In my most sincere Kanye moment: “Yo, class of 2018, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Class of 2017 has one of the best graduation experiences of all time.”
I mean no disrespect, but that was my year and I hold it very close to my heart. In fact, it wasn’t until last weekend May 4th-7th that I realized perhaps, I hold it a little too close to my heart. As in clutching the experience with a tight fist.
I realized this because as I was watching students strut across the stage of Bowling Green’s State University’s Stroh Center, I felt as if I was sinking into the tiled floor and deeper into my own despair. As I was scrolling through my social media timelines and witnessing beautifully written captions and grand smiles of relief, success and pride I was commenting “Congrats,” “You deserve this,” “You beat the odds” and inside thinking “gee, when’s the next time I’ll feel like that.”
I’m ashamed to even admit this, but last weekend was trying because I was reminded of how good I felt on May 6, 2017 and how desperate I wanted to feel that way again. I told my mom after my commencement that I believed three things will give me a certain rush, one that is so impeccable and overwhelming that as a result, I’ll feel at lost for words. Those three were the following:
3) Graduating with a degree, or two or maybe even three
Now, for some this list may appear a bit dramatic, and yes I believe that there are a million and more things in this lifetime to gush over but for me these three things are those undeniable “YES, I made the right decision… even if it took me going through hell to get here” moments.
So, after experiencing one and not anticipating the other two for “who knows when” I must say that I caught my heart longing to feel that sense again. I started calculating my last 12 months post that experience and wondering “have I settled and counted myself short since commencement ?”
A ridiculous thought to let take root in my heart, yet me being who I am in my purest nature… I allowed such to happen. And well... Father God being him in all his splendor kicked my butt that following Monday morning. In the midst of one of the most redundant morning showers I’ve had, I found myself thanking God for keeping me in moments that I wanted to throw all my progress away, and as I was honestly explaining my reasoning for feeling down I felt gratitude aggressively prick my heart seams. Out loud I said, “Jesus, I thank you for everything you’ve given to me post-May 6th and for not leaving me when I decided to chase after what you didn’t give.”
And just like that, I was inspired to return to the drawing board. To spend some much needed time assessing what it was that had me down and out and what I could do to change my perspective. I was inspired to dig deeper into my prayer closet and lay my ideas before the Lord to see if they match his master guide. Lastly, I was inspired to make this “entry-level” season of my life count and to count it all with joy... because just as undergraduate had its expiration date... so does entry-level job searching.
I was inspired to not hold my breath and wish for another commencement but thank God that I had the opportunity to walk across that stage one year ago and receive my degree.
The true gag of life is that while we’re secretly envying other’s joy, success and zeal we’re missing moments of our own. So whether you’ve graduated, are considering attending college of some sort, are looking for another job... wherever you’re at... whatever space you’re in... intentionally celebrate someone’s progression. Rejoice with them as if it was your own... because in an odd, twisted way it is. The universe has many gifts and the Father is a gracious giver.