Ready for 🐰 (at 💗💛💚💙💜)
Most commencement speeches suggest you take up something or other: the challenge of the future, a vision of the twenty-first century. Instead I’d like you to give up. Give up the backpack. Give up the nonsensical and punishing quest for perfection that dogs too many of us through too much of our lives. It is a quest that causes us to doubt and denigrate ourselves, our true selves, our quirks and foibles and great leaps into the unknown, and that is bad enough.
But this is worse: that someday, sometime, you will be somewhere, maybe on a day like today—a berm overlooking a pond in Vermont, the lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. Maybe something bad will have happened: you will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something you wanted to succeed at very much.
And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for that core to sustain you. If you have been perfect all your life, and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where your core ought to be.
Don’t take that chance. Begin to say no to the Greek chorus that thinks it knows the parameters of a happy life when all it knows is the homogenization of human experience. Listen to that small voice from inside you, that tells you to go another way. George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either. And it will make all the difference in the world. Take it from someone who has left the backpack full of bricks far behind. Every day feels light as a feather.
Anna Quindlen, from her commencement speech at Mount Holyoke College in 1999
Fall in love with someone who’s comfortable with your silence. Find someone who doesn’t need your words to know it’s time to kiss you.
ZIAD NAKAD Fall/Winter 2014
I will be enjoying the Masters this weekend as well. Cheers to you, and your talented writing! Best wishes from California on your weekend. -Cara
Thanks for your kind words, Cara!
Best wishes to you and yours as well. May the best golfer triumph!
This weekend calls for dying Easter eggs and watching The Masters.
What are your plans?
Whimsical walls of wisteria with the boy.
We should have more conversations
Agreed. Let’s write a book together.
Word on your Instagram street is that you got bangs again. Let us see?
Word on the street is correct! Actually, got them cut back in January, but the bang game is still going strong. I posted a picture awhile back here. Also, that’s me on the sidebar :)
I will listen to this each and every April.
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad