Dear Younger Self:
Graduates hear pretty much the same commencement speech across the country. Most are variations on “Today you begin a new chapter in the book of life….” Yawn. It’s a sweet sentiment and, even if it true, it’s a tired metaphor - so tired that the audience can take a quality nap, update Facebook, tweet a short thought, or post goofy Snapchat photos of the commencement speaker. (This will make sense much later in your life. Trust me.)
You sit there under that cap and gown excited, nervous, worried, sweaty, and a bit terrified. You are not sure of yourself or your future. Not sure if you can really make it. Not sure if you made the right decisions. Knowing that you made a lot of bad decisions. Not sure of anything. Welcome to the world. Life does not move in a straight line. It’s like zig zagging through a crowded cafeteria only to find your favorite seat is taken. Remember that? Your life is more like a jigsaw puzzle and your job is to put it together to see what image emerges. Remember those summer evenings on the porch with the family working on jigsaw puzzles? Yeah, it’s like that.
I don’t want to take anything away from what your commencement speakers will tell you, (Who was that anyway? All you will remember is the protester and the rain.) but school is just a small part of your education. In fact, you won’t remember anything they say. You will have that piece of paper that indicates you have the ability to learn or at least endure seat time - but you have much more to learn. Everyone does. But I am talking directly to you. Us. Myself.
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