looking back on graduation

one of my friends i grew up with, JaNae, had her brother leave for a mission this week and her sister graduate from high school yesterday. when i was at their house on sunday, it hit me really hard that i have basically watched both of JaNae's siblings grow up. it doesn't seem like they should be old enough to do these things yet (just wait until Hope and Thomas hit that point...i don't even know how i'll handle it!). 

last night the "v" lit up on the mountain like it does every year on the night of graduation and i had nostalgic feelings running through me all night (but what's new, right?). it's been weird for me to reflect on graduation this year especially and think that it was three years ago. sometimes it seems like yesterday and other days it seems like it was twenty three years ago.

something i always heard when i was close to getting out of high school was "i'm so afraid to grow up. it's so weird that we are growing up and becoming adults. i don't want to be an adult."

here's the secret you aren't ever really told--at eighteen, you are still so young. you have made huge steps in graduating from high school and moving on and up in life, but there's still so much to learn. at almost twenty-one, i feel like i still don't know anything. there's so much to take in and learn in this life. i think the older you get, the more you realize the infinite amount of things you have to learn and the endless qualities and skills you still need to master.

e.e. cummings once said, "it takes courage to grow up and become who we really are." 
it's true that in the past three years since i have graduated, i have come into my own and i have learned a great deal. you start to make huge decisions and become who you really are. it has taken courage to make huge decisions, to accept huge responsibilities, and i know it will take courage to continue to make these huge decisions that i know lie ahead of me.
in the process, you hopefully grow out of those tendencies to judge or shy away from opportunity or being indecisive. the tendencies to turn everything into a full scale drama queen moment or to talk obnoxiously loud all the time. hopefully we have been able to grow in knowledge and wisdom while allowing our comfort zones to shrink. we begin to live life, bravely and boldly.  

i would like to add mr. cummings remarks and say that, 
"it [also] takes courage to grow up and [remember] who we really are." 

to remember your roots--where you came from, the standards you decided to live a long time ago, the lessons you were taught growing up. don't let it be forgotten and slip away, because in the past lies important lessons for our future, lessons that shape our future. 

don't forget the hard lessons you learned from friendships, heartache, disappointments, and everything about the krebs cycle. the times you cried yourself to sleep, but somehow managed to wake up and keep going the next morning. the times you had to just let go. the times you said something mean or someone else said something mean about you. and plus, you never know when that krebs cycle will come back to haunt you.

don't forget the good lessons you learned from trust, faith, seeing the good in others, and how to correctly spell. the times you felt love from others and showed love towards others. not just the romantic love, but the compassionate love. the times you realized that just because you had been through disappointments and sorrow, didn't mean you wouldn't ever feel joy again. the moments where you realized how beautiful life is.

give everyone a fair chance, especially your classmates. after high school, so much changes and chances are, some of your thought-to-be worst enemies and "the popular kids" in high school will turn out to be great friends and colleagues in the future. i can't even tell you how many times my initial impressions and feelings about my old classmates have been changed since i graduated. 

to become who we really are, we must never forget the lessons we have learned. so much of who i am today reflects little choices i made here and there all throughout my life. so much of who i am today reflects the times i went through hard things, but picked myself up. so much of who i am today reflects the amazing influences of people who have come in and out of my life as well as the people who have always been in my life or the people who came right on in and stayed in my life.

thank you for the lessons, the long talks, the heartaches, the disappointments. thank you for support system i have through many friendships, neighbors and a loving family. thank you for the great teachers i had all throughout my k-12 education who taught me things to help me get through the college classes i have taken and have yet to take. thank you for the love and kindness i have been shown. thank you for allowing me the chance to simply live and be.

1 comment:

  1. how does this not have any comments yet? this is incredible. i love this. this could be your valedictorian speech. you need to keep writing or i'll kill you.


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