Saturday, May 21, 2011

Graduation Day

So, there's this super cliché song, by Vitamin C that is all about graduating.  Nearly everyone is familiar with it and high school students really like to listen to it during their senior year.  I was certainly among those high school students.

Now it's time for a confession: That song used to make me cry.  In high school, that song was all about leaving behind the familiar, not seeing friends as often, and generally good things ending.  It was about goodbyes, endings, and fears.  When I would listen to that song in high school, I would always look to the past.  I would look to those moments that were gone, which we would never get to have again.  High school went by so quickly for me.  I felt as if I just blinked and it was gone.

Yesterday, I just graduated from college.  Soon, I'll be moving out of the country.  College has ended and another graduation day has come and gone.  Now I find myself thinking about that song and realizing that it isn't really about high school at all.  It's about graduating from college (or at least, it is for me).  

While high school graduation was filled with a sense of reluctantly and fearfully leaving things behind, college graduation doesn't really seem as dramatic.  This is strange to me, especially since I am leaving the country and literally leaving the people and places that I love behind.  But, for me, it's the truth.

I suddenly feel old.  Not old, I suppose, not really.  I feel adult.  When I was younger, I thought being adult meant having all the answers, being sure, and being fearless.  I have realized for some time now, that this is not the case.  But I do have this new sense of responsibility and duty that has changed a little bit.  I don't want to hide behind the strength of others anymore.  I want to go out and test my own strengths (and weaknesses) and see where improvement is needed.

It's not that I'm not afraid anymore, but that I just don't care.  I don't care that I'm frightened out of my mind to move away from everything that I know.  That just isn't really important when the other factors are considered.  Fear cannot be the ruler of my life.  I refuse to let fear stop me.

I can do this.  I know that I can.  I have God's help, the support and prayers of my family and friends, and the ability to think on my feet.  Aside from that and the ability to ask directions in Chinese, what else do I really need?  (This is a rhetorical question.)  Anyway, in the immortal words of Auntie Mame, it's time to "Live! Live! Live!"

"Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?
Can we survive it out there?
Can we make it somehow?
I guess I thought that this would never end
And suddenly it's like we're women and men
Will the past be a shadow that will follow us 'round?
Will these memories fade when I leave this town
I keep, keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly" - vitamin c

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