In the Moment...Congratulations!

“The most important thing I’ve learned is that what you do will never define you for long. Who you are always will.” -Abby WambachWolfpack

June buzzes with the energy of graduations and milestones being reached by children in our homes and/or communities. I was picking up lunch at a restaurant and saw a big group of people standing near a young woman wearing a graduation cap and flowers around her neck. The smiles and excitement were something great to see, but she seemed overwhelmed by the conversations. She was being bombarded with questions on why she picked the college she did, why that major, what’s next after freshman year, how will she afford to come home to visit? The usual questions of, “What do you want to do when you grow up, what’s next, and next after that?” reminded me of when I graduated from school. The same questions made me feel overwhelmingly rushed into the future but also pressured me to pick a career that would define my life well enough to fit into society’s mold of success.

Is curiosity to blame for making us want to bungee jump into the future, or are we projecting our fears of the unknown onto people experiencing life-changing events? Most young adults are trying to figure out if they want a salad along with their graduation meal, let alone have a brain-map at the ready for the next decade of their lives. We all do it though, we don’t let the moment be absorbed before we jump head first into, “what’s next?”

A recent conversation with a friend who just got laid off gave me a shot of self-awareness when she told me that so many people hurt her feelings when all they want to talk about is, “what’s next?” She said to me, “I’m still mourning the loss of a beloved community that was part of my life for almost ten years, I need time to process the loss but also, that’s not all I am! For now, I’m happy, just being.”

After the open-hearted answer my friend gave about losing her job, and seeing plenty of graduates looking overwhelmed with the same questions about the future, I thought about Abby Wambach’s quote that has stayed with me,“The most important thing I’ve learned is that what you do will never define you for long. Who you are always will.” It made me question if I’m perpetuating the cultural mindset--what you do is who you are. When, in fact, who we are dictates the trajectory of our entire life, not what we do for a living at certain times during it. 

Congratulations Class of 2019! I wish you a steady foundation in the principles of self-worthiness no matter how many milestones come and go.

In hope...I am Brave.



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