imageLast night, I could hear the cold front rolling into town as I lay down for bed. I thought of how warm and comfortable I was in my tiny (but super cute!) little room. To the right of my bed and below my window, I have a white board full of jobs I’ve applied to, and I realized that I’m coming up on 9 months of unemployment. I had a brief internship over the summer; but, other than that breath of fresh air and some small side jobs I’ve picked up (Praise Jesus for people willing to pay you to watch their children), I’ve been searching.

For anyone who has never been unemployed, there are several phases you go through. You can go from feeling like a failure or a fool for dreaming to getting bursts of excitement and adventure and start learning how to cook or start going to the gym to just deciding to quit and enjoy that cup of tea while watching a House marathon. Let me just tell you, it doesn’t happen in that order. It’s more like a huge circle of emotions. A never ending cycle.

I’m pretty sure I cried the day I realized I would have to move back in with my parents after college because I couldn’t find a job. There was a time when I really couldn’t understand why anyone would do that. I figured that if you did everything “right,” then things would work out the way they were “supposed to.” Now, every time I tell someone that I’m 24 and still live at home with my parents, I wonder if that’s what they feel about me. I wonder if they are pitying me. I wish they wouldn’t. I get it now. There is no perfect recipe to life.

Last night, all I felt was safe and thankful. I’m thankful for a family that let me come back. I’m thankful for the free time I have right now. Some days I may spend it watching TV and drinking tea; but other days I get to help a family who really needed a last minute babysitter at an inconvenient hour or a friend who need a lunch date because she has her own lemons to deal with. I’m thankful for cheap snacks and good books and quiet walks through the mall while everyone else is working.

Life happens. I like to think it all happens for a reason. There’s always someone who has it worse; there’s always someone who has it better. There’s usually always something more you felt you could have done; and there are always times when you felt you did too much. The only thing we can control is our mindset. Choosing to make lemonade doesn’t mean I don’t have mornings where I want to shut down. It doesn’t even mean there aren’t days when I do shut down. It does mean that I can choose to be thankful and celebrate even the smallest moments.

So, thank you to everyone who has supported me through life thus far. And thank you, especially, for making I Made Lemonade possible.

~ Allysse