There is this famous phrase that says: “When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade”. I completely agree with this phrase/attitude, however, I would add something else. I think it should something more like: “When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade, AND step back because an order of fruit punch may be coming your way!”
Step back, because whatever may come, could not only be sweeter but more colorful, juicier and with more other flavors that you could have never imagined! Lemonade test great, don’t get me wrong. But fruit punch. Fruit punch is juice at another level!
You might be a bit confused with my “un-fruitful” conversation here, but let me get to the point. Sometimes life will unravel in ways that you don’t expect and you don’t understand why. That’s just how life is, and that’s how the Atlas Corps Fellowship experience can also be.
Sometimes it’s painful and some other times is awesome. When it’s awesome.. it can also be sort of magical. Luckily, the three things happened to me.
When I first got to New York, I was SO excited. Everything was new and big and ready to be discovered by me (oh yes!). It’s a great feeling those first days as an Atlas Corps Fellow. You get to go to your new host organization, you meet your supervisor and you start this internal unstoppable brainstorming session about all the great things you want to accomplish – perhaps as a “thank you” for being able to be on this spot of the planet. You couldn’t feel more grateful.
Let’s just say things didn’t happened the way I thought would happen the first few weeks with my host organization and I had to change. Hey, who said the lemonade can’t be sour sometimes you know? That’s just how life is.
Then along came the fruit punch 🙂
BUT… before the fruit punch though, I have to make a stop. The only reason why I am bringing up the “not so sweet” part of the lemonade story, is because I can not tell you the story about a social entrepreneur trying to make an idea happen, without acknowledging how the universe played a role in this whole domino effect. And the reality is that having this not so sweet experience had to happen for a reason, I was able to later understand.
Sometimes you may have an idea, you may want to change or “SAVE” the world (call it however you want to call it). The truth is though, there is definitely something out there that also is watching every move you make, and not only that but even better, there’s something out there that for reasons you will never get, will dance with you this “destiny” dance. It will make you turn, and swirl around. It will make you step over your own feet (probably several times), but who cares? You are enjoying it and loving it as much as you can.
The last day at my first host organization I was invited to acompany my supervisor to an event. My supervisor had to leave early but allowed me to stay until the end. And so I did. It happened to be a Tech event for women. The room was filled with programmers and developers. All brilliant young women gathering together to talk about technology.
And there was me.. with this “on-line platform / app idea” craving to be conceived by some talented hands. Impressed is an understatement of what I was. It was mind-blowing.
I kept my eyes and ears wide opened throughout the event. Then Irene and Diana, the Founders of Monarq #SheHacksNYC – which mission is to bring more women into tech and startups by hosting hackathons and technology related events – stepped in.
They announced they were closing applications for their Startup Weekend event. I was bumped. *If you haven’t heard of Start Up Weekend. It’s a two-three day event in which people with business ideas get together in teams of developers, programmers and designers (people they probably have never met in their lives) and create a prototype. “HOWEVER…” -Irene all of the sudden said. “We will make an exception with the group that is here today and will accept your applications until tomorrow at mid night.”
My face lid up! I couldn’t believe it! As soon as I got back home I sent in my application. How this particular Startup Weekend worked was that you had to first submit your idea and then if it was chosen, you would be assigned a team to work with through out the weekend. It was July, and this event was scheduled for October. I got called on September. I couldn’t believe it. It was really going to happen! My startup idea was really going to happen.
And then when things couldn’t get better – they did! Let’s just the fruit punch came a long…
(TO BE CONTINUE).