Do you remember your high school graduation?
I just went to a high school graduation for the class of 2010 last night. Seeing the laughter, the anticipation, and the tears brought me back to my own high school graduation.
It was the first week in June. It was hot. It was Saturday morning. I wore blue, purple and black striped sandals (what was I thinking?). My red graduation gown was made of polyester. My hair was too short to wear a cap and still look adorable.
I remember feeling nostalgic for the previous four years. As we drove to the school that morning, I played through my high school years in my head. I though of the friendships I had made. I thought of the ways I had grown. I even thought about the things I learned and the teachers who impacted my life.
The ceremony was not quite as rowdy as the one I attended last night. It was a baccalaureate service and there was this overwhelming feeling of reverence. We were thanking God for leading us through this journey. The cheering was held for the end. During the service… we waited. I remember looking at kids to my left and right. We were never really friends, but for that moment, we were connected. We had something to celebrate and be proud of together.
Afterward I hugged and cried and laughed with people I had hardly shared a whole sentence with in the past four years. But that didn’t matter anymore. We weren’t part of this high school social system anymore. We could shed the roles that we played for the past four years and just start over. It was freeing and terrifying.
My family and I got in the car and started to drive away from the building where I’d met my best friends, where I met my first boyfriend, where I’d discovered a few things that I was really good at, and where I’d been mentored by adults who showed me Jesus every day. On the radio in the car, Sarah Mclachlan sang “I Will Remember You”. How cliche is that? Of course, my eyes welled with tears, as we drove away.
On this day, 11 years later, I would like to have that same excited anticipation about life. I want to be open, ready, and willing to follow wherever God is leading me next. I want to see the rest of my life as pure possibility.