What have you done when you're confronted with the old adage: When life gives you lemons... Make lemonade? Make a cocktail? Squeeze them in someone's eye? Keep them because hey, free lemons? I have to admit it was fun looking at all the memes floating out there on the how-to when life gets complicated and messy. But this is what struck me the most:
When life gives you lemons, plant a tree.
I was given a big, beautiful lemon once on a day where I could have felt totally rejected. But on that same day something powerful happened. It was impossible to ignore. I was reacquainted with the man who now has my grandfather's cuatro, Puerto Rico’s national instrument.
Ramon Vasquez shared with me that my grandfather's cuatro never leaves his side. That the instrument simply sings. That he’s part of a group that is Grammy nominated. And that the Smithsonian Folkways label produced their latest album.
So yes, I had the most awesome lemon in my hands.
Choosing to overcome the feeling of rejection was made a lot easier with the reminder of my grandfather's legacy, and the person who remains to elevate the craft that he held most dear.
My grandfather, Neri Orta, was one of the best examples in my life of complete devotion to his talent, purpose and creativity. And up until that moment, I had a similar skill set that I wasn't leaping towards with both feet. It was an opportunity to focus on my business and channel my energy towards excelling at and growing this part of my life. I had an opportunity to know my purpose with photography.
How could I not be grateful for the lemon?