One of my biggest lessons in life has been attached to something I have continually shared with people I have worked with for years.
“You can not make Pinacolodas when all you have been given is lemons and water. Your best bet is to just add your own kind of sugar and make the best damn lemonade you possibly can!”.
When they begin to tell me about all the expectations that have been placed upon them, whether they are fictional from within their minds or real, placed there by people who have no concept of how, when, where and what it takes to accomplish the task being done, I share emphatically to them to say the following;
“When you get me a coconut and a pineapple, then and only then can I attempt to maybe think about creating a Pinacoloda. but not without a little bit of my special rum”.
I believe my black history teacher in my public school is the one that started teaching me this when he taught me about my circumstances in this world as a young black woman emigrated here from the island of Jamaica. For me, the difference was that I also was the first generation in every arena in my family.
People have always asked me to do things and I have wanted to do my best with excellence and go up and above. But unfortunately. I haven’t always had the practical or tangible resources to complete the task at hand.
If you look on the outward it seems like the playing field is even and the odds are not stacked against me, but in truth, there are invisible factors that have continually hindered my progress all of these years. Now don’t get me wrong, I have risen above my circumstances in amazing ways. I swim as if my life depends on it, but make no mistake, these are lemonade circumstances and the struggle has been real!
I did not have a generational lineage of wealth, power, and prestige that gives me the advantage afforded to so many other people. In our family we didn’t have fancy homes, money for extracurricular activities, well tutored, cultivated education, connections in business and society, a cottage or annual vacation to exotic places, to give us a level up for our next generation.
No, I come from a line of slaves and blue-collar workers, (why do they call them that again?) that had to work twice as hard just to scrape by and make a living. I was never given an example of a married couple making it to their 30th wedding anniversary to pattern my own marriage off of, but I did it. I was a first-generation everything, high school graduate, all my children from one marriage, an entrepreneur, an ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) overcomer, and all of this came with Pinacolada expectations.
When they ask me how I have gotten the necessary ingredients to make something that slightly resembles a Pinacolda, I let them know about my secret ingredient that makes everything taste good. Faith.
“Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see”
If I have had an unfair advantage at all, this was it. I have had Faith.
I started out making the best lemonade on the corner, and with some time and experience and with unshakeable Faith I have been blessed with a coconut, a pineapple, and the best rum made from the sugarcane of Jamaica. That’s why “I love me some Pinacoldas”.
So to all you “Lemonaders” out there- let me give you a little hope, add FAITH to your recipe, and see what happens.