30 Years Ago Today…

Graduation caps are the epitome of the patriarchy telling women they do not belong in education.

Exactly 30 years ago today, flanked by my two of my best friends in high school, I sat in a sea of green robes on a hard metal folding chair in our high school gym. After a handful of speakers, I walked across a stage, shook hands with the principal, and graduated from high school.

In a few days, seniors I’ve taught this year will also graduate from high school. And the one thing I want any graduating senior to know is this: you have time.

You have time to figure out what your talents are and how you can best utilize them.

You have time to travel.

You have time to go to concerts, see plays, visit museums.

You have time to date, or to not date.

You have time to change your mind.

You have time to go back to school.

You have time to change careers.

My life is nothing at all what I envisioned when I graduated from high school 30 years ago. But I couldn’t have envisioned the things that really mattered:

The cities where I would live.

The writing I would publish.

The places I would travel to.

The people I would meet.

And a million other experiences that I wouldn’t trade for any of the envisioned life of an 18 year-old.

No, my life is nothing at all what I envisioned when I graduate from high school 30 years ago.

I daresay think it is better.

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