This weekend I had honor of attending my niece Amber’s high school graduation. I have to admit, I really wasn’t looking all that forward to it. It felt like an obligation. Who really looks forward to sitting on uncomfortable bleachers for hours listening to speeches aimed at kids almost 20 years younger and for hundreds of names to be called individually (you should have heard the little boy, probably about six, sitting behind me as he asked his mom if they were going to call ALL those kids names one at a time and realized that he was going to have to sit still through all of it)? But as I saw how proud my sister is of her daughter, a daughter that had struggled early on in high school but had transitioned into an honor roll student during her senior year and earned the “Journey Award” from the faculty, it really did feel like an honor and I am so glad I went.
As I sat listening to those speeches, I realized that that the message isn’t just for the students. The speeches spoke about fresh starts and the chance to be the new you and become whomever you dream to be. I teared up a few times because I remember that feeling. I felt so free and excited about the future. I teared up because I was thinking about how fleeting that feeling can be. Then it was like I was struck with new hope. Just because I am 19 years (goodness, really?) out of high school and am not moving away and starting a new life at a new school or even a new job, doesn’t mean I can’t have a fresh start and become who I want to be. I look back on the past couple years and realize I have been working hard at that new me and making good progress. We all have this chance for a fresh start, for growth, for progress toward our dreams, every day if we to desire to take it. No matter the past, we can choose to start today and have a great day and a great tomorrow... It is all perspective, intention and the journey. Today I feel like there are so many opportunities out in front of me and I intend to move toward them.
I don’t have any graduation pictures to share as I forgot my camera, so I have to wait to get some from other family members. But, I do have a photo of the new life on my first tomato plant.... It sorta works with the theme of the post : ) Now, if I can only keep the birds away from them – they were circling this morning before I took the pictures.
One last quote from the speeches. Goodness, this is so true: Smart people learn from others mistakes and dumb people wait to learn from their own mistakes. Makes me wish I had listened to my parents more growing up, might have spared me some frustration and heart ache.