Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Commencing on 50


It's June. And that means that there will be graduations...every year since my 21st...this time of year I always think back to my college graduation...never thought I would graduate from college...at least not the college I started out at in 1975...all those letters I wrote home saying..."I hate it here...not going to make it here...too hard here...too cold here...too much work here"...then the next thing I remember it was four years later and I was walking down the path to the big Cornell University stadium with my mom and dad cheering me on...that was 1979...(two more years and it will be my 30th reunion...how can that be)...so glad I can still remember those days...especially since I forget so many things lately.

When I see all the young graduates today...I'm in awe...I think I can relate better to the kindergarten grads than the high school grads...some of those high achieving high schoolers have done more in their 18 years than I've done in my 49...and forget about the college grads...many have been all over the world...yes...all over the world...when I was in college I was happy in my own little world...didn't even think about seeing the entire world...not me...although I did go cross country as a chaperone on a teen tour the summer after I graduated...I traveled across the western part of the USA and into Western Canada...spent two months with 50 teenagers...not sure which was more fascinating...seeing all the sites...or seeing how many teenagers could climb over my sleeping bag to try to get out of the tent for the night...(that's right...now I remember...it was a camping trip...now I remember exactly why I never became a teacher).

Just read all the excerpts from several of this year's commencement speakers...Gloria Steinem spoke at Smith College...Angela Davis spoke at University of California and Grinnell College...and Laura Bush was at Pepperdine University...commencement speeches are always so inspiring...of course they are inspiring to me now that I'm 49... I'm interested to hear what these wise women have to say...I bet all the twentysomethings find them boring...except for the alpha over-achievers...I don't even remember who spoke at my college commencement...nope...can't even remember who it was...obviously didn't make an impact on my life...well..maybe it did and I just can't remember what the impact was.

I was thinking the other day what I would say to all the graduates...that is if I was ever asked to give a commencement speech...I'll have to write my book first...then maybe some school will ask me to speak at their graduation...when I'm a famous author maybe I will go to Pepperdine University and give a commencement speech (just like Laura Bush)...I still have time...I'm only 49...there's many graduation speeches to give...but what would I tell my graduates?

I think I'd tell them about storming, norming and performing...I'd tell them that the years after they graduate they will be storming, norming and performing...and then they will do it all over again...that's right...in my early 20s I stormed...moved around from job to job and guy to guy...later in my 20s and 30s I normed...got married...had kids...settled down...in my 40s I was really performing...the best at my job...my career was on the rise...I was a working mom doing it all...or at least I thought I was doing it all.

Now as I approach 50...I'm ready to do it all over again (not the kids...just the storming, norming, performing)...yep...I'm ready to storm again...I'm graduating all over again...this is my commencement year...(it's almost there...I'll turn 50 in a few months...but it is June and that is when commencement happens...so I'm going to celebrate my 49th...almost 50th year...and think about all the storming that is coming up.)

This time I'm so much wiser...so much more experienced...I do know now what I didn't know then...therefore, watch out world...the storm may start out as a drizzle...but I think this time around...I may want to have a thunderstorm...and I'm 50...so I don't mind if it's a hard rain storm...let it hail...I have my umbrella...I'm ready to graduate.

Judi

P.S. - If I'm graduating I do deserve some graduation presents...maybe I should get the pair of red shoes that I've wanted this year...I found the exact pair of red shoes...the same as my black patent leather Tahari ones...only in red...yes...I think I'll buy myself my red Tahari pumps at piperlime.com...the fresh shoe shop from Gap...sounds like a good idea to me...then I'll finally have my red pumps to match my red bag...I think this is going to be a good commencement.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I don't think that shoestore has anything in wide, with small heels that I won't trip in. The twenty-somethings I work with can wear those spike-heeled, peep-toed narrow shoes, but, I doubt anyone OUR AGE can do it! I was particularly fond of those Bruno Magli's for $309 by the way. You think they have them at Payless?