Most commencement speeches are so overrated. I know for sure that I slept through my college keynote at one point, until the speaker broke into operatic song. Then I was awake and so ready to walk across that stage and be done already for the love of God. But looking back, it all went by too quickly and everything from that day is a blur with a few freeze frame photos thrown in for good measure.
And now here I am, three years later, and this week I’ve been mulling over hard decisions about work and career stuff and wishing I could just go back to that moment a few years ago when everything felt simple and possible.
Okay, maybe the “everything simple and possible” part is an exaggeration. But I could really use a pep talk, a commencement speech for this time when things are changing and I have to try something new. The average day doesn’t allow for the pomp and circumstance and some highly accomplished “expert” in randomness using sports analogies to encourage me, Carpe Diem! You’re young! Go out and do amazing things!
And so, in honor of my brother who is graduating high school today (omg!), and to give myself and you a little pep in our next steps, here’s a better-than-your-average-commencement-speech round up :
“The most terrible and beautiful and interesting things happen in a life. For some of you, those things have already happened. Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.” – The Future Has an Ancient Heart.
“Don’t wait for some dumb boy to give you closure. You give yourself closure. That’s real. Tie that mess right on up. Buy ice cream if necessary.” – These Things I’ve Learned.
“So what if someone started 8 years before you and it seems like they’ve achieved everything you’ve ever wanted? Start now. Don’t dwell on how far you still have to go. Eight years from now (trust me, that time will fly) the only thing that’ll make a difference is whether or not you got started in the first place and kept going. Compare yourself to you: past, present, and future.” – Good advice for belly dancing, writing and life.
In case you’re ever stuck in a rut of self-loathing, go laugh your ass off at Adventures in Depression with Hyperbole and a Half. No really, do it.
And if all else fails, ask yourself : What kind of story are you living with your life?
Now Carpe Diem! You’re young! Go out and do amazing things.