It’s graduation time once again. Even though it’s been a year since my own graduation, I’m still bitter. I remember being enrolled in my undergraduate program and seeing people before me graduate. The cheesy cap and gown photos… the families making a big fuss… I longed for that kind of feeling… a sense of accomplishment. To think, despite everything growing up, I had come so far.
Mine was a little different though… I had worried about being an inconvenience… I had filled myself with so much anxiety that select people in my life would complain about the hours spent at a graduation ceremony. They would deem it a waste of time and a day I was excited about would be ruined. I decided to believe myself that a graduation ceremony was a waste of time and money. So I opted not to graduate that way and invited family for dinner instead. A dinner which no one was bothered to come to. And like so many other times in my life I brushed it off. Who needs family, right?
I realised today I’ve been holding on to that bitterness ever since. But, I want to change my attitude to never let myself or others feel like their accomplishments aren’t worth celebrating.
You see, I have incredible friends. Three special humans that put all of their own differences aside, their own stresses, etc, and took me downtown for dinner and drinks. Seeing all of the families around me celebrate was hard… and I wanted mostly to just cry and lock myself away. But here I was with these three smiling faces that refused to let me be alone. The same way that they had been doing for the past couple of years. The family holidays I would skip. The no good boys I would cry over. ALL of the stupid shit I would do or say. My anxieties. My depression. My sometimes rude sense of humour. My struggles in Japan. And even now I as I look to the future with uncertainty.
Those are the memories and feelings I should hold on to. People like that are the only ones that should matter during my accomplishments.
I spent some time after graduation feeling sorry for myself. And that’s something I never want to do again. Nearly all of my life I have spent placing my worth in the hands of people who simply will never be pleased with anything I do. Be it family, strangers, or people I had called friends. The truth in life is that sometimes, certain people come along and can not accept us as we are. And that’s no one’s fault.
I don’t want to live a life where I feel sorry for myself. And I certainly don’t want to blame others. What does that do? I want to just spread positivity, especially on the days that are hard for me. Because, let’s face it, even though I’m saying all of these things, I’m going to be sad, and mad, and so hurt some days over events of the past.
But all we can do is aim to grow stronger and build something brighter. Surround ourselves with people who bring light into our lives despite the darkness we wish to bury ourselves in.
I don’t know about my future. I don’t know if the things I’m stressed over now will pay off. I won’t be able to meet the timelines of others. My way might not be the best way. But it is my life, and the only thing I can try to control is what I put into it. And the people I allow to be involved in it.
So if you’re ever questioning yourself… am I doing a good job? Is it okay to celebrate this? Am I awesome? If you have to ask yourself, then you’re doing just fine. Even if it feels like your family or friends or anyone isn’t rooting for you, I can guarantee that people are. The amount of times in the past few years that I’ve gotten messages from near strangers or people I haven’t talked to since high school just to tell me they get inspired from me or to offer encouragement is wild. We may feel alone, but we never really are.
So yeah, you’re awesome. And make the future whatever you want it to be.