When Life Gives You Lemons Make Brownies
Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to bad people, too. Bad things happen (period) unless you live in a protective bubble, which doesn’t sound like much of a life at all.
Today my daughter came home from middle school distraught. A boy she once called her boyfriend asked her to the school dance. They’ve become really good friends again, and she was excited to go. So she said “yes,” but asked if they could “go as friends.” At lunch she found out he had asked one of her friends, and when she talked to him he told her he only asked my daughter on a dare (a sort of bullying.) This made her realize that the friend she thought she had wasn’t real.
Ultimately from this teen life event, my daughter was hurt, embarrassed, mad and confused. These feelings were tied together in a jumbled mass leaving her lost unsure of where to head from here. We all know the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” but sometimes you need a little more to go on.
Now of course I am a protective mother and do not want to see my child hurt. But comforting her by baking brownies on a rainy day only goes so far. In my humble take on the situation, I attempted to build in some life lessons to help her stay safe, while never diminishing her emotions tied to this devastating event in my beautiful (yes, bias too) girl’s life.
Give people room to get better, but don’t be surprised when they don’t. Unfortunately when we had a good relationship, and then they change, or show their true self, our memories play tricks on us. We remember the “good” person in such detail that it is hard to wrap our heads around the hurtful person now standing before us. We make ourselves unneededly vulnerable–essentially becoming re-injured by what logically we should’ve known was coming down the pike.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
After we discussed these thoughts at length, I told her not to make enemies with the young man, however she should keep her distance.
Give Yourself a Break:
Naturally my daughter was really surprised to find herself in this predicament in the first place. She felt naive by not seeing this it coming and lost confidence in how to navigate friend, and otherwise, relationships. We talked about that aspect in itself as being one of the hardest to address throughout one’s life. Our ability to recognize our mistakes along the way and give ourselves permission to have imperfect experiences is the best remedy… along with the surefire homemade Oreo brownie concoction made with mama’s love.
We are just human. Mistakes are an intricate part of our growth. Let them blow into the wind, while you carry on.
I shared my perspective that as long as she continued to hone her resilience to bounce back and move forward, learning all the way, she could count herself successful.
Turn to Your Community:
On a good note, it was great to see that my daughter had been constructing a wonderful tribe of friends to turn to in her time of need. The sweet Snapchats that filled her day made her quickly realize that even though this one choice in a friend didn’t work out– she did make some other great choices along the way. Holding tight to those amazing friendships that bring you joy and support are worth their weight in gold. They take real nurturing and equal measures of give and take to keep them in healthy balance. Friends give you the confidence that you belong to something more. The good one’s not only have your back, but are actively working by your side for a better future.
The golden way is to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family as one. Mahatma Gandhi
I reminded her that the best thing my daughter could do at the end of this day was reach out to each and tell them, “Thank you!” As we all know, gratefulness has its own long list of benefits.
Each person’s secret recipe to weather their life’s storms is uniquely their own. The trick is to work consciously to figure out what works for you prior to the wind’s strike on your sails–then grab on for the ride knowing that there are clear waters ahead.
Or, better yet, when life gives you lemons, put them aside and make brownies.