My idols include: Rory Gilmore and Joey Potter so it’s safe to assume that one of my dreams is to give a graduation speech. I really don’t know if this dream would actually come true, but hey that doesn’t stop me from imagining that I’m actually at that podium speaking to a million hopeful faces.
So here’s my take on it:
Humor me and close your eyes for five seconds and imagine where you are five years from now. Now do me another favor and imagine yourself wealthy in all aspects of your life: your relationships, your career and your family life.
So, what exactly is the point of that whole exercise? The point is for you to remember yourselves at this exact moment. Remember this moment wherein all of us, collectively dreamed of the future and saw it as a blank state filled with possibilities. Remember this moment wherein you thought that everything is possible because this very moment will take you through the toughest challenges when you realize that the world is not perfect.
Yes, my dear friends, the world outside this building isn’t perfect. Not every person that you’re going to meet is going to like you; in fact 8 out of ten people would find a way not to like you. Not all your ideas are going to be well-received and in as much as you hate to admit it, there would always be someone better than you.
But that’s okay; don’t let those little things scare you because you won’t relish the experience without the little bumps in the road. As cliché as it may sound, it’s those tough times that make things worthwhile. It makes you respect yourself more because you’ve gone through something you were so afraid of at the beginning.
And don’t be afraid of the people who challenge you. In as much as I love the people who pick me up every time I fall and willing to take care of me when I cry inconsolably, I’m also grateful to those people who challenged me because I wouldn’t be the person I am now if they didn’t push me to reexamine myself and improve myself. Don’t be afraid of criticism, it could only make you better. Accept the people, who challenge you, you need them as much as you need those who lovingly hold you until you stop crying.
Take risks my friend. Stop being so afraid, when you are blessed with something good, don’t run away from it. Most of the time we’re afraid to take giant leaps of faith when it comes to something important, something special, always remember that you deserve it. It’s given to you because you deserve it.
And lastly, always keep the faith. I tried finding better ways of saying it but really that’s all that this speech boils down to: keeping the faith. Don’t expect life to be perfect, but always expect yourself to rise above any situation and yes, there are people who would be better than you but always remember that you have something that they don’t. You have that special ability that no one else has. Stop trying to be someone you’re not, just tap into that special ability and you’d realize that getting up in the morning is easier.
To the graduates of 2008: Congratulations not just for this major milestone in your life. I know that each and everyone in this room would be great someday so for that I also congratulate you in advance!
Ha! Take that Joey Potter!