Have you ever heard of the words, “When life gives you lemons...”? To me, it’s supposed to be a metaphor about the surprising moments that happen in our lives. After all, why is life giving you lemons in the first place? When you accidentally back your car into your friend’s fence, life just threw a lemon at you. When you aced that test without studying, life still gave you a lemon. Life was just nice about it this time. Whether a good or bad lemon, I’ve found that my fondest memories and most valuable learning experiences are often times these moments that were unexpected. Imagine yourself being prepared to be recognized at a prestigious award ceremony. Say you had to write a speech to present at the ceremony and you put a lot of work and thought into it. The hour finally arrives and you’re so excited to go, you end up getting there twenty minutes early. The thing is, you can’t find anyone you know nor can you find any ceremony at all. Then you discover that you went to the wrong golf course. On the other side of town.
I kid you not, this is something that recently happened to me during this past month. Although that day was filled with confusion, panic, and the fear that my principal was going to destroy my existence, I know I will always remember that day. Not only for the insanity that was speeding down the heavily surveillance roads of Renton, but for my small heart to heart with my principal, who didn’t destroy me and reassured me that everything was okay. I also happened to learn a very important lesson; double check where I’m going if it’s an important and once in a lifetime event. (Watch me miss my wedding) For me, Key Club creates many unexpected moments for me to find myself in. Of all the moments I’ve had though, there is one of the moments that I hold dearest to my heart and is one that continues to inspire me to serve today.
In the midst of graduation season, some club members and I found ourselves volunteering at the Husky stadium at the University of Washington. Our job was simple--satisfy the hot dog cravings of the masses at the low price of five ninety nine. After a long day of work, and a whole lot of explaining that we were volunteers and we couldn’t change the prices, my group found that we had made a surplus amount of hot dogs. As we cleaned, we contemplated on what to do with the extras. Someone brought up the idea of having a hot dog picnic at the park. Although our stomachs growled in agreement, we soon found that there was a slight problem. There were about three hundred hot dogs and seven of us. That’s when an idea dawned upon the group. Why don’t we hand them out to the homeless around Seattle? We all glanced at each other and without a word, packed up all the hot dogs and headed out. I still remember walking down the street and encountering our first group of homeless people. I remember the joy in their eyes, the smile spread across their face, the amount of times they thanked us, and their hugs soon after. I remember all the cheering from the other groups of homeless people as we continued to walk around and hand out hot dogs. I remember the intense feeling of happiness knowing that I was able to help someone that day. I remember that even though I was hungry, my heart, somehow, felt full. I think we can agree we’ve all heard the words of, “You can make a difference”, before. However, I don’t think I’ve ever believed in that statement as much as I did until that day--a day that went completely unplanned.
You see, life is constantly giving us lemons. In my case though, I guess it’s appropriate to say that life actually gave me hot dogs instead. However, whether it’s a good or bad lemon, it’s what we do with it that is important. When life gives you lemons, or hotdogs, cherish it, but most importantly, think about why life gave it to you in the first place.