Lemons and Shattered Mirrors

I think lemons get a bad rap.

When your car’s a piece of junk, you call it a lemon.

When you’re dealt a bad hand in life, you say life’s given you lemons.

I don’t think breaking a mirror gives you bad luck. Though, that is what ‘they’ say.

I guess life gives you lemons when you break mirrors?

Seven years worth of lemons, I guess.

That’s a lot of lemonade.

Sounds like cavities and weight gain to me. Which, I guess, is more lemons.

But what if lemons weren’t such a bad thing?

Then you wouldn’t have to make lemonade. (Not that lemonade is so bad–unless you drink seven years worth of it, causing cavities and weight gain).

What if you took the lemons as a gift from life and not a punishment for breaking mirrors. Then you could put lemons in your water and drink more water. That’s pretty healthy. Or you could clean your house (yes, your entire house) with lemons. That’s a good thing too.

But then why would you get a gift for breaking a mirror–that’s supposed to be bad, right?

Maybe breaking a mirror isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe it’s a sign.

Perhaps it’s time to look into a new mirror, or see a different reflection. Maybe shattering your old reflection in your old mirror is a good thing.

Maybe.

Could it be that your new reflection in your new mirror will be something better that you never would’ve seen in your old mirror; and maybe life is proud of your new discovery so it gives you lemons? Lemons that you can now put in your water or clean your new mirror that shows your new you with?

Maybe.

Perspective.

 

 

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Drivers Ed: Accepting Mediocrity

When I was 15 I missed the exact number of questions allowable on the written exam for my driver’s permit. When I was 18, I failed my driving test twice, and on the charmed third attempt I was given my license. This year, upon getting my license in California (which, requires a written exam), you guessed it, I failed with flying colors. Now of course, I did pass the exam and received my license the next day– but looking back at these failed attempts resulting in success (if you’d even call it that), I’ve learned a very valuable life lesson.

There are a few things in life, however important they might be, at which you’re just going to either fail miserably or at most, just scrape by enough to survive. Now this is certainly a concept which I’ve fought against since I can remember. With society telling me that anyone can succeed if they try hard enough, and Pinterest quotes reminding me of all of the successful celebrities who have experienced numerous failures only to persevere and achieve greatness, and my own mother ceaselessly reminding me of just how awesome I am; it has been a bit difficult to wrap my mind around the concept of accepting being less than mediocre at anything, let alone something that attributes to me being a successful adult. But, as I dry the tears that come every time I pay my auto insurance, I remember the wise words offered from my sister as we headed to an alternate restaurant after I accidentally turned in on the itty-bitty Fiat in the parking lot (no worries, there was no damage to the car, just my ego).

Morgan, you’re just not a good driver, and that’s okay.”

Now of course, between her giggles and my crying, all I heard at the time was how horrible a driver I was. Not that this was anything new, my driving record alone was enough to alert me to that; but in that moment, having it put so plainly was devastating. All adults could drive well, why am I so horrible? What other things was I going to fail attempting? Does this mean I’m not the responsible, successful adult that my mind tells me I am?

After I had another minor incident in which I ripped the rear bumper off of a Ford Escape (I promise it wasn’t all my fault), I remembered the words of my sister. She wasn’t saying I’m an awful driver, she was just saying I’m not good at it, and reminding me that it’s okay to not be. As I’ve continued my journey on the winding road through adulthood, I’ve realized that it’s no big deal. I’m a cautious driver, because I know I’m not the best at it. I don’t have road rage, because I’m definitely the one making up my own rules of the road. I suck it up and pay a small piece of my soul each month for car insurance, because making left turns and driving in reverse are necessary evils. There are things in life, be they driving or keeping plants alive or even changing my niece without getting poo on my fingers that I just won’t get yet, or even ever, but so longs as I do an acceptable job at them it’s okay. Right?

A Life Without Morals: It Happens.

“WOAH! Man, you just ran through a big pile of dog shit!”

“It happens.”

“What, shit?”

“Sometimes.”

When you’re a kid and bad things happen, you cry and throw tantrums and eventually ‘get over it,’ never reflecting on the future effects of the situation. When you’re an adult, it’s different. Sure you can cry and throw tantrums, but in order to get over things you actually have to figure something out. You either have to ask the question, “How is this bad thing or situation going to affect my future?” or “How do I reverse the consequences or better the outcome?” But usually the first question we ask ourselves “Why did this bad thing happen?” To which we then answer ourselves with the cliche, yet many times true response, “Everything happens for a reason.”

This is a wholly acceptable answer for the moment, often used as a source of solace in a sordid situation; however, that answer sometimes leads us on the daunting quest to figure out exactly what that reason was, propelling us into further anxiety.

A few months ago I filled three whole pages in my journal about one of my most embarrassing moments as an adult and perhaps in my entire life.

**Spoiler Alert**

I peed in the elevator at my apartment complex.

No, I was not drunk (I almost wish I were, since then it would be a bit more understandable); but I had made the poor decision to take the 7 minute walk to my car, followed by a 22 minute drive home, and a 2 minute wait for the elevator to my apartment on a bladder full of ginger ale and a 1.5 liter bottle of water. As the elevator doors finally closed and I felt myself being lifted to my floor I didn’t even have the chance to do my potty dance before my bladder gave way. Not a little dribble, the flood gates opened.  Mortified, and now bawling my eyes out and still peeing, I ran to my apartment to hurry and change clothes so I could mop up the elevator, and now the hallway! As I’m on hands and knees wiping up the last drops with my Clorox wipes, I feel myself being lifted to another floor! Shoot! I scramble all of my cleaning supplies just as my upstairs neighbor entered the elevator. Clever, young lady that I am played it off with a “Ugh, damn dog!” only to find out later on that my apartment doesn’t even allow dogs, curses!

At the time, I was so humiliated, I couldn’t believe something so juvenile had happened to me. All I wanted to know was, why?! What was I doing wrong in my life. I’m supposed to be an adult. Adults don’t have these troubles. After taking a three page journey through my journal, which hurled me into what I’d self-diagnosed as my quarter-life crisis, I realized there was nothing wrong. I’d soaked through a pair of nylons and tracked pee through the hallway simply because I got distracted leaving work and tried to make it home without using the restroom. I didn’t have some subconscious emotional distress; I wasn’t exhausted or experiencing some major mental anxiety; I had to go. It happens.

Truth: Everything that happens has both a cause and a reaction or consequence. But, somewhere between Grimm fairy tales and physics class we’ve developed this undying need to find the moral in every story, or solve problems that aren’t necessarily problems. Sometimes, when it causes more anxiety than solace to figure out the ‘why’ it is wholly acceptable and probably best to just accept the fact that sometimes sh!t happens, for no good reason other than it just does. And in these cases, we can either wallow in our self-induced angst trying to understand the mysterious ways of the universe, or clean up the mess and work on the real problems in our lives.