Day 17: A favorite photo of yourself and why
I’m interpreting this to mean a picture of just me… Plus I already spent the better part of an hour looking through photos of my friends and I and it would be way too hard to pick just one favorite.
OK so technically this isn’t JUST me, and you can’t really see my face (or body) very well, but you get the idea. The reason I chose this particular picture is that it truly not only represents a thousand words, but also emotions and accomplishments and adventures past, present and future.
This photo was taken the day I graduated high school in 2011. I was Class President (hence the stole & speech) and therefore had to address my classmates (all 96 of us), our parents, friends, teachers, and everyone in attendance. I was a little nervous, but thankfully you can’t see my shaking knees behind the podium.
I put a lot of thought and practice into my speech, and looking back two years (but what feels like a lifetime) later, I can’t believe not only how much I knew, but also how much I thought I knew [but didn’t].
Re-reading my old speech, I asked the audience:
With each passing day we are growing and changing, moving closer to our dreams, or to setbacks that will ultimately test our strength and our willingness to bounce back. Time will change us all in different ways, but these past four years have bonded us together with irreplaceable memories, experiences and friendships. Remember each other, for we have all been a part of shaping each other’s lives in some way or another. Use these relationships not to limit your future, but to influence it for the better as your carve your own path in the real world. Standing front of you all today, I am both overjoyed and scared out of my mind. So much is ending, yet so much is beginning, and I know all of us have bright futures ahead.
Pretty astute for an 18 year-old if I do say so myself. But, the reasons I love this picture are that at this time of my life I was a big fish in a small pond and although I had accomplished a lot for where I was and what I had to work with, I would soon get a taste of reality when I left my tiny hometown. I would go on to take risks and work hard, but be humbled by the fact that not everything came as easily as before. I’d stay up all night studying for a decent test grade, have my heart broken a couple different times, and even face the facts that I may have to bounce back in order to see how strong I really am.
Sara Bareilles once sang, “There’s too many things that I haven’t done yet , too many sunsets I haven’t seen.” Moving on, going on adventures, and pushing yourself to see that next sunset [and sunrise] is what separates the winners from the losers, those who will bust their ass and those who will make excuses to cover it. In another two years, I can’t even imagine what my 22 year-old self will have to say about this post, but then again, that’s the beauty of taking a blind leap of faith and making the most of where you end up.