When Life Gives You Lemons

IMG_1376“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”

I heard that quote the other night at trivia. One of my coworkers knew the answer to the question asking which comedian is to credit for that line (Ron White). Trivia nights with him and other coworkers had become common, but after today they will no longer be co-workers.

Today is the last day at my current job, the end of one era and the beginning of another. Today, I leave economics and return to my passion of women’s advocacy and development. Today, I start running on a new path with an unknown ending.

When relaunching this blog, I spent a good amount of time going back through my old posts and rereading what my younger self wrote. Stories from abroad had me yearning for my host mother’s plates of pasta and weekend excursions to European capitals. Later posts reflecting on my return to the States became more like a public diary, entries reflecting on young woman struggles about boys, undergrad classes and my future.

Although the posts about Italy are far more entertaining to read, it is those more reflective pieces that I personally prefer because they were are so raw and honest…and public. That I was open to writing out my thoughts in such an open forum reveals a lot about how much I have grown. What’s even more interesting is reading about my concerns for the future and reading them now only to realize how many turns I took on the path that I originally routed.

Four years ago, if you asked me what I would be doing now at 22 I would have said studying in the library in between my law school classes. Never would I thought I would be working for a D.C. think tank, nevermind one focused on economics, or be training for a marathon.

At 18, I thought I had my life planned out. At 22, I realize I still have no idea. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine.

My mother often told me, “School. Job. Marriage. Baby.” The first two are checked off, but the latter are the furthest things from my mind. Instead, I’m just living life, tackling things off my bucket life doing without a specific timeline. Unlike my last eight years of school when it seemed as if everything I did was done with a bigger goal (higher SAT/LSAT scores, undergrad/law school acceptances, leadership applications), now my priorities and deadlines are on a less fixed schedule.

The real world has it stresses, but it’s a world I love because of the opportunities for spontaneity, challenges, and yes even failure. But whereas failure in school once seemed like the end, failure now, I have realized, is when I’ve learned the most and become even stronger.

During the job interview for my new position one of the interviewer asked me, “What is your story?” Without hesitation I replied, “I’m still writing it.”

Because I am. Right now, my character is a runner, a nerd, a vegetarian, a young woman eager to just see where life takes her. Right now only a quarter of my story’s chapters are written; the plot twist is to be decided.


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