Archive for May 2012 - Page 1


    To the Class of 2012: Learnings from a Graduate of the Class of 2000

    I, much like you, am embarking on a new chapter in my life. I was in your shoes 12 years ago, graduating from High School. I was preparing to go to college. Since I would be paying my own way through school I decided to go to community college. Of course, many people claim that community college is not as good as a four year college, they are all wrong. I went to school for a couple of years, found something that I was interested in, Computer Networking, and got my certification. I have yet to actually finish my associates degree.

    During High School I was never part of the popular crowd. I wasn't a jock, a member of band, nor was I in theater. I did do a couple of extra curricular things, like Model UN and German Club. Neither of those really went anywhere, but that didn't stop me from determining what I was good at, nor what I was interested in pursuing.

    I was picked on a lot during school. But I generally did not allow it to get to me. I'm not going to say High School is easy, because it isn't. Anybody who describes your High School years as "the best years of your life" are completely wrong. High school is filled with pressures to attempt to fit into such a varied group of individuals in such a way that it allows you to find your niche. It is not an easy task. But we have all survived the journey.

    Some say that High School is the best year's of your life. Do not trust this judgement. Yes, you will have some fond memories of High School. Possibly, your first date, first girlfriend or boyfriend, and even possibly your first kiss. All of these will remain fond memories that are conjured up from time to time. Cherish them, because they have, and will continue, to help shape who you are as a person.

    As you continue on in your journey, there may be situations that re-kindle the memories that you cherish most during High School. It might be a person, a song, a car, a smell or even lazy day dreaming that conjures up the memory. You'll think fondly of the time and how far you have come since those days.

    Some graduating may think that they have no idea where their life is headed. Others know exactly what field they want to pursue. Guess what, it could all change. Events and experiences that you have from this point forward will forever shape, and change, who you are, what you believe, and every moment will influence your actions. Some of you may be despairing at not knowing where your life is going. Instead of cowering in fear, embrace it. Life is about making lemons into lemonade.

    I won't lie, I have had a pretty good life, and for this I am very grateful. Am I where I thought I would be at this point, no. I'm much further. I've had experiences, met people, and become friends with some of the most amazing people. They have forever changed my life. I have experienced loss, not only of lovers, but also of family. Events like these cannot be undone, they cannot be changed, the just are. They are, and forever will be, implanted in the cells of my brain. They appear at the oddest times. Some of these memories are joyous others are not. But I don't let what has happened in the past dictate what I do in the future.

    I, just like you, have been through 9/11, Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and of course the Japanese earthquake and nuclear disaster. These are all shared experiences, and while they may not have directly affected me, they have in small ways changed me.

    As I stated before, you are about to embark on a journey. Some of you will become doctors, some the next CEO of a Facebook-like startup. Others will become teachers, or just office workers. Some of you will graduate college, get your masters and even your doctorates, some may drop out. Some of you will have families, others may not.

    Each and every one of you will make mistakes. It is a natural fact. Some of these mistakes will forever change your lives and others will just be mere passing problems. Nobody knows their future, but we can all put our influence on it.

    There will be times when you think all hope is lost, when the world is against you. Those are the times that you have to stare at life, run straight for it, and tackle the hurdle head on. Avoidance and despair will not get you what you want. Hard work will. It may not always be a huge thing, it may be as simple as thinking that you do not have enough time to accomplish a task. Each little hurdle that is overcome will only help you.

    If you think that life does not get any better than high school, let me inform you that it does. As I write this, I'm staring 30 straight in the face. We are about to go toe-to-toe. 30 is going to win, because I cannot change the fact that we all get older. 30, for me anyway, will be a turning point. I look forward to embracing my 30's with much more vigor than I did my 20's. Don't get me wrong, my 20's were pretty good. I had some relationships and experiences that I will never forget. I was able to travel to London. London is a place which I continue to, and will always, hold dear and will make an effort to return to again and again. It was the best trip of my life, thus far. I hope to be able to have an even better trip in the future.

    There will be ups and downs. Try not to let the downs get you too down, nor the ups make you think you're flying too high to fall. As you leave high school, you will love, laugh, and suffer loss. Each of these moments are a lesson in life. Your experiences will make you a unique person. Sure, we will all go have shared experiences like 9/11. These shared experiences are what unite us together. Despite this bond, we all have our own unique perspectives. Do not use these perspectives as a wedge to drive yourself from a situation, use it as a stepping stone to share what you have to offer.

    During your last 12 years of school you have made bonds with individuals who have helped you along the way. Some of these people will fade away, some will be there for life. Some will go away and come back. Do not fret, you will make friends with others. You will develop new relationships with individuals who will help you along the way. If you truly feel as though you have a good bond with some individuals, do whatever it takes to keep them. If they are true friends, they will be there when you need them the most. It may be after a bad breakup, it may be you need a ride home after getting a bit too tipsy, it may just be a friendly voice after a long day. Those who really are your friends, will be there. Through the good and the bad.

    The last 'word of wisdom' I have to share, and this is the most important. Trust your instincts. If you decide to take nothing else from this, this is the piece of 'wisdom' that has been the hardest thing for me to learn. Once you master this, the possibilities will be endless. Too many people today do not trust their instincts, do not over think when that little voice inside tells you to do something, listen to it, and trust it. If it doesn't feel right, get out.

    All of this may seem like a bunch of hooey coming from an "old person", to a degree it is. Many of you may ignore this, but some of you will take this and use it your advantage. Those of you who do, will be much better prepared than your classmates.

    I will now leave you with two quotes, from an inspiration and person that I never had the pleasure of meeting. This sums up everything.

    "You cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking backward. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence following your heart, even off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference." - Steve Jobs

    "Most of all, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you already want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

    This was as much a message to the graduating class as it was to myself. I have learned quite a bit since graduating, but I have a bunch yet to learn. You may be seniors now, but you will start over as freshman many times over in your lives. I will now leave you with one last thought. If you take anything from this letter, learn that you will never be done learning, loving, and laughing. Above everything else, Enjoy the Ride. It may be bumpy, but it will be a good one, and all the troubles that you face are well worth it in the end.


    The Cry

    I cry for those who died too young I cry for those who died at all I cry for those who have loved and lost I cry for those who have never loved at all

    I cry for the unknown species I cry for those who fell to pieces I cry for the soliders who never made it home I cry for the soliders who have never been known

    I cry for those who are in pain I cry for those who have gone insane I cry for those who are made to suffer I cry for those who think their tougher

    I cry for those who are looked down upon I cry for those who always frown I cry for the lost innocence I cry for those who have yet to experience loss

    I cry for those who danced every dance I cry for those who missed the chance I cry for those who managed to fall I cry for those who managed to crawl

    I cry for those who have witnessed death I cry for those who have a regret I cry for those who lived a full life I cry for those who fought for the right

    I cry for those who were too early I cry for those who were too late I cry for those who were bullied I cry for those who were praised

    I cry for those who were lost I cry for those who were found I cry for those who dared I cry for those who cared

    Most of all I cry for us all