I can’t believe it, but we have yet another niece graduating (and a nephew graduating from college but he’s not the sentimental type)! And graduation always makes me reflective and feel the need to impart my wisdom. Okay, my wisdom hasn’t gotten me a national TV show or a Pulitzer, but it also hasn’t landed me in jail or on a hit list (at least, none I’m aware of)! So here are a few tidbits I hope our niece comes to learn and maybe you can share these with some kid in your family that listens better to somebody they don’t know! lol. Or maybe you just need your own little reminder:
First off, say farewell to your frenemies. Do it nicely. High school (and the business world and the PTA and the bar) is all about the people you like on any given day, hate on any given day, are jealous of on any given day, and can’t wait to get rid of on any given day. Today, you get to get rid of them. Do so gracefully. Wish them well. Cry over what was and what will be in all its scary glory, and then keep your mouth shut. You don’t have to burn a bridge, you can just choose not take that route anymore.
Old Money is still the best Money
Secondly, remember where you came from. Be loyal. Friends and family are just like clothing. The new is exciting and fun and always nice to have for special occasions, but the old stand-by pajama pants and prom t-shirt from 10 years ago will be comfy and reliable and what you need on a bad day. Same with the people you surround yourself with. It’s okay to have new people in your life, but don’t ditch the old. Dance with the one you came with. They brought you here.
Don’t be a Hater!
Third, the world may be screwed up, but you don’t have to be. I really like that Mother Theresa quote about how the world may hate or do wrong, do good anyway. There are plenty of screwed up people, situations, and moments in life. Rise above.
Better to change your mind than to not use it!
Fourth, it’s okay to change your mind. Not 500,047 times, but when you need to, go ahead. If the major isn’t right, switch it. If the friends aren’t the right circle, ditch ‘em. If the job is somewhere else, try it. We all have a plan. Sometimes, we stay on that path. Sometimes, we take the road less traveled and that makes all the difference… (Yes, Robert Frost, you were right.)
Humble and Kind, just like Tim McGraw says. Please!
Fifth, be humble. Never think you’re better than. There are those that have a lot to put on their résumé and there are those that could but don’t have to. There will always be people telling you how great they are and there will always be people that are just great. Be the great. Don’t think you’re owed anything. Hope floats when you realize your cup runneth over. (Yes, love that movie!)
It all comes out in the wash…
Here’s the bottom line: there will be crappy times when people die, your basement floods, your kid gets sick, and you want to crawl into bed and sleep it off. There will be times when you sit with a drink in your hand, look up at the blue sky, look around you at the group of people talking and laughing with you, and you’ll soak it in. Life isn’t easy, but it is doable.
Take God with you.
Build the right relationships.
Find your little piece of happiness and live in it.
Laugh when the wheels fall off. Then, put ‘em back on and bolt those sonofabitches down and take a roadtrip.
Happy Graduation, little girl! May life always treat you kind…
Any words of wisdom you’d like to share? Any of those ring true with you? Got a graduation you’d like me to speak at? lol. Tell me.
Loyalty… it’s a wonderful thing and yet, so unattainable. Seriously. Let’s say I have tickets to the next 50 super bowls, I’m guessing I’m going to have some loyal football-watching friends that glue themselves to me like a sucker to a napkin, but are they really loyal? How do you know? Look at all those amazing celebrities like Sandra Bullock that have lives that suck in spite of themselves.
I guess the moral of the story is to have nothing. If you have nothing and they still choose to be your friend, you know you’ve got loyalty. So I guess you have something then, don’t you? But it’s not the something that can pay for your taxes or get you that cute new pair of shoes at Dillards. Damn it!
Loyalty is illusive. It’s hard to find people that won’t stab you in the back for a trip to Bermuda or find their own oxygen mask before yours. Then again, can I really blame them? Come on, I, too, want a vacay and a little oxygen when my plane is crashing. That is kinda high on my priority list, but…
I’ve seen it! I want it! I want loyalty. I want friends. I want to know who to count on. I want all of it! And, well, unlike some of the rest of you, I have it. I have a husband that I don’t deserve. He defends me even when I make a giant donkey of myself. Now, will he go to a musical or a children’s Christmas program for me? Uh, hell no! but he loves me, nonetheless and I know I should be supremely thankful for that and I am.
If you don’t have that, find it. As an adult, I realize how valuable it is. As a child, I realize how impressive it is. I was putting together a 50th wedding anniversary for my parents when I contacted some old family friends of my parents to let them know about an event 6 months away and thousands of miles from where they live. There was no, “we’ll see what’s on the calendar.” or “we’ll TRY to make it.” There was just a simple, “see you there!” And that’s what I aspire to surround myself with – people that all answer “yes” for me any day of the week and especially when I’m puking my guts out and need 7up delivered.
Sometimes in our world, we forget what’s really important because we’re too busy trying to pay the damn cable bill, but today I wish you well on the quest to finding loyalty, and if you have it – buy ‘em a drink or send them a free Hallmark e-card, but consider yourself lucky. And don’t call me if you’re passed out by the toilet, that’s for one of your loyal friends.