June 13, 2012

Lemon Tree, my Ass.

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What could be construed as fate or serendipity has played a big role in my life in the past few years. Especially when Matthew and I first met, one thing after another kept happening to us that seemed to really cement our future together (read our love story and you’ll get a little taste), and it always seemed too, well, coincidental, to be just a coincidence. We attributed our fate to God and the “law of attraction,” which both of us were big proponents of, especially then… back before life beat us down to ghosts of the souls we once were.

I kid.

But it IS funny how much crap has gone down since our fairy tale beginning. I think they call it… real life? Things I’ve blogged about, and things I haven’t.

Anyway, one lovely, fateful event occurred when Matthew and I were house hunting here in Austin. Long story, but we’d almost moved to California before deciding to live in Austin, and while we were house hunting in Cali, there was one home in particular I’d fallen in love with. I loved the inside, too, of course, but one little perk of the property was a glorious lemon tree out in the backyard, complete with lots of plump, ripe lemons. I thought it was a sign, since I’d always wanted a lemon tree.

Well, that house didn’t work out, and for good reason. We were supposed to be in Austin.

While on the house hunt here, we were finishing up a long list of places to see when we arrived at what would become our current home. It was one of those where you walk in and just immediately get a good feel from the place… like, yeah, I could totally live here! We loved the flow, the open floor plan, the potential. And when I walked into the kitchen a second time after touring the house, Matthew beckoned me over to a fruit basket beside the fridge. Inside that basket was a lemon with a note beside it that said, “from the lemon tree out front.”

“If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.” Said Matthew. And I cried.

Obviously,we bought the house.

And you know what? In the two and a half years we’ve lived here, that damn “lemon tree” never produced one bloody lemon. Not even a little green bud that looked like it might someday become a lemon. We laugh about it all the time, and usually curse at the “lemon tree” when we walk by it.

This morning I was out watering the fake lemon tree, and I was thinking about life and how symbolic this silly story is. Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they just don’t. Sometimes something you think is going to be perfect winds up being flawed, like most things are. When it comes to fate and serendipity, I think we all have a lot more of a hand in things than we think. We assign our own symbolism to what happens to us in life. We shouldn’t just sit back and try to decipher meaning out of the arbitrary. We decide.

And I’ve decided that the lemon tree was a lesson. Sometimes life makes big promises, and fails to follow through with them. (or perhaps you simply had misguided expectations?) Sometimes people hurt you, and people die, and you find yourself lost for a little while. Sometimes things need to happen to get you to where you are, even if they’re disappointing or unpleasant. But you can’t sit around and wait for the lemon tree to produce.

I suppose the lesson here is this: when life doesn’t give you lemons, plant a different bush. Or better yet, go buy some dumb lemons from the grocery store.

The end.

58 comments:

  1. I love this post. You are very wise, Miss Jenni! Thank you for sharing this. xo

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  2. I think they definitely bought the lemon at the store at it ISN'T a lemon tree at all. That is terrible. You should rip it out and put in a real lemon tree. I love this post. It is so true about life. You can't believe that everything will always work out all of the time when you expect it too. Life is all about how we react to what is handed to us. Hey at least you are still watering the tree. I'd be so mad I'm not sure if I would.

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  3. I think the Universe (or whatever word one uses to substitute) must laugh at us sometimes. It's like you said, we assign the symbolism in our lives. How many times have I said "it must be a sign"? Ha!

    I wonder if that really is a lemon tree. I'm more concerned about how the sellers found out you loved lemon trees before they lured you in with that carefully planted lemon and note. ;-)

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  4. Ahhh yes. THIS is classic Jenni! Loved every sentence. - Guess the little inspiration "break" did you good. :-) And hey, even when life doesn't produce the lemons you might have hoped for, it doesn't mean that the cursed bush can't still bring joy and beauty to your life! Just maybe in the form of lush green leaves instead of little yellow orbs.- Often I think there is beauty to be found, when only we adjust our eyes.

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  5. Haha. I love your sense of humor, Jenni! I have you to thank for introducting me to the law of attraction when I first discovered this lovely blog of yours!! I just adore y'alls love story :)

    "Sometimes things need to happen to get you to where you are, even if they’re disappointing or unpleasant." - this is my fav line from this post! well, i loved the whole post, but that line just really stuck out to me.

    why? i look at this move to PA by myself to be uncomfortable at times, but i know something better is just around the corner...whether it be moving back to nc, somewhere totally different or closer to my blog bestie, brandi! ;)

    you should write a book! seriously! ;)

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  6. This post is hilarous but also so true! It's hitting very close to home for me at the moment

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  7. hahhahaha i love that last line so much
    its so awesome

    and it really is a good lesson to teach!!!! we cant always let little things bother us and sometimes we just gotta make change happen if we are looking for it!

    i dont know if that's even remotely related to what YOU are talking about..but that's what I got out of it haha.

