It’s been a crazy year.
And by year … I mean the calendar that consumes those of us beginning in August and not wrapping to a close until late May. Ahhhh, yes, the infamous school year.
Truth be told since becoming a mother it truly trumps the traditional January to December calendar more commonly observed. Add to that my job responsibility and yep! June and July are pretty much my months of regroup and catch my breath for the next round.
So here we are, the conclusion of yet another school year. Looking to this coming week’s issue, the faces of the Class of 2018 and thinking ahead to graduation Friday, I truly can’t believe it’s here already. It hardly feels like a year ago since I made my rounds on the grounds of the Corral searching for the best shot of a graduate or sneaking a shot of a favorite senior (or two).
Days they do go fast and as weeks turn into months and months into years my mind just continues to be blown.
Thinking of this year’s seniors, as well as my own students and the college grads we’re celebrating, I think of what I wish I’d known. Observing these up and coming generations I also think of the things they may not see, which are so glaringly obvious to us “old folk.”
The first thing my mind travels to is to look up. It’s heart-breaking how many of us feel we cannot just simply be without our phones. Sitting at a dinner table, witnessing this generation texting, snapping and the like often leaves me wondering. Do they realize they are missing out on memories they can never get back? Interaction with elders who one day won’t grace their company or better yet they are robbing themselves of the opportunity to be a piece of other’s memories in the present.
There is much to be said for real life, face to face conversation. While the smart phone is a valuable tool for many things I can’t help but wonder what life experiences and memories are being missed as one has their face in a phone. Memories are not made via text and social media. While the reflection via the “on this day” feature is fun to see, someday that tool (like all else) will be history. The most valuable tool for memory keeping is located between one’s ears as we live in the moments.
There is so much wisdom to be had as one grows and journeys through life. That being said, I think what I wished I had learned sooner than later was to quite simply live fearless. Failure is going to come. Disappointment will too and not everyone will accept you for who you are – that’s all just fact. College has a great way of bringing us down a notch and helping one see just how big the journey will be.
That being said, it is through learning to live fearless that we unleash the power of those who try to push us down. The unhappy who find it impossible to be happy for others as they live in their own disappointment or hurt. By living fearless what I’ve come to learn (scrapes included) is in the end, it all works out. Not always in the time frame or direction as we might have hoped, but with faith, strength, communication and determination things settle as they should.
Adversity builds character, challenge renders growth. This is what I’ve gained most as I look back on the journey from my college days to present day. Challenge … oh how big that word truly is. It can be welcomed as well as overwhelming, but just like the waves that beat the shore as we face what’s there and accept what it offers, growth on the other side is imminent.
So here’s my wish for the Class of 2018 and all who care to read this. Live fearless, look up and dance through the storms. The bad days are sure to come, however if you live present, look to those whom support you unconditionally and weather through the toughest of times, the victory is all the sweeter. Pursue your life’s passion and don’t be afraid to change course, because as the saying goes, “Life is not a dress rehearsal,” so live it as if you’re in your final act. Godspeed!
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.