30 Days of Writing: Setting sail (18/30)
This post is written in conjunction with the 30 Days of Writing, a blog challenge devised by Nicky and Mike at “We Work For Cheese.” I’ll be participating throughout the month of June. If interested, you can see my post with the details of the challenge.
Please note that some of these posts will be serious, some will be normal, and some will be an attempt at humor.
This post is also being used for the Dude Write weekly submission. Go check out their blog to see other dudes who blog. Do it!
This is one of those topics that has had me scratching my head from the beginning.
I could talk about being on a lobster boat or whale watch during a vacation to Maine a few years ago. I could talk about my first couple of times in a kayak a few weeks back.
Alas, I’m going to make this a little shorter and sweeter.
We’re coming upon graduation weekend in our area for high schools. I know some others around the country are the same and I know some have already happened. But, in my current time as an unemployed person in an economy that is cruel to many, I’ve decided to prepare myself as a guest speaker at some high school that was extremely desperate for a speaker, so I got called… (*note that this high school does not exist!)
Graduates of the Class of 2012, I commend you on getting through the first part of your life — the high school years. Now you are setting sail on the most important part — the time when you decide which ocean you want to cross and figure out your path.
During these years, you’ve no doubt grown a lot. Maybe you’re part of the popular jocks crowd. Maybe you keep to yourself with your nose in a book. Maybe you’re that social butterfly who went to every event possible. Some of you out there were in the band. Or sat outside in the parking lot talking about trucks and cars. Some of you likely gushed over prom dresses and flowers. Others stuck it out in the computer lab. Among you are likely bullies and bullied; clean-cut kids and those who like to experiment; and just the average Joes who look to get by under the radar.
No matter who you are and no matter your social standing in high school, it’s over now.
The days of trying to pick a fight with someone is completely over, unless you want to end up in the crowbar motel. Gone, or should be, are the days of harassment, bullying, and anything else that could be construed as illegal in the eyes of our society.
Mark my words, some of you will likely wander down the wrong path. Though as much as I hope you won’t, some of you will. That’s a fact.
The world is a tough place. It’s not the same as it was in, say, the 1950s or 1960s when the country was still growing. Jobs nowadays are tough to come by. With things being outsourced and cuts continuing to happen, the unemployment rate is still at an awful level.
College education costs a whole heap more now, too. Prepare for student loans to follow you for much of your life.
Some jobs, which were thought of to be stable and safe — such as teaching — aren’t as stable and safe, even with tenure. It’s competitive our there. Not only will you eventually be competing with those who you graduated with — in high school and, in the future, college — but with others who are more experienced and will be looking for jobs at the same time.
Enough of the doom and gloom, however. You’ll experience the low parts of life. Everyone does. But it’s not to get you down.
Don’t join the ranks of those who get in the “whoa is me” crowd. No matter what happens, you’ll get through it. There is always something worth fighting for. Your friends. Your family. A cold one on a hot summer night. The view of a sunrise or sunset. Seeing a field of wild flowers slowly being blown by the wind.
Life is ups and downs.
Stay strong in your beliefs. Do the right thing. If you are a good person, hopefully good things will happen. I can’t guarantee this. I wish I could, but I can’t. After all, bad things do happen to good people.
But still try to be a good person.
Stay active. Be involved. Work hard. These are all things that teenagers out of college need to have in their heads. These are cliche-type statements, but they are oh so true.
Not everyone will be rich.
Not everyone will have things happen to them that are good.
Not everyone will be fully successful in life.
These are hurtful truths, I know. But they are also truth. We can’t sugar-coat what the real world is like.
But work at it. Stay happy. Stay positive. If you do enough things right, eventually opportunities will open up to you and you’ll be going down the right path in life.
My wish is happiness and success for all of you. And I hope, if all the right paths are taken, you’ll look back many years from now and realize you lived an amazingly fruitful life.
Now push that boat out into the water. Set sail and never look back. The horizon is bright, big and ready for you. Head to it and take it over!
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