Reflection on Life, Lemons, Lemonade...

I've been hustling and travelling and trying to maximize my fabu-divatude for the past few weeks so a sister is weary. But I did want to post this right quick:

In the Dallas airport, I ran into someone from my private school days. I haven't seen her since we were fifteen years of age. We'll call her Scarlet. I used to envy her so. She had a tiny little figure, huge blue eyes, brown hair that waved neatly past her shoulders. She came from a wealthy family, was very smart and basically seemed to have a perfect life then and a perfect future ahead of her. I remember going to a sleepover at her castle house, her room was literally a pink cloud with butterflies and birds everywhere. For Saint Patrick's day, they threw a huge party called Lollipops and Leprechauns. They told her she was an enchanted princess living in a magic land. She believed it for a long time. 

Seeing her in the airport, I can tell you... she is no longer enchanted. Life has not been kind. She still has the trim figure, the blue eyes and the neat hair. I assume she is still wealthy and smart. But she had the air of someone who life has kicked squarely in the ass. I wanted to gasp and say, "What happened to to you!?" I mean a vibrant girl with the world by the tail looked decades older than she should. She looked quite exhausted by life. 

I casually inquired as to how she had been and tears welled up in her eyes. Oh my damn. I sat down with her over margaritas and told me such a sad, long involved tale of woe I swore I was hearing the plot of a Lifetime Movie of the Week.

When she finished, she smiled weakly and said, "How have you been?" Well, truthfully lining up things that happened to her versus things that happened to be over the last twenty years- I realized I hadn't gotten off that light myself. I shared a few highlights and lowlights before she interrupted me saying, "But you look so well." She went onto say that she never expected that anything bad was going to happen to her so the past two decades was just one reality check after the other. "How do you do it?" She asked.

Le Sigh. This got me to wondering if she had been done a disservice being raised in a cotton-candy cocoon.  I never had the expectation that my life was going to be rides on fairy wings and floating on rainbows. I was also taught that when life kicks you in the ass, you get up and kick back. So when asked how I still wake up smiling and ready to tackle whatever is around the next corner, I couldn't think of anything to say that wasn't a cliché. "Nothing can defeat you but you." "Life is for the living."  The whole saying about life, lemons and lemonade... I knew she didn't want to hear any of that.

What I said was - you just have to make a conscious decision to make the best of whatever comes your way and work to make it better. You just have to keep going. She nodded and saud, "I'm don't think I come from people who know how to do that." I patted her on the shoulder and said, "Then you'll have to be the first." We parted ways with promises to keep in touch.

What would you have told her? Do you know someone whose life you thought would be perfect but it's gone a whole different way? Is it even possible with today's 24/7 all e-everything to raise our kids in that kind of sheltered cocoon anymore? Curious to hear your thoughts, comments and insights.