It’s funny, I’ve always been a writer. Instead of reading books as a small child, I often created my own. Funny, then, that I am at a complete loss for words for right now.
These last few weeks have been a non-stop celebration.
First of all, my boyfriend received his Masters degree. Although we haven’t quite closed this chapter yet, this certainly marked the nearing conclusion. Nonetheless, my feelings remain the same. Brandon, your determination and ambition never ceases to amaze me. Albeit stubborn (yes, it’s true), you exemplify hard work and passion that are unmatched. Most importantly, though, you strive to challenge those around you and close to you to be their best as well. For that, I thank you. I hope that at the end of this journey, you can take a moment to enjoy your success as others see it. You have certainly earned it and I am beyond proud.
Shortly after, we had another graduation to celebrate. Another extremely driven and hard-working graduate- Brandon’s future brother-in-law.
At both graduations, I found myself intensely fascinated by the families around me. As their loved ones were being called to receive their diplomas, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the joy on their faces. The grandma who just couldn’t focus her camera phone. The grandpa who hobbled down the steps on his bad hip so his granddaughter could walk past him with her diploma. To the young man who screamed, “That’s my wife!” Pride and joy are such a precious thing, aren’t they? It dawned on me that sometimes, perhaps, we forget to pay attention to those around us. To be grateful and live in that very moment. It is almost as though I was the only one capturing that spark of joy in that very moment- as all eyes were inevitably on the graduates themselves.
Finally, and likely a large reason for my writer’s block, is that I celebrated my birthday. There is something about birthdays to me that are so final- yet evolving. You’re closing a chapter on a year of your life, which reminds us to pause and reflect on that year we’ve had. Then, in the most refreshing way, we open the next chapter and hit the reset button. What lessons will we carry with us? How can we continue to grow for the better?
This last year was like ripping a band-aid off of a wound. It needed to be exposed and treated in order to heal. In order to grow and move forward, I had to stop, refocus and recharge. One of the graduation speakers, Jeff Huber, said-
“Things don’t ‘happen for a reason.’ But you can find purpose and meaning in things that do happen.
Things don’t happen for a reason. But how you respond can reveal your true character.
Things don’t happen for a reason. But they do often happen because nobody has yet found a better way.
That’s my message to all of you: Find a better way.”
I look forward to this new year ahead and am so thankful for all these special reminders the last few weeks. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude for the special people that have been brought into my life. I am also equally inspired by the graduates, eager and hungry to take on the world. I am full of pride and curiosity as I watch the paths those close to me take. Unique and truly their own.
Wherever you are in the chapters of your life, I hope you find purpose. I hope you find happiness. I hope you take a moment every now and then to just enjoy this very moment and all that you have. Here is to finding a better way and being the best you can be starting today.