It’s hard not to wander back in time while sitting in the audience of a graduation ceremony.
You remember the precarious perch of the mortarboard on your head. The sweat beading beneath the gown. That mix of excitement and anxiety singular to life-changing events.
I realized on Saturday, as I sat listening to the Livingston Manor Central School graduation speakers, that the last time I was in their shoes, they weren’t even in school. They’d yet to load up their backpacks with pencils and clamber aboard a bus for the first trip to kindergarten.
And when I came up for air, I found that none of the plans dancing in my head when I walked across a stage to grab that diploma played out.
Blogging, the job I work when I’m not writing for the Democrat, did not even exist, at least not in its current form. I never told my guidance counselor I wanted to be a blogger when I grew up because no one had heard of such a thing.
Nor did I expect to live in Sullivan County, to learn to embrace small town life with both arms, fingers holding on tight. Not when I was a teenage girl chafing at the ties that bind in a small town.
Of course, kids were not on my horizon at all. I was, as many teenagers are, planning to never have them.
Now my daughter is the light of my life and main source of entertainment in it. I hold her even tighter than I do this life in a small town.
Pretty much the only constant in all that time is my husband, then my boyfriend. He’s walked with me along a path of discovery that hasn’t always been clear but has always been interesting.
I can only hope the same for the new adults who graduated this past weekend, that they dive in, take risks, and embark on a big adventure even when the path is unclear.
The ride will always be interesting.
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