Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 9

Today's theme, nostalgia.

You know that song that comes on the radio and immediately brings you back to another time in your life. Maybe it takes you back to a campfire, surrounded by friends, drinking beers and singing songs. Maybe it takes you to a summer, riding on the highway with the windows down, your hair blowing in the wind. Or maybe it takes you to an ending point. A time in your life where one chapter closed, and the future was uncertain. A diploma, a speech, some smiles, and some tears. Today is graduation day.

For me, graduation is Green Day, the Time of Your Life.
"Another turning point a fork stuck in the road. Life grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go." Being only 23 years old, graduation isn't that far behind me. I still vividly remember marching into the Spokane Arena, cameras flashing, heart pounding. I remember walking accross the stage, sweaty palms grabbing my hard earned diploma, and briefly turning for a quick glance at Mom. I can see the caps flying in the air, jubilated faces staring them down. I remember the excitement of being done.

"So make the best of this test and don't ask why. It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time." After the graduation celebration was over, there was that growing up factor that I still had to deal with. The leaving friends behind, and branching out on my own. As I packed my things for Colorado, part of me wished it wasn't over yet. Had I made the best of my experience there? Had I taken advantage of all the wonderful opportunities at my fingertips? Whether yes, or no, graduation meant it was over. I was out of chances. I was leaving.

I think about the rollercoaster of emotions that I felt during those final weeks, and then I multiply it by 4. Why 4 you ask? Once for Justina, Laura, Nathan, and Walker.... the quads, who graduated from highschool today. News First has been following the story of the Colorado Springs quadruplets for 18 years now. We already had video of the four 1 year olds planting their face in birthday cake. Today, we got video of them with diplomas. A stark contrast, from the young children they once were. A testament to time, continually passing.

At 10 am we showed up to their house off a small dirt road outside of Colorado Springs. Immediately we were greeted by balloons, and senior pictures... followed closely by four rushing teenages. One by one, as mom wiped away tears in the corner, they sat in a chair and told us about family vacations, hectic dinner tables, and school plays. And then, as quickly as we came in, they were gone. Off to graduate. Alone with mom, and some close friends, we spoke about her babies. She told us the story of how they ran off on the first day of kindergarten, forgetting to give her a kiss. And slowly followed it with a tear, saying "they can't run accross the stage today..." It was obvious how proud she was of her babies. They were all going to college, well rounded people, individuals. But her pain was written accross her face, like an open book. She would miss the noise.

The juxtaposition of emotions, simultaneously running through her veins, evoked a sense of nostalgia in me. It was how I felt, that very day, I received my diploma. What is it about graduations, that make us so sad? Why are we afraid of saying goodbye to the past and moving on to bigger and better things? Is it that we are never quite sure, if they truly will be bigger and better? Or is it that we think we've found perfection already? Is it a fear that all the good we've done, will fall apart without us there? And a wonder about whether we will fade from the lives of loved ones and friends? I think it may be all of the above. We work for the day that we want to never come. We long for the papers to be through, and tests to be done... but cling to the comfort of knowing what's next, and where our path is leading.

For the quads, the next step is college... and then who knows. For me, it was Colorado, a life in news. A chance to make my dreams come true. A chance to become the person I always said I would. Now that I'm through with graduations, and unsure of when this chapter will close, the weight is on my shoulders to seize the day. It is up to me to walk this path that I'm on, and trust that it is leading me in the right direction.

"It's something unpredicatable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life."

here is a link to the story:

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