    -jess

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  8. aw what a cute story! and what is it about fruit trees that make houses seem so picture perfect? i've been wanting to plant one in our yard too!

    i like the lesson you got out of it though, we can't sit around waiting for things to happen!

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  9. But hey, you still made lemonade! Life only handed you a single lemon and it looks like you wound up with a sweet little deal there in Austin.

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  10. This is such a great post. I think you should keep the tree. After all, it was one of the reasons you wanted the house! Maybe you could plant a lemon tree one day!

    xo Krystin

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  11. Haha, agreed! Now I'm curious if the owners went out and bought lemons to put in the fruit basket. Those bastards! lol

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  12. I loved this story! And what you said about life feels true for me too. Sometimes it makes big promises and fails to follow through. But we get to decide what we want to do when that happens.

    Love this. (o:

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  13. Haha, love it! Dang that lemon tree! And you're right, it's cruel how much "real life" can really knock the wind out of you sometimes. I like your attitude though, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately, how much we really are in control of. We're big "fate" people around here, but sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. ;)

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  14. You always have the best stories & the wisest words to share with us! I went through a time where I would look for "signs" to help guide my decision making & I would heavily rely on that... of course dissapointment follows when things didn't turn out as I had them in my head. You are right that WE DO decide. So right, Jenni!

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  15. What a cute and poignant post, Jenni! What a wonderful way to word what most everyone experiences, but may not have the train of thought to see it with the clarity you depicted. Love it!

    -kristen

    The Mrs. and The Momma

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  16. That's either the best house-staging trick in the world, or God really did teach you a valuable lesson. Either way, it made for a good laugh and a better story :) When I sell a house in the future, I'm probably going to put something like a gold coin in a basket "From the pot of gold at the end of every rainbow that appears on our front deck, please buy our house thank you, bye"

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  17. oh my god, thats hilarious. the damn lemon tree!!! hahaha

    great story. thanks for sharing, once again, jenni. you rock my world!

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  18. LOL! Did you tell the real estate agent about the lemons maybe?

    Either way it got you where you needed to be. Hilarious story though!

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  19. Do you think the "lemon" tree ever produced lemons, or do you think the previous owners were being tricky when selling their home?

    Either way, I feel your pain. I have a "lime" tree on my patio. No limes. Ever.

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  20. Gah, you always get me Jenni! This post describes my life and what I've been going through recently. I loved when you said, "Sometimes things need to happen to get you to where you are, even if they’re disappointing or unpleasant. But you can’t sit around and wait for the lemon tree to produce." YEP. YES. AMEN.

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  21. haha I loved this cute and funny story (with a good lesson as well). Also, I would do some googling about the lemon tree. Maybe it just needs some fertilizer. It might have depleated the nutrient in the soil. Also, it needs pollination...maybe if you plant flowers to attract birds and bees nearby they will pollinate your tree too! :)

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  22. haha! Love it!
    eachdayinthislife.blogspot.com

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  23. Buying lemons is sometimes SO much easier :)

    The part that sticks out the most to me in this post is the simple point about having misguided expectations. I think I'm in the middle of that right now, which I just stopped to think about. Thanks for shinning some light.

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  24. I love this post! Such depth, I love your posts that make me think and question.

    That is so sad about the lemon tree... but now that you wrote this I would laugh if a lemon grew! I bet that is secretly why you posted about it because you are hoping for it to prove you wrong! :)

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  25. Awwww Jenni! This post spoke to me today like you wouldn't believe. I'm here for you if you ever need to talk...Love you tons and know that you're very loved. I'll go to the grocery store and buy some lemons with you...because let's face it...bushes are ugly. :) :) :)

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  26. This post is great! It made me laugh. Too bad you dind't get any lemons, but heck that's what the store is there for!

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  27. Oh this post is PERFECT!! I have a tendency to try and apply symbolism to things and be really superstitious. A perfect example being that I hate to go to the dentist because the last three times I have gone, I have gotten horrible health news (not related to my teeth) within a few days afterwards. Obviously, the scheduling of my dentist appointment doesn't correspond to any of those things (especially since one of them involved my husband). But this post was perfect for me today. Especially since I just got back from the DANG DENTIST!

    It must be a sign. :)

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  28. Really cute story, Jenni! When life gives you lemons from a fake tree, make... fake lemonade? ;)

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  29. what a fantastic post - you always have such a complete way of writing that resonates with so many people and always has a light hearted and positive twist.

