This Is What Happens When You Dive In & Take Risks

Warning: I’m about to date myself.

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.

In the years since, so much has changed.

I did as speakers at graduations since time immemorial have urged. I went out. I took risks. I dove in.

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.

Thank goodness.

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.

Have you “liked” Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet?



  1. Jeanne, this is such an important point. Graduation speakers may give advice, but we must keep in mind that none of us has any idea of what the future will look like…

  2. I love this post. I myself just graduated from San Diego State University and the four years from high school graduation to here have not been like anything I had pictured, they have been better. As a result I have stopped picturing what the next couple of years after graduation are going to look like and instead live in the present and take all of lifes presents with open arms. Having said that, the one picture I continue to hold in my head is finding my passion in the future much like you have.

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