Sunday, June 28, 2015

Graduation Party

Today was one that made me think about my own experiences and left me in a state of slight disbelief. We spent a good part of the afternoon at a family get together to celebrate the graduation of a cousin. Oddly enough, the timing worked out almost perfectly and we were all ready to go and out the door with more than enough time to make it down the highway to the party. Given that we left the same time our son usually eats, this was a surprise to both of us.

The party itself was great. Not only was it nice to celebrate this milestone in life but it was also an opportunity to see a lot of family members that we had not had a chance to speak with since the bris. Things have changed quite a bit since then and the change of pace was welcomed. And, I must say, these people sure know how to throw a party.

One of the things that I couldn’t help but think about was the fact that this year marks 15 years since I had the same kind of celebration. I just can’t believe that it has been that long even though there are many days when it seems like an entire lifetime has passed since I celebrated my graduation along with my siblings (each of them graduated from college the same year). When reflecting on this, there are so many family members that I am friendly with now that I wish I had known better then.

Of course, there are a lot of things that I wish was different about that time in my life. The changes in attitude, perspective, motivation, and experience are staggering when considering my life now compared to my personality immediately after high school. There is a reason why I ended up on the 5 year college program. Thankfully, the one whom we were celebrating today seem to have their head on right and has the motivation to succeed.

When asked to write something to the graduate today there was no way that I was going to say something similar to that above. There really isn’t a need for that. All I could say was to enjoy each day (individually and as a whole), work hard, and take advantage of all the opportunities and experiences that come your way during this time in your life. After all, you may not know exactly where they are going to take you but so long as you keep your head on straight, they will all provide you with a life that is full, vibrant, and makes you excited every day to get out of bed in the morning.

Kind of wish that I had heeded my own advice as a teenager but, in the end, it may have not been a perfect ride so far but I wouldn’t change any of it. Okay, maybe one or two or twelve things but all those experiences made me who I am now and I am pretty darn happy with that. Some of you may not be but I am feeling really good about the way things have turned out.

So, I leave you with this clichéd question to think about (and possibly respond below): Knowing what you do know, the experiences that you have had, and the mistakes that you made, what advice would you give to yourself when you graduated high school?