Dear Classes of 2012 the world over:
Well, it's here. Your graduation. Today is quite a big day for you. You may have been waiting for this moment your entire life. Or maybe you've been dreading this moment since your sandbox days. Whatever your feelings about today, there's no denying that it is a huge milestone for you. Whether you're graduating from high school, college or even medical school, you aren't the same person you were on the first day you walked through the doors of those hallowed halls. Life has changed. People around you changed. You've changed. Those first two things? Well, those might not be very hard for you to get used to. But that last one -- you know, the one where you look in the mirror and realize just how much you've grown and changed and how you're not the same person you once were? That one is a little harder to wrap your head around. How did it all happen, seemingly in the blink of an eye? You tried everything to make those moments last forever, but somehow, time still escape your tight grip.
In some ways, your life is just now beginning. But always remember this: Life, contrary to what Facebook will try to get you to believe, is not a timeline. Your life -- it's not linear. Yes, you will have many moments of moving forward -- in your career, in your relationships -- and trust me, those times are going to feel exhilarating. You'll feel on top of the world. And then other times, you'll find yourself taking two steps back; these times probably won't make you feel as on-top-of-the-world ecstatic. Honestly, you might even feel like crawling into a hole and hiding from the world forever. But, don't do it. Even those not-so-glorious moments help to make you the person you're supposed to become.
Life is a funny thing -- you can't look forward without at least looking back, if only a little bit. So, whatever you do, enjoy this thing called life every single step of the way. After all, it may feel like a topsy-turvy roller coaster every now and then, but I guarantee you that it's all worth it. Every last moment of it.
[Photos via We Heart It]