Lemonade Needs Sugar

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“When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade,” is an old adage. However, life’s lemons are often cleverly disguised until it is too late, and they have squeezed themselves into your eyes. My first bitter lemon was delivered to me when my mother decided to relocate our family to Miami, Florida. I remember thinking to myself, “This cannot possibly be happening to me. Events like this, moving from one state to another and switching schools, only happens to the strong, tough girls I read about in books.”

I was never more wrong.

My mother had decided and the summer before the beginning of my senior year, I left Paterson, New Jersey. My home, my friends, my family, was gone. My memories of Christmas, birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners, were just that, memories, with no base to anchor them.


It was a three-day drive in the U-Haul truck from Paterson to Miami and, honestly, I barely remember a thing. My mother, my stepfather, and I sat in the cramped front seat, trying to make the ride as comfortable as possible. The mood was somber as we remembered all that we had to leave behind and contemplated the new life we would build for ourselves. I slept during most of the ride and next thing I knew, we were pulling into the driveway of our new home.


The first few weeks after the move, I floated in a daze as I struggled to repair the fault lines that had appeared in my sense of self. However, once the beginning of the school year was looming, I knew I had to get my act together and find sugar to make lemonade with my lemons. I surprised myself by making it through the first few weeks and actually excelling.


My next lemon was thrown my way when I had to switch to a public school, my first since kindergarten, during January of my junior year. This, I felt, was my breaking point. I went from an all-girls school of 267 students in New Jersey to a co-ed school of over 3,000 students. The change could have been comical had not been terrified beyond words. I found strength in my family, my friends, and dedicated myself to my schoolwork and surprised myself yet again by stretching my limit when I thought I had reached it.


I do not know where my personal limit is, but I know where it is not. Because of the path my life has taken the past two years, I have found the inner strength, the integrity, and the sense of self that has lain inside of me, dormant. Knowing who I am has revealed to me that I can be great and that I am one of the strong, tough girls I read about in books. I know that I am destined for greatness and this knowledge will only help me to succeed in college and anywhere thereafter.

The “move” has changed me for the better, and I will never regret it.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Kaylee.B said...
Oct. 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm
I really like the opening, and i feel like this is relateable, yet, original. Good job.
 
miramoon said...
Aug. 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm
i like this article....it is nice .
 
shorty751 said...
Jul. 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm
I really like this essay, it is very inspiring.. good job!
 
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