I sat in a high school gym tonight in Small Town USA, watching 29 seniors on the verge of everything. As I sat there, I wondered; do they have any idea of what has just happened to them? They think “I’m free!” but tomorrow they will wake to a world of being an adult.
No it doesn’t happen overnight. No one expects them to move out and start a family tomorrow but gradually responsibilities will consume their motives and just like that, the child is gone.
It is so tragic that we all wish those days away. The years of carefree, unfettered, genuine abandonment and indulgence gone…right before your very eyes like the confetti shot into the air and falling onto the floor under their feet.
The Valedictorian stated the world was their oyster. Assuming that they will be the grain of sand that is transformed into the pearl let us not forget the way it is formed. The oyster forms layers and layers of nacre (mother of pearl) until the grain of sand has been transformed into a pearl.
Thats what life does to us. The experiences we have add layers and layers to us until we are transformed into, optimally, a better form of ourselves.
That group of 18 yr old kids will grow into young men and women, mothers, fathers; their chosen paths will form them into someone slightly or totally different and the outcome, good or bad. Well, it’s a coin toss. It could be great. I choose to believe that for them all but unfortunately it isn’t always the way it is.
I hope they understand how important their decisions are from here on out; how each choice leads to a different path down a winding road called life. I hope they make each one of them count and live each day to the fullest.
We only have one life and if I could only say one thing to each of them it would be slow down. Make your choices slowly, deliberately, and thoughtfully.
And now go. Go and make interesting mistakes. Make amazing mistakes. Make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break the rules, and leave your mark in such a way that the world benefits from your existence but in that process, be you…unapologetically.