Today is it. Graduation Day. Again. For the third time in my life.
At the first one, I had no idea where I was headed. On the verge of adulthood, my life spread before me, without a clue. I didn't know enough to be scared - and I stepped off the cliff into the wider world. A world that began to work on me, tore down what I thought were my very foundations and gave me a brick or two with which to rebuild.
At the second one - four years later - I still had little concept of where I was headed. I had trained for a career. I had a few skills. But barely old enough to drink, having voted in one presidential election, I really didn't have any idea about how to conduct my life. Headed to Dallas based mostly on my gut, I hoped I would settle in somehow. Finally I did, little by little.
And now - this one. Seventeen years after the last. I could fill volumes with what I've learned in the past seventeen years. But much of it has come in the last three. Because I took a detour. I found MY road less traveled. I've journeyed into the depths. And I'm still there. No end will be found in crossing the stage today, in moving the tassel from right to left. Only a mile marker on the path. The steps cost more on this path, take more strength, sometimes seem less stable. But the view I catch glimpses of makes my soul sing.
I wonder how I will feel twenty years from now - about this time, this place? Will the me of the future see the me of now as the me of now sees the me just graduating from high school? Will there be more large detours along the way, with major turning points? Does my certainty about the path I'm on echo the exuberant hubris of my senior self ready to tackle the world?
I don't know those answers. All I know is that this moment is right. I will set down a stone in the path today to mark this passage. I will celebrate the thousands of footsteps that have brought me here. I will thank those who have held my hand or a light for me along the way. And tomorrow, I'll pack up and move on down the road.