There are a lot of ways to be given this proverbial batch of lemons. Sometimes it’s bad luck. Sometimes it’s poor decision making. Sometimes, you think you’re doing the right thing and it backfires. Sometimes, you’ll just never know why. And sometimes, on rare occasions, you’ve given them to yourself.
There are a lot of ways to finish the phrase, ‘when life gives you lemons,’ but none of them really help where it matters; explaining all the complexities of actually having those lemons. My particular favorite belongs in my old post “The Quotables.” A line from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, “When life gives you lemons, just say ‘Fuck the lemons,’ and bail.” We can identify with this because running away from your problems is a very natural subconscious reaction. It takes effort and courage to handle the majority of your problems head on without avoidance. It also takes heaps of honesty. Even people who naturally face issues and don’t mind confrontation will find themselves on occasion with that itchy feeling to ‘fuck the lemons and bail.’ Making your lemonade requires a lot of things, things that people aren’t always ready to accept all that quickly. Sometimes you find yourself wondering more about the lemons and less about the lemonade.
Which brings me to my next point:
Regardless of why, the important thing is what you do next. And no amount of clichéd phrases and ambiguous advice will help you. It could take days, weeks, or months. But you will do something about it. Because life goes on. Because lemons on their own are bitter. Life has a way of figuring things out, and as long as you’re in touch with reality (for the most part) and honest with yourself and others, you can overcome your confusing lemon predicament. Your lemonade may even taste completely different than you predicted.