While I don’t suppose I’ll ever have the chance to deliver a commencement address, that doesn’t mean I don’t have something to say (rarely do I not have something to say). But, should that invitation ever arrive in the mail, here are some of the things I’d like to pass on. Devices off, please. Just listen.
Having a passion for what you do is priceless, but passion may not always pay the rent. Pay the rent. But never stop pursuing your passion.
Sometimes you may need to settle. For a not-perfect job. For a too-small apartment. For just being friends. Sometimes you should never settle. For less than self-respect. For less than a partner who believes in you. For less than your right to that last French fry or slice of pizza. (Only kidding. About the fry, not the slice.)
Don’t tell the world that it’s been waiting for you. Show it.
Never stop asking for what you need, working for what you want, and having faith in what you believe. Never stop answering questions (even the proverbial ongoing “why?” from curious two-year-olds).
Don’t smoke. It’s stupid and you’re not.
Keep your friends close and your close friends closer. As far as your enemies, life is too short.
It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, you’ll thank me later. Seriously.
Think with your head. Lead with your heart. Nourish your soul.
There is so much waiting out there in the real, often surreal, world. Things you’d never expect that will change your life for the better — and things you don’t see coming that will break your heart. It’s scary and it’s magnificent. And it’s time to begin.
Don’t forget your ruby slippers. Or your courage.
ⓒ 2017 Claudia Grossman