We have this fear when
Into the unknown. When
We must transition out of that role which
We have learned to do by rote. When
We reach a new stage
And start that new page
Means that we go from being an expert and sage
Of our previous chapters
To standing on the lowest rung
Of whatever ladder comes after.
Graduating from 8th grade to 9th
Means that before, you were at the height
Of the social hierarchy.
You ran that party.
And now you must start over
As a Freshman.
When you first step into school, that label seems like a death sentence and
The end of each day must include some repentance
For something idiotic that you said or did.
Yes, the golden age at school has ended.
Then there’s graduation,
Which is your initiation
Into the need for your self-abnegation
And the realization that,
While you are indeed special
You need to earn your medals
From a pool of a million others.
Commencement means that
While you are used to
Being fed knowledge,
It must now be pursued
If success is to ensue and –
Then there is starting a new job and
Feeling like you fought
Violently to be hired
Only to thereafter be mired in
A recession of what you perceived as your skill set.
Because while you were complimented at your last company,
Now you comprehend that you are
And that you must learn to compromise
And must maintain your composure and not complain
As you work with new competitors – I mean, coworkers.
And that you can no longer sit complacent because
New things are demanded of you.
How much there is for you to learn
In order for you to earn the
Respect of your new employers and
Even more importantly,
Then there are relationships
Because no matter what your status is,
There is nothing as hard as
Changing from single to a pair.
And learning to care,
To degrees that you never have before.
And allowing yourself to trust
That someone will love you
And hold you.
And console you.
And extol you as you unfold
Parts of yourself that you have never opened
Up for anyone.
And you must give up a little bit of the control
That you’ve maintained over your soul
Entering a relationship means letting go
Of the previous act of the show
That was your life
And forgetting lines of a script that
It means placing your heart
In the palms of another,
And telling him, “I trust you, brother.
Please, treasure this.
Because with you, I’m choosing to share the essence of my existence.”
And then, there is Switching from coupled to single
And re-learning how to mingle
And view life
Without the eyes
Of someone else
To balance your own perspective.
Re-learning how to be introspective and
Re-learning how to be receptive and
Re-learning how to arrive at the question,
‘what is my objective in this life?’ And
Relearning how to go from Us and We
To that is You, this is Me and
Having to live through the terror of
Looking at yourself and asking
What am I
And feeling the cold of winter without his jacket.
It feels colder than it did, before you knew what it felt like to have it. And-
Having your kids leave home
And experiencing what it means to be alone
In a house instead of an apartment
And needing to fill that space in those rooms and
In your heart and
Having to start
To be okay being apart
And letting them chart
Their own paths
As you determine how to chart the rest of yours.
All of these things are indeed endings,
But they are also new starts.
And while beginnings may be hard,
And you may cut yourself
On shards of
Glass made from failed attempts
At blowing into being a
Vase that can be used as the base
Of your new future,
Those cuts will form the scars
That will form a constellation of stars on your skin
Showing the path you took to begin
Who you will be.
Because when beginning school, day by day, you rise
Until, much to your surprise
You end up living this life,
That you couldn’t have had,
Had you stayed behind.
And when pondering graduating,
Can you imagine how frustrating
And aggravating it would be
To not be able to see
The fruits of your learning
Impacting someone else?
And on that day when
You’re finally able to help another
Based on your degree
You will see
Why, though hard,
Commencement is truly a beginning.
And when starting a new career
In the beginning there may be tears
But you will be freer
For having challenged yourself.
And allowed yourself,
The space to expand to
Learn to fill new demands to
Enhance your brand
And slowly, but surly
You will progress in your understanding
Of the new tasks at hand.
And regarding love, most of those
Who in love have been, most of those
Who have previously fallen,
Will tell you that
Falling, led to shooting up
Into something great.
That it was fate.
That it transformed the way,
They listen to the wind.
And that while it is frightening to
Stand on four feet instead of two, it
Adds a certain stability too,
And that the experience of love is too
Great of an experience
And many of those who have had their hearts broken,
Maybe not immediately,
But eventually, have spoken
Of how returning to being most beholden to
And most beloved to
And how going from being dependent on another to
Staring into their own eyes when they gaze into a mirror,
Led them to hold themselves dearer
And see themselves clearer,
Just how strong they were.
And having your children roam
Can also be enlightening
And can bring about the tightening of your relationship
As they begin to return home by choice.
And suddenly, you are given the opportunity
To raise your voice
And recall what it was that used to make you sing.
I know that change is frightening, dear,
But if you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear
The sound of your footsteps falling nearer
To your next great moment.
Because you are a being
Of expansion and movement
And ever-increasing development and improvement.
And while yesterday, your zones of comfort afforded you confidence
Today, you must be cognizant that
That that same line of comfort, tomorrow, will indicate
Because you possess the power and strength and wisdom
To be more than timid.
To venture beyond what lies within this.
So throw away the clothes you have rent
As you resent and lament the passing of the end of the previous segment
Of your life.
Or better yet
Because in the future
You will see in them,
Because while your fears of your future are understandable and natural
They are misapprehensions.
Allow yourself the pleasure of approaching whatever follows
As an adventure.
Because you can’t possibly conjecture
What is to come
From the new you
That will sprout out
Of this change.
This new unknown
Is indicative of how much
Past your own
So hold your breath and jump.
Transition into your transformation.