This is the end, my beautiful friend

Graduation night tonight at Creek Bridge High, and a lot of the students are seeing this as an end–of high school, of their circle of friends, of childhood. Parents see it that way sometimes, too. But I’d rather think of graduation like a funeral.

I know the simile is a stretch for most, but bear with me. Though my grandmother would say the devil will hear me, I’ll type it anyway. Everyone who’s important in your life comes to your funeral; they’re all dressed up and on their best behavior. Someone you may or may not know gets up and says good things about you until your loved ones sniffle and cry. You have no control over your wardrobe choice for the evening, and would have chosen a simply FABulous one if you had. People bring you flowers. But the biggest thing is this–no matter how much you think you have things figured out, nobody is really sure what comes next, and you hang on the precipice.

And that’s a knee-knocking, dry-mouth generating thing. You could go anywhere from that point. Graduates, your life may turn out just exactly as you planned, but chances are the real life will get in the way. There will be good times. There will be times when you struggle to pay the light bill. But the real life will lead you to one much richer and rewarding than you could ever imagine now. It happened to me, and I wouldn’t change it.

So, let your toes hang over the edge of the precipice. Balance there and sway and close your eyes just for tonight, for tomorrow you leap from it, and start anew.

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