Her: God, I had such a crappy day. It was like everything I did went wrong.
Him: Aw, I am sorry to hear that. Is there anything I can do?
Her: No, it’s cool, I just decided to let it go. You know, make lemonade out of it.
Him: Does that mean you were squeezing your breasts?*
There are all sorts of clichés about making the best out of what appears to be shitty circumstances. You know, like, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ I have found that the issue has less to do with burying your bummer in a heap of sugar, but rather that we just don’t have the skills to truly and correctly identify bad situations and good situations. You know, you might have had lemonade all along.
This seems to be the fundamental truth: things are what they are, but we are too limited to fully understand them or correctly judge and label them. Luckily (I guess) I keep getting opportunities to see this (generally in hindsight of course) where what I thought was a really rotten deal brought amazing and unexpected gifts.
Most recently the gift that came from the smoldering ashes of a serious burn to my ego was something that I would have never, ever expected. I suppose that is how it goes though, rising from the ashes and all.
I mean, how impressive would the Phoenix have been if it sent word ahead?
After I was “released” from my position at Albany High School this summer I was devastated – for emotional and pragmatic reasons, as well as simply being kind of like – what just happened? I do not understand… you don’t want me??? [Cue the Human League] And while I knew things would work out, and they did, what I did not anticipate was an act of amazing generosity of spirit and conviction of ideals that came out of this event.
A group of my students created a Facebook group and totally took action. On my behalf. A group of more than 120 teenagers chose to take their own time and energy to try to make a difference for a teacher. Their teacher. Me.
To say I am inspired, flattered, honored, impressed, hopeful and just blown away by these kids would all be understatement. Look what they did.
If these are the kinds of people who are going to be running things one day, then I am going to heave a great big sigh of relief. And I hope you will all be so lucky as I have been to know people like them.
*This is a paraphrased account of a completely true story. It is actually one of my favorite stories of all time and I adore both people in the dialog. Still, I nearly piss myself with laughter every time I even think of it.