Living in the moment

Living in the moment

Last week, I graduated from high school. I have spent my whole school career watching the “older kids” graduate, thinking about wearing a cap and gown and holding my very own diploma, but no amount of imagination could have prepared me for actually living in this very moment.

The day before graduation, my class practiced lining up and walking to the graduation site for the ceremony. We did a quick walk through of the ceremony, so everyone knew exactly where they were supposed to be.

The night of, the graduates-to-be wandered around the halls, visiting teachers, sharing graduation cap decorations, and taking pictures; everything I’ve seen on Facebook for years and what I imagined would happen since I was little. Then we stood in our line spots, marked by lists on the walls lining the high school.

But what I could have never prepared for is when I heard the words, “Are you guys ready? It’s time to start.”

My friends and I looked at each other as we approached the final hall. The teachers, administrators and school board members lined the hallway giving us a standing ovation as we walked toward the commons.

“Is this really happening?” One of my friends asked. ” I don’t know if I’m ready for this,” said another.

I felt the exact same way; no matter how long I awaited this moment, I couldn’t believe it was actually here.

As we processed to the field, “Pomp and Circumstance” played and the stadium stands were filled with family and friends who were cheering and waving. I heard another one of my classmates remark at the abundance of cars in the parking lot when he said, “Wow, I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was.”

As for the rest of the ceremony, sitting in my chair watching a few classmates and adults speak wasn’t too strange, but when we got to the end and our class president went to the podium to move his tassel from the right side of the cap to the left, that feeling hit me again: “Is this really happening?” It was almost as if all those years of waiting for and working toward this moment were all squished into one second. And even though I thought I was prepared, out of nowhere, I had graduated.

This experience taught me that you really can’t know how you will feel until you are actually living in the moment.

I look forward to experiencing more of these moments (buying a home, getting married, having kids), but also living every day along the way. Even though it seemed like my entire school career took forever, the end came much quicker than I ever thought it would.

Here is to continuing to look forward to the future while also enjoying what is right in front of me.