We have all seen the memes.

You know the ones that remind us to soldier on through adversity with promise of great rewards at the end.

Love this one.

This is what a meme looked like when I was a kid. Big poster on a wall…

This past weekend I had the honor of being invited to a high school graduation. Not having kids of my own, I was thrilled to be invited to watch the launching of 200+ new life adventures. I am embarrassed to say I was tearing up when they all marched in to pomp and circumstance. So much hope.

And the we got to sit through the speeches. And while I am sure the valedictorian and salutorian each earned bragging rights, I am baffled as to why administrators think these speeches will be the most inspired. I tell you, the speech I wanted to hear would be from the kids who struggled against surviving the class bully, navigating a learning disability, fighting depression, coming out, weighed down with family discord, and a workload way more than they will ever have in their future careers(all in subjects they have just learned they have no interest in pursuing beyond graduation). Those are the kids who are launching with so much more “education” that will shape who they are and how they navigate the rest of their lives. These kids inspire me. These are the kids I see and I am so freaking excited that these little warriors are ready armed with the knowledge of how to fight and persevere for what they want.

So what is it that you are persevering through?

Are you like me, where every piece of art is a journey through so much self doubt? It is so common for artist to totally discount their talents and dreams, when faced with fear of creativity-crushing criticism. Are you bravely reworking your career to something that feels meaningful to you? Are you warrioring through a health concern? Navigating a bumpy relationship? Or is it as simple as drinking in life each day fighting off daily stressors?

Just know as I sat last Friday at a seemingly innocent high school graduation, I am honoring all the imperfect paths that make us better people. Your bravery, no matter how small you may think it is, is inspiring.

Hard is not relative, hard is hard. — Ash Beckham

This is another one of my favorite TedX talks.


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