When Life Gives you Lemons, Learn to Make Lemonade (Using Beyonce's Recipe).
We’ve all heard that phrase before, it’s almost so redundant it’s annoying, right? Well, the last four months I’ve had to embrace this phrase and drink so much lemonade, it’s as if I’m drowning. Dramatic, I know.
About 4 months ago I woke up in the morning after another great workout (I’m a workout junkie) with a shooting pain down my left leg. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt - crippling, even. I had trouble moving around and each step felt like knives from every angle were cutting into me. Awful is the only way I can think to describe it. I wanted to believe it was just my lower back acting up again (genetic arthritis and three herniated discs: WOOT WOOT) so I scheduled a massage and tried to tough it out. Cut to two weeks ago, and I was in a neurosurgeon's office scheduling surgery ASAP to prevent further damage to the nerves in my spinal cord. For those that know me (ie: close friends that have watched in horror as I woke up in bed hungover on a Saturday morning and without a loaded pistol aimed at my temple, willfully brought myself to the gym for a cross training workout), this was devastating news. I (clearly) thrive off of my routine - especially when it comes to the gym - and this surgery was about to change everything.
I’m going to spare you all the gory details of surgery and skip to the right now, because this moment thankfully doesn’t include me basically being cross eyed from anesthesia for the first 24 hours following the surgery. As I’m typing this I’m lying in bed (which is pretty much all I have the energy to do), five days post op listening to Christian Rock. Oh, newsflash: I’m Jewish. Here’s the thing about major life upsets: whether it’s surgery, a death, a breakup, or whatever other horrible and perfectly pitched curveball life will throw at you when you’re least expecting: there’s no way to prepare. I would consider myself a mentally tough individual and yet each time I’ve experienced one of life’s pretty little curveballs, my sense of self is put into question every. damn. time. So, I always try to remember how important perspective is even when I have to dig through my own self-pity and frustration to find it.
Perspective is hearing the doctor say the surgery went well but we don’t know if it actually worked just yet and somehow not throwing a chair at his face (sorry doc). It’s finding the silver lining in your frustrations, by grasping onto straws of positivity, and keeping your chin up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also about wearing dirty pajamas for five days and then getting via text from your best friend of “Hey Girl” memes with the backdrop being various pictures of your crush that she found online and are so obscure she'd get recruited by the FBI for her services but is also is your friend that cries if you don't say I love you before you leave her apartment. *My personal thanks to the girl who created the original Ryan Reynolds-themed “Hey Girl” memes – and yes, I credit this miracle to a girl because it is clearly the caliber of work produced by a woman when she has both a celebrity crush and electronic device in her hand.
So, I’ll leave you with this, in case you’re going through a similarly challenging event of your own - I get it. It sucks. I’m not the overly religious kind, but I have to believe we as individuals go through trying experiences to find strengths we didn’t know we had in order to come out on top.
Although I don’t have any great advice to offer about how those strengths come to fruition (do as I say, not as I do), I do know that each devastating life event I’ve gone through that I now look back on is in a positive light, and even considered something of an accomplishment. So, I suppose the best way to move forward during the sucky part is to look back on the other things you’ve conquered during your “darker days” to find that perspective. For example, I will do my best to ignore the struggle it’s been this past week being a 24 year old who now requires a cane to help transport her once-toned body across the apartment and to the fridge. Instead, I will focus on feeling like a ballerina who isn’t allowed to clean her hair for a week every time I pas de plie (I am not allowed to bend) to reach the ice cream and/or yesterday’s pizza dinner from the bottom shelf.
If I’ve got this, so do you.*Dirty hair flip*
This post seems too serious for my typical BYEEEEEE, so bye. That was weird but whatever, bye.
*Sidenote: Thanks to my one of my other best friends who sorted out these drug-induced and self-pitying thoughts and in doing so, noticed that I somehow managed to correctly spell literary words such as, "meme" and "woot woot" but misspell arguably the most important words that this entire blog post is centered around, which is "spinal cord." Evidently there is not a silent "h" in "cord," a correction that was very delicately brought to my attention by my friend who addressed this transgression by calling me “an absolute clown.”