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Eight years ago, I was preparing to graduate from the University of Houston – Clear Lake with my bachelor’s degree in communication. It was a bittersweet time. I clung to the present with one hand as I reached for the future with the other. 

I shared my thoughts in an article for the university newspaper then, and I would like to share them with those of you who are facing transitions today. Whether it is graduation, a move or a new job, change is not always easy. However, I have learned it is always necessary. 

Now, let’s look back across the pages of time:

It is Nov. 3, 2008. I will graduate in forty-five days.

I embarked on this journey more than four years ago. It has been sometimes difficult, and always long. Yet, I linger. The path is familiar; I know it well. My life has passed in classrooms, and I have come to find comfort within their walls. 

I have always loved books, so it is no surprise that I have spent my days within their pages.

My impending graduation stirs up a range of emotions. I exult in the culmination of my studies while I wistfully prepare for life beyond the stage. 

There is truth in the saying that life is about the journey, not the destination. Life happens during the journey.  Trials are overcome and victories won. It is the challenge of the climb that makes the summit so sweet. The destination is merely the passage from one journey to the next.

I will arrive at my destination in December. I believe my heart will pound with trepidation and excitement as I cross the stage and leave the life I have known behind and greet the one that lies before.

 Even now, I reminisce of my days at Lee College and University of Houston – Clear Lake. 

Daylight Saving Time ended this morning. As I set my clock back, the catchy little phrase went through my mind: Fall back, spring forward.  

Such a time is this. My heart yearns to fall back into the arms of familiarity, while the stage ahead beckons me to spring forward into the unknown. 

I will cherish these days preceding graduation. I can only imagine the bittersweet emotion that will wash over me as I type the last period on my last paper. A period signifies the end. It signifies completion. On that day, how symbolic that period shall be.

Forty-five days. I have been waiting for this day so long; it is hard to believe it is almost here. Crowned with a cap and enrobed with a gown, I shall receive my reward. For a moment in time, I shall inhabit my destination.

Then I will descend from the stage  – that sweet summit – onto a path untrod. As the days pass by, I know that the uncertain shall become clear; and the path once feared shall become as dear as the one before.

The lights are dim. The curtain is closing. There will be no encore. Life does not allow repeat performances.

I will leave the stage. I will travel on and carve new paths, for it is the flow of the river that shapes the rocks. 

 

 

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