When life gives you lemon make lemonade. This is a statement I have heard more than a thousand times. I must confess that I have never really understood fully what it means because I find it ironic. Apparently, it is supposed to encourage optimism, which is great, but I do not understand the analogy of a lemon and lemonade. Is it about the bitter taste of lemon that should represent difficult times in life? And is lemonade supposed to be the ‘good’ thing that happens when you don’t let the difficult times tie you down? If so, then this is completely ironic, at least for me, because I find that lemonades are not necessarily sweet. They are as bitter as the lemons. So does the proverbial saying mean that we should take our difficult moments and create more difficult moments?

I know you probably are thinking that while making a lemonade, you add things like mint, tamarind, sweet syrup but aren’t these just masking the bitterness of the lemonade and tricking us into believing that all is well when deep down, the bitterness still lives? Oh well, I could go on and on trying to demystify this proverb and many other proverbs because it is a pass time that I have deeply developed over the past few months that have forced us to plunge into isolation. Introducing the deeply refined Jep – The OverThinker.

What have you been up to over the past months? How are you doing? I mean really, how are you? I have gone through so many motions of my emotions that at this point, I cannot believe what constitutes a human genome. It is crazy to see how isolation alone changes people drastically. It is easy to go from an optimistic human being to an overly pessimistic human without having any kind of interactions with the world – because living in our heads is more dangerous. We are our own enemies – whoever said that definitely understood humanity better.

Many times, I have found myself being oblivious of the world around me. I have allowed stress to consume the better part of my brain that even when I am around people, I do not recognize them. I am a fairly observant person and in the past days, I found myself not recognizing small trivial things like I used to. I would find myself having a conversation with friends and then suddenly noticing that they changed they hair about thirty minutes later which is so unlike me.

There was a day I woke up and looked into the mirror and I could not recognize who I was looking at. My eyes were sunken into darkness. The golden shimmer that always danced in them was gone. I looked into my eyes, I felt empty and I could not bother to understand why that was. I was exhausted and I was afraid and I was distrusting and I was feeling powerless. That is when I understood why when we speak of mental health, we have to be very intentional because stress creeps into us and before we know it, we sink.

I cannot say that I am perfect, but I know that I am making an effort. I am trying to understand myself, to work on myself and to build me. It is the best gift that I can give to me. I am also learning that I do not need to explain my process to anyone. I am doing it the best way that works for me and if it includes cutting out the world for some time, so be it – the world has already decided to cut us off anyway. This is my way of jump-starting myself back to life; back to the golden shimmer that dances in my eyes, back to my unapologetic empathetic limitless self. I hope you are doing what’s best for you too.



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