could with what I had in effort to change my circumstances. While I was hurt that all the plans I had of us living our best lives as Issa and Molly were ruined, I had to shake that off and realize that Being Mary Jane is just as good of a show.
I’m here to tell you to let go of what you think things should be or could be, sometimes it’s best to take things as they come. Be young, be fun, be resilient, but most of all be revitalizing! Don’t be afraid to start over, understand that starting over doesn’t mean failure. Take every single one of those lemons thrown at you and turn it into one hell of a Lemon Drop!