“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I love this quote, especially around graduation time.
We celebrated two special graduations in the last week. My daughter graduated from preschool and is now on her way to Kindergarten. Woo hoo! And my nephew graduated from high school and is now on his way to college.
Two big moments filled with such different emotions.
Watching my daughter graduate from preschool had me tearing up...knowing this was the end of so many things, but the beginning of so many more. Our little girl is growing up so quickly. It was clear as she walked to meet her teacher dressed in her bright blue posterboard cap and plastic gown (made from a garbage bag, I think), that our life was about to change. Routines would change. Attitudes would change. Responsibilities would change. People and places would change.
In those same moments, pure joy came over me as I realized that very soon both of our girls would be in the SAME school on the SAME schedule!
As I watched my nephew graduate from high school, I found myself reminiscing about my own high school graduation years ago. How had I felt at that moment? Did I have as much hope and was I as inspired as so many of these kids sitting in that sea of red mortarboards? Did I feel all grown-up while the adults in my life still thought of me as a "kid." What were my dreams?
Did I walk nervously across the stage to get my diploma, or did I have some flashy move to gain more attention and cheers from the crowd? How many classmates did I truly believe I'd keep in touch with? Did I even know who I was? As I recall, I walked nervously, thought I'd keep in touch with at least a couple dozen friends, and had no clue who I really was.
I remember feeling frustrated that I was staying in my hometown and not jetting off to some great location for a cool summer break and then off to start at some amazing college. In hindsight, I'm thankful I graduated and didn't owe anyone or any institution any money.
I also remember wishing I could focus on volleyball instead of working so much. In hindsight, I'm thankful that by the time I graduated from college I had worked in my field for a couple of years.
So, do I have any advice or wisdom to share?
For my soon-to-be kindergartner: Don't grow up too fast. And even when you feel like an adult, please don't stop being a kid. Always dream the way you do now...without worrying about what is possible and what isn't. I love you no matter what, and you will always be my baby.
For my nephew: Don't grow up too fast. And even when you feel like an adult, please don't stop being a kid. Do what you love and love what you do. Don't forget to dream [there's NOT an app for that!]