The Commencement Address That Will Never Be Given

It’s already full-on commencement season. Finals are still to be endured, last-minute projects completed, proms attended, but graduation dates are set. Fingers are crossed for good weather, outfits are planned, and commencement relatives are invited (fingers crossed for and against rain).

The commencement address that you will never hear delivered, but very well could be and might even be the best darn address that was ever given would recognize the small, daily victories that brought young people to this point. Somehow, they lived past searing betrayals by lifelong best friends, their own bodies, and life-changing decisions that were way beyond their capabilities that needed to be made right then and there. They kept going when nothing was going right and it looked like things would only ever get worse. They made mistakes in clothing choices, in studies, in relationships, in hair styles, in music, and kept on going as best that they could do. The lucky learned to trust themselves no matter what the daily, jolting horror show threw at them.

Wherever they go from here, be it further education, work, or service, the best thing is to remember. Remember that you survived this most grievous of challenges. If you did this, you can survive the next challenges, whatever they may be. The zombie apocalypse, vampires, grad school, insane bosses, no supernatural horrors have nothing on what you just faced down with courage, intelligence, and everything that you had. Go forth. Choose the path that says, “This way there be dragons.”

For my own part today, I am profoundly grateful to the others who have proceeded me on my own path: Shaunta for her blog a day challenge, Raimey for her structured blogging community, LM who keeps on going no matter what with grace, humor, and compassion, JL who suggests that studying and reading may be good-looking procrastination and that it might be time to make the art that only you can, and all the countless others who blog, who share generously, and who make the work of art worth doing.

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