What’s a Cap & Gown Got to do with it?

I’ve done the literal graduations… college, grad school, and what not. But the question with which I am presented is “what area in life have [I] not graduated from yet?”

I thought about this carefully, pondering my accomplishments. My answer… well, it depends on perception. If I were to ask my mother what else I should “graduate from,” she would advise me to pursue a traditional family life, which includes grandkids for her. This lifestyle is not undesirable for most, but I believe people should also just value being happy in life, no matter what that looks like. The best symbolic graduation includes achieving happiness and being a whole person.

Happiness is a great achievement! And if that’s true, I’m graduating now… I’m content at the moment and there’s nothing major I am pursuing or seeking to graduate from in the near future. At the same time, I’m always at the beginning of a new curriculum. My inner teacher tells me that learning never ends and, therefore, one should never stop trying to graduate from something.

If I ever reach a day when I can say that I have nothing left to do and nothing left to learn, then I have failed. So, for me, graduations mark accomplishments, but they need not be traditional or even measurable, per se. It’s great to have specific goals such as college, career, mortgage, and family; however, regardless of one’s path, people should never stop seeking graduations!

Life has taught me that we’re never “all set.” Life is beautifully unpredictable and, like one of my favorite quotes states, “not all who wander are lost” (Tolkien). So, please, go out and wander and follow your unique paths to the many types of symbolic graduations you can find!

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