A Toast

Somehow - I imagined that by the time my youngest might graduate from college..that I'd be old enough to be wise. That I'd have sage words of advice to offer. That questions would have answers. That life would have some sort of magical direction. That I'd know much much more than I actually do.

I've arrived. Not old. Not wise. And..still - without any sense of direction.

I am here...and I find myself looking upon this class of 2011 - their genius..their talent..their never-ending energy with a sense of awe and wonder.

What might I add? What might I say? If I would..if I could..if I might dare to be so brave as to actually address them? Perhaps...just perhaps  - and although a little cliche' - I might say something like this:

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Everything you'll ever need...you have within. Your ability to think critically..to question accepted wisdom and ideologies. Your ingenuity and creativity and brilliance - yes..brilliance - it's inside. Your beauty...your strength..your intellect. Your problem-solving skills. Your heart and your soul. If you sit quietly and just be in that silence..you'll find that it's all there. It always has been.

Grab hold of your dreams. Believe in your hearts. Follow your bliss. You may fall. You may fail. But - you have the knowledge and strength and power - to get right back up again and continue onwards.

You'll be THAT generation. I can see it..feel it..hear it. You'll be the one that'll reach out to those who can't..who haven't had the privilege of education. You'll teach one man to fish and then another. One by one. You'll provide hope where there once wasn't. One of you - or many and all together - will find a cure for cancer. Another - will fight for world peace. More will lead less prolific and more ordinary lives..but none-the-less valid and important. You'll be mothers and fathers and grandparents someday. You'll exceed all of your greatest and wildest expectations. You will succeed.

The paths you'll create..the roads you'll follow - will have all sorts of unexpected sharp turns and twists and bumps along the way. It's okay. Embrace them. They are  all a part of the unexpected journey. And that journey is your destination.  And that destination is your life. It only happens once. Celebrate it.

Trust in who you are...and who you are meant to be.




The doors are wide open. It's your life. Your one and only. Own it proudly. Make it yours..and yours alone.

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And - to that - they'd throw their hats up in the air with total abandon and glee. Because..and after all is said and done - they're young and they're free.

To the Class of 2011: Here's to you and to the rest of your lives!!!!

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Cross-posted over at Vision and Verb-  where a collaborative group of like-minded women from all over the world share their passion for photography and the written word.