Life Lessons

When Life Does Not Hand You Lemons

If life hands you lemons, make lemonade! Words to live by, especially when you kept in mind that the only way to make them into lemonade was to squeeze the hell out of them.”

Stephen King

Own the day, write your own life and work your way to success.

That is just wishful thinking–sounds easy in theory, difficult in practice. “Turn lemons into lemonades,” they assert adamantly. However, what if lemons are nowhere to be found from the start?

To be able to greet the sunshine and gulp in the sweet fresh air is a blessing that I will never take for granted. I am fortunate to have all of life’s essentials such as food, water, shelter, clothing and access to education. It is deplorable to observe that many people have forgotten that these essentials are actually life’s most luxurious gifts, instead of a flashy car or a big mansion.

That said, however, I cannot sleep on that comfortably because life is full of uncertainties and mysteries. I am also continuously reminded that I do not have much luck, which occurs whenever I see my friends’ activities on various social media platforms. Hell no, I do not want to get a baby just yet. Knowing that I still have lots of time to play with, all I want in life is to make headway, regardless of the difficulty. Nothing satisfies me more than recognising that I am progressing towards my dreams.

Yet, dumb luck still evades me, or it could be the other way round. I do not know which one is the truth. Nevertheless, there are simply no opportunities for me to climb up the corporate ladder or have a mentor-mentee relationship that can provide me with lifelong benefits.

I can roughly predict what you are going to say to me in response to that. You will wake me up by saying that we form our own luck, which leads us to the original pearl of wisdom. I am confident that despite the somewhat dire situation, we can craft our own luck. Then again, I do not believe in magic. Simply put, I do not think that we have the power to drop miracles from the sky at our command.

It is wrong to assume that we have been gaming or YouTube-ing since we waved goodbye to grad school. The truth is that we have worked tirelessly to identify our calling in life and figure out how to become an adult. Unfortunately, however, the journey toward adulthood was not as exciting and straightforward as we expected it would be.

Assuming that you and I have been best friends since high school and thus you recognise the emotions I am dealing with currently, you will understand how it feels when you are about to start a new day and then suddenly, a tonne of bricks lands on your shoulders.

Sometimes, fortune decides to make a U-turn and mocks me by saying, “Not your day, dude.” When that happens, I cannot help but think that I am not as deserving as I believe I am. In all honesty, we are deserving, but it can be difficult to acknowledge it when luck seems to land on others’ doorsteps more often than yours.

Money is perhaps the unluckiest element in my life. It is hard to keep a penny for yourself when life insists that a dollar is needed to keep yourself afloat. Whoever said money does not buy happiness has never suffered enough to understand what it feels like to live without privileges. Financial freedom offers you the chance to do whatever you want, whenever you want, as you please. When you have time, money and positive energy, stress becomes almost non-existent in your life.

I am not hosting a pity parade here, first and foremost. Although we feel like we are in a “two steps forward, two steps back” situation, I am very aware that one must embrace the hardships before appreciating the success that eventually comes. I have gone over the fact that I have been experiencing a shortage of luck in recent years, but my only request in life is for people to stop advising me to convert lemon to lemonade because I am not given any lemons to begin with.

We push ourselves hard all the time, and we are constantly reminded that the ingredients of success are patience, persistence, and self-discipline. Realistically speaking, though, when will life gives us a moment to breathe? For how long do we have to endure before the journey becomes pleasant? Up until now, we have taken advantage of our inner drive and intelligence to forge our own windows of opportunity, only to end up breaking them and returning to the drawing board. When the time has come for me to be cheerful about the struggles of being a twentysomething, I will not hesitate to host a party.

Truth be told, a small piece of my identity admires the beauty of being an idealist and the joy they seem to sense from having an optimistic mindset. However, I will confess that I am somewhat of a pessimist.

The reason being even when life decides to hand a bag of lemons over to you, sweetness only comes after the sourness of it. There is no such thing as a free lunch in life. Hence, when you have lemons, you need to suck them up and accept that you have a lot of work ahead of you.

Because of the supply of good fortune that seems to be running low worldwide, I think that your happiness is not determined by the amount of luck you have. Discovering a four-leaf clover and believing in superstitions that supposedly brings you ample fortune are fictions we created for ourselves to provide stability and joy into our lives. Its relevance in real life is nil. Life has given you this scenario for you, and it is your duty to live with and make the best of it.

If experience has taught me anything, it is that although a pinch of optimism helps in more ways than one, viewing life no different than seeing a glass as half-empty prevents a lot of setbacks and me from reacting so dramatically that you would confuse me with a for a seven-year-old. Sincerely, I just did a community service by rescuing all of you from witnessing my childish-like tantrums. Hence, you are most welcome.

When life turns sour, we wince. The lemon represents your life, and when you make lemonade out of the fruit, do not expect it to be perfect. It may not be as good as a bottle of Coca Cola, but at least it does not have any artificial ingredients in it. Your life is your lemonade– raw, authentic and the real deal.  

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