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  30. Love this post! It's funny how things work out, or don't!

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  31. ha i love this. life handed you an infertile lemon tree and you're learning to just go buy your own damn lemons. wise lady :)

    also, the title of this post made me lol :)

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  32. This is the best story, except I was hoping you'd say that it finally produced lemons this year. Anyway, have you asked the local farmers if there is some trick to getting lemons to grow on your "lemon tree?"

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  33. I don't know what it is but your blog posts always "speak to me", like exactly to what i'm going through. My favorite quote from this was "Sometimes things need to happen to get you to where you are, even if they’re disappointing or unpleasant." because it's so true. Thanks for the reminder!

    Hope you're having a great week!

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  34. Buy lemons and pretend? That's what I would do haha :)

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  35. And if this isn't true, I don't know what is.

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  36. I love this story!! Such a random thing, but so coincidental. Very interesting!

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  37. that is so disappointing.. there's nothing worse than waiting with great excitement for something to produce the results you expect it to, in regards to fruit trees & life in general. this was written so well and the point you made was such a real one. its something that i struggle to apply in my own life but oh how i try! Lovely post, dear
    Janell

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  38. "When life doesn’t give you lemons, plant a different bush." Writing that one down! I love it.

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  39. I don't know why that story makes me happy but it does. You are such a dear one...just stopping in to say hello and let you know I think you are the cat's meow!
    Hugs to you...and give one to your Mom for me!

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  40. I definitely agree, and you've written such a great message here!

    Thank you as always Jenni!
    xo Kayla

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  41. Oh my gosh, I love this! The whole lesson is good, but the title is totally my favorite!

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

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  42. I LOVE lemons! I've been thinking of planting a lemon tree in our yard. Wonder if it will grow and actually produce lemons. :-)

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  43. Haha--now that is interesting. And I agree--it is easy to wait and watch and hope for lemons, but sometimes you just have to go out and by them or plant them yourself. :)

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  44. Sneaky, sneaky house-sellers. Wow.

    Maybe the lemon tree was just the little nudge you needed to get you to the place you needed to be (even if it's technically lemon-tree-free).

    I love this story.

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  45. Wise words, my dear. I loved reading this. Misguided expectations, false representation and disappointment - its all around us. I love how you re-frame your mind around it in such a healthy way. There's nothing better than having good perspective. It will take you a long way in life.

    Hugs!!!
    Noa

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  46. I love this post! So cute :) Also, great title :)

    Fromfreyawithlove.blogspot.com

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  47. loved the message of your non-existent lemon tree....awesome!

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  48. Amen girl! Maybe the lemon tree was just there to let you know it was a good place for you to be.

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  49. You. Are. Awesome.

    I love your blog Jenni. For simple, yet extraordinary posts like this. You find meaning in the small things and I love that about you!

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  50. You know sometimes it takes a few years for a fruit tree to produce fruit, a lot of it, consistently. So, don't be discouraged! Maybe in a year or two you will get some lemons from your lemon tree! Until then, I think you have the right idea of getting lemons at the market :)

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  51. This is really well written and oh-so-true Jenni. Make lemons happen! I have learned in our 2 ripe old years of marriage that you have to sometimes stop expecting everything to make sense...and instead make some sense OF it.

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  52. You make those lemons happen girl, be damned where they came from :)

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  53. i love this :) i think there's so much truth to people having misguided expectations. need to remember that one!

    just read your love story and you guys are stinkin adorable!

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  54. This was funny Jenni :)
    And very sweet though too, since you ended up with a lemon tree after all.Even though it doesn't give you lemons..still!
    Plus how often do you drink lemonade anyway right? hehe.
    But it does kind of make you wonder about fate. In the little things that happen...
    You never know..
    Although, personally I'm not sure I want to believe in fate. That means I'm destined to live the current life I'm living, and that's something I want to change so....It's all a big question mark to me.

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  55. Such a beautiful story, Jenni. Thanks for sharing! So many perfect quotes and lessons to extract from this story and post. I'm definitely with you on believing in fate, God, and "the law of attraction" but I do think we are the ones who end up making choices that alter these things and attribute meaning to them.

    I know I'm not alone in saying this definitely hit home, but it did. One thing I've been trying to keep in mind for when things get tough and I'm feeling directionless is actually a 50 Cent quote (don't judge until you read it!) from an interview with Oprah: "either worry or pray, but don't do both." Such a powerful thing to remember that God is always in control and has a plan, even when we can't necessarily see it at the time.

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Thanks so much for leaving your two cents! I read and appreciate every comment and respond when I can. Thanks for reading. :)

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