Dedicated to Celine, Khamara, and Sharon, who are all very together and beautiful.
I’ve only had one graduation. After kindergarten. (Such a German word, that kindergarten. First spelled it kindergarden, like child-garden, but then spell check caught me. AARGH! SPELLCHECK. I am a slave to the almighty SPELLCHECK). Ahem. Where was I? Graduations and the lack thereof…kinderfucking garten. Yeah, then, after sixth grade, I transferred out of a Catholic K through 9 into a public middle-school. After eighth grade, I transferred out of middle-school into high-school (my middle-school went up to ninth). Hated, hated, hated high-school in all its ghastly putrescence. Next stop, GED Central. I even ended my affiliation with the Rochdale chapter of the brownies prematurely. I was not a girl-scout. Boo hoo. I didn’t wanna be sellin’ all them damn cookies. Oh, the indignity.
A great friend of mine once said that I had trouble with endings. They fuck with my idea of eternity. Correction: I have trouble with completion. I am great at endings. But I know what he meant. Anyway, fate has had its dastardly way with me, meaning that, irony of ironies, I now teach at a high-school (I think that’s an example of irony, but not sure A. What irony is and B. How one could even describe it). Anyway, lo and behold, some of the seniors are having grand-scale melt-downs over their impending graduation. Trouble with endings…seems like I’m not alone.
As the big day looms, excitement over new found freedoms mix with the fear of the unknown: will I be able to afford college? What do I really want to do? How will I make it in the world? Strangely enough, I am still asking myself many of these same questions. The only difference is that I don’t take them too seriously.
But I get it. They are in a time of their lives when they are really concerned with the outward flow. About making themselves into something. And the lure of a better future, an abundant, secure future, sprinkled with guest appearances on Oprah, seduces them. But, alas, even Oprah is not exempt from endings and will have to go the way of skinny jeans some day soon. I wonder if she’s worried, even with all that money.
There is a lot of confusion about how to take the next step. Should I postpone college and try to make my way in the New York dance scene? Should I go straight to college, knowing that I will incur the burden of heavy student loans? I assure them that whatever decision they make, doubt will be present.
Doubt is just part of the game. Dig? And it likes to talk some serious trash. Don’t humor it too much because that makes it louder and fatter. You know what you want deep down, and if you have trouble hearing the truth that is inside you, it’s ok to do nothing.
Seriously. It’s ok.
Just stop and listen.
You might have to listen for a month or several years.
It is not a waste of time. Fuck time. In our culture, we are taught to constantly be striving, achieving, getting more and more. We are afraid to stop. Afraid of being ridiculed and cast out of the high-achievers club. We are constantly comparing what we have to what others have, and we are afraid of coming up short. But we always come up short, don’t we? Yes, because there is always someone richer, prettier, smarter, thinner, famouser and with bigger boobs. And there is always someone who is lesser than you.
You are all-ways in the middle.
Get it? You are in the center. Isn’t that what you wanted all along?
So learn to turn that weasel, doubt, in your favor. Become a skeptic. Doubt what you are reading here. Don’t just trust that you are the center, unless you feel resonance with those words. Even then, remember that they are only words and words have holes. See if you can experience anything that is away from that center and if you do, please for god’s sake, text me. I’ll be your fan on facebook. And you will be richer and famouser than Oprah.
In other words, you only get to experience through you. Honor that. And don’t let anyone bribe you into living their experience. Least of all your parents. Don’t trade in your dream for a new car and a safe, boring major that you dread. Cars will come and go. It’s what they do.