May 15, 2010

good luck, class of 2010.

(first off, thanks to all who emailed and left comments on my bringing in da funk. my intent was to call my doctor this week, but settling back in to a routine after Vegas proved more challenging than even i anticipated. next week is looking much better - and i'll let you know what comes of it. feeling the way i did scared the hell out of me...i'm a person usually in control of those emotions and buddy, feeling out of control was.not.pleasant. moving on...)

next week, one of my best friend's kids graduates from high school...roughly coughcoughchoke30yearscoughcough after her auntie did. and while she's readying for the next phase in her life, i'm currently working with some of my fellow alumni on our next reunion this summer.

and that, of course, makes me feel nostalgic. not only for the youthful optimism we all had back then, but for that youthful metabolism.


but again, i digress.

back in the day, when i dreamed of fame (and Donny), i only thought of accolades. awards. making amazing strides in the world of literature...which is what i thought i was gonna do.
life, as always, had other plans.

(but now i have a blog. take that, life!)

looking back, as i'm doing this a.m., i think of niecey-poo...beginning the next Big Adventure, and, as i am wont to do, am imagining myself giving a commencement speech. THIS should keep 'em off drugs, eh?

here goes.

Good evening, and congratulations Class of made it! (wait for whooooops to die down)
I realize as you sit there, wearing those stupid hats...seriously, who thought 'hey, let's design a hat that can also double as a coffee table' was a good idea...not to mention those robes, because nine times out of ten, you graduate on a hot June day. And while layers, normally, are good, they're not so good when you aren't sure if you're on the field graduating or in a sauna, sweating.

Sorry. Old people like me tend to ramble on.

Tonight, as you've been hearing for the last few weeks, if not months, while it is an ending, is also a beginning. You'll leave this place different than when you came in - you'll have graduated and will be moving on to the next big adventure...whether it be college, military or working. You may never again be faced with this many choices for your life. Drink it in.

As you do move forward in your life, you'll make choices. Here's some things to ponder about those choices:

1) You will make crappy decisions in your life. Guess what - that's just the way it goes. Like the song says, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. Some of the choices you make will rock the world. Others, not so much. Just try to remember to learn from all and glean something out of the experience.
And while we're talking about bad decisions....

2) You will fail at something. What - this isn't the happy feel-good commencement address you were expecting? Wait....
You, you, you and even you waaaaaay in the back, will fail at something. Some will fail miserably while others will fail spectacularly. As the Husband will frequently say - 'you're gonna step on your dick'

Colorful, no?

Here's the good news: despite what the media in all forms will tell you - failure IS an option and is not always bad. After all, a chemist at DuPont failed in an experiment he was working on and ended up creating Teflon. Failure is good - learn from it and move on.

3) Love what you do. Some wag once said if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. Those people also have money up the wazoo. It's very likely you will have to work, and you ain't gonna love it. But find a passion. Find something that makes you happy and excited to get up in the morning. Photography, writing, gardening - whatever trips your trigger - if you find your passion and aren't lucky enough to make it your life's work, you can still be lucky enough to do it...and to share with others.

4) Happiness is not a birthright - it is a daily choice. If you ain't happy, guess what - it ain't your parents fault, not your siblings, your friends or even your dog's fault. That blame, my friends, lands squarely on your shoulders.

Every day we make choices, remember? You can choose happiness, too, even if your situation sucks. You don't have to be happy with the situation, just know that optimism goes a loooooong way in this world - you will live longer and not only that, you will be a thorn in the side of the nay-sayers who will lose their minds wondering what you're on because you're so damn happy all the time.

I'm not saying you should go around with a maniacal smile all the time, plucking daisies like some Ophelia, but choose your attitude daily. Choose to be optimistic. Choose to be proof positive that smiling people are up to something.

There you have it. Four little nuggets and only four because I'm somewhat OCD and I like things bookended. Go out there. Fail. Step on it...and in it. It's the only way you'll really learn, and besides, the adventure is so much more exciting living it than reading about it.

Good luck, and God bless.

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