My heart is filled to the brim with pride. My youngest will graduate from Marshall University with a BFA/Photography in a few short hours. What an amazingly creative woman that grew from the curly haired baby girl I cradled twenty five years ago. On this, the day of her graduation, I offer her five words of advice while she dives into the next chapter of her life:
- Explore. Explore as much as you can now, while you are young and without the regular constraints of life. See places, meet people, try things, taste foods.
- Open. Be open to changes, no matter how scary. Be open to love, even if your heart gets broken. Be open to possibilities that you feel you are not worthy of because, we know you are so very worth all the good that is in store for you. Be open to the things that scare the shit out of you but will be so worth the reward.
- Courage. Be brave enough. I know it can be scary and overwhelming sometimes. But you are one of the strongest people I know. YOU can do whatever you set your mind to. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in spite of it.
- Pause. Take a breath. Collect your thoughts. Enjoy the moment you find yourself standing in. Sometimes we get so hectic trying to make a life for ourselves that we forget to stop for a moment and enjoy it (the good, the bad and the ugly).
- Remember. Always remember that you are an amazing woman, an amazing daughter, an amazing sister, an amazing friend. There is a legion of people who stand behind you, are proud of you and who are always there for you. So, whenever you feel lonely or worried in life – remember that you have a number of people that would be willing to listen and to help shoulder whatever worries may be standing in your way.
I love you Baby Girl.
I am proud of you.
I am excited about what’s to come.