A story about graduation

It’s that time of year. School is winding down and kids are graduating. Mine included. My oldest is graduating high school this year. I admit – I am mostly in denial about this fact. I am none too happy that the child grew up so fast, and GRADUATION??? THAT was NOT supposed to happen this quickly!

And yet, I am grateful, too. Grateful to have a son. Grateful that he has made it this far and has done so well. It’s a big moment all the way around.

Well, the other day I was on FaceBook and one of my friends from Moore High School was posting that her daughter is also graduating this year! Her daughter is a Valedictorian at the same high school where we were part of the Valedictorian group. Her daughter was asking for advice on writing her speech and so my friend dug out the high school box where she had KEPT our speeches from graduation all those years ago!

Moore High School was pretty big back in the day, and so there were 22 of us that gave speeches that night as best I can recall. We each had something like 25 seconds to share our parting thoughts with our fellow students. I counted – and my speech was exactly 6 sentences long. I really didn’t know what to say, but did my best to come up with something (anything!) that would fit the bill for Graduation Night.


Let’s suffice it to say I did not want to make that speech AT ALL.

But…since I HAD TO…

I labored over those six sentences! Rough draft. Editing. Re-writing. Practicing. Worrying. Starting all over. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Anyway – my friend took pics of all twenty-two speeches (Xerox copies made from the dot matrix original, you know) and posted them! So I got to re-read what I had written. First, it was humbling. NOT a work of art, I tell ya! It wasn’t particularly well written. Nor was it compelling.

And yet…

Even THEN…graduation

Even twenty-six years ago I knew something deep down. I knew that we are more than just our surroundings. We are more than our graduating class. We are more than our town. We are more than our nation.

We are individuals.

Each of us has a beautiful gift to give. Even in 1990 (I know – eeek!), I had the sneaking suspicion that each of us have a wonderful sparkly self to share with the world.

So that’s the story. Before I had ANY idea that I would go to University and earn a Bachelors in Music Education, get married, teach for 3 years, have two amazing kids, work for an insurance company, teach private piano/voice lessons, do the stay-at-home-mom thing, be in a band, work as a nonprofit consultant, and become a yoga trainer…before any of that – I KNEW that we each have something beautiful to offer.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I hide it, or disregard it, or think it isn’t sparkly ENOUGH. But guess what? IT IS. When we cover it up, or hide it in a corner, or whatever, we’re not the only ones who miss out, EVERYONE misses out.

So if that’s been you – if you’ve denied that thing that makes you unique and amazing, let’s change that. Take it out, dust it off, tell it you’re sorry, and then LET IT SHINE!

Please tell me, what is that special thing that makes you, you?