“Welcome to the rest of your life.”
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have heard that sentence over the past week. Over the weekend, I graduated from college with a 4-year Bachelor of Arts degree in the fields of Public Relations and Communications Studies. I could go to grad school with those majors under my belt, but for now I plan to enter the work force. Countless hordes of people looking for a conversation topic have asked me about my plans (which usually leads to the sentence that opened our little post), and I don’t really know what to say.
The Lieutenant Governor of Indiana, Sue Ellspermann, was the commencement speaker during the ceremony, and like most graduation speakers, she spoke about how my class and I are the movers and shakers of the world. We are going to change everything for the better. You know what, she may even be right, but it surely does not feel real to me now.
While I enjoyed her speech immensely, I am left wondering if that is how I’m supposed to feel. A young man, now armed with a diploma and an education, fighting and changing the world. Well, I must admit I am scared. I have only now equipped myself to begin laying the foundation for the rest of my life. My career, place of living, and the friends I take with me will determine much of how my life will go from here. Am I really ready to take on the world?
In the middle of my weekend, amidst getting lost in worries about how to start the rest of my life, I heard a story. A man worked hard everyday, and always talked about the weather with all of his clients. It seemed to be his only care in the world. When asked about why he cared about the weather so persistently, he revealed that his daughter was disabled and was in a wheelchair. When the sun shined, he could leave her among the flowers of the garden, but when it rained, he had to leave her cooped up inside all day.
“But it’s ok, daddy,” she said. “When I’m inside, I can always read about the garden.”
That story was not meant for graduates, I do believe, but it surely hit home for this one. Each and every single day, we all reside under the same sun, the same rain clouds, and the same starry sky. We are all together, living a day at a time. But each day, even when the sky is falling, is a chance to dream.
So even if I don’t find a job immediately, or I still can’t seem so shake worrying about the future, I know it’ll be ok. I can read about the garden. The garden where Sam Schmidt recently drove again after a car accident left him a paraplegic. I can read about people giving their possessions to those in need. I can read about people finding their ability again.
And I know that my day in the garden is coming again tomorrow.