Words of Wisdom for Graduates

Wisdom? Graduates? My second born will be graduating in less than six days. Eighteen years. Somewhere I blinked and now stands before me this amazing. Talented. Beautiful young woman. I can hardly believe it.
morsels of wisdom for graduates or anyone who doesn't care to learn the hard way! anneke taylor - class of 2015
She and her big brother, my man-child, had the privilege of studying under one of the most gifted teachers at their high school. He taught AP Language. But so much more. He taught them to think. To love words. To "hear" language. He challenged them to be their best. To do their best. He made an impact on both of their lives. And I am grateful. So when he asked for parents to write a letter of wisdom to their graduates, how could I say no? Here is my letter to MY daughter. And hopefully there are some morsels of wisdom that are relevant to any and all of our graduates out there. Congratulations Class of 2015. High school graduate. The world at your fingertips. Possibilities? Endless. Each step an adventure. But as with every adventure there is always an element of trial and error. There will be moments of foolishness and rare glimmers of wisdom. There ARE things you need to find out all by yourself. However. As a mom. As an adult. As someone who has walked the path…sometimes skipped…often tumbled….there are lessons that do not NEED to be learned the hard way. There are some “nuggets” you don't need to take a lifetime to glean. There are some things I wish for you to know right now.

Smile more. Worry less. Don't be so concerned about making an impact on the world. Instead…make an impact on one person each and every day. Learn to say NO, so that when you say YES you are fully invested. Sing loudly even if it's off key. Give freely without ever expecting a return. Love people. Worry less about appearances and more about the heart. Be on time, but never overstay your welcome. Always offer a helping hand to clean up. Never grow tired of saying I'm sorry or I love you. A handwritten thank you note goes a very long way. Call your mother. Often. (or text in case she doesn't like the phone.) Give every task/job you are assigned 100%…but ALWAYS remember that people are more important than tasks. Learn to listen to your heart AND your gut AND your first impression…it's usually right. Animal lovers make the best friends. That guy who said that you’re “hot”? Turn and walk away. A good man will tell you that you are beautiful. Never be afraid to try something new… well, unless it's illegal. Love the size and shape you are RIGHT NOW. Always make eye contact. Listen. Listen. Listen. Ask questions. Don't talk about yourself unless you have to. Be authentic. Learn to drive a stick shift. Never get too old or too mature that you forget how to play. ~ jump in puddles ~ climb trees ~ scramble over walls ~ Don't judge. You never know the whole story. Let the sunrise and the sunset take your breath away every.single.day. Buy flowers for yourself. Find something to be grateful for every day. NEVER compromise what you believe in for anyone. Take care of your body and be healthy, but don’t even think about giving up pizza or chocolate. It's okay to cry. And it's even okay to cry in front of other people. There is no shame in being transparent. Have fun with your hair color, but never neglect your roots. Take time to be still. Remember tattoos are forever. Don't feed your emotions with food or “stuff”.

And most of all. Always keep your eyes looking upward towards your Savior. Never forget his great love and sacrifice for you. Never forget that he already deemed you worthy because of his son. And he has a plan for you. Even when it doesn't feel like it. You are NEVER alone. He is always with you and he will love you through every twist and turn this adventure of life takes you on. Hold onto his hand tightly...never let go. Congratulations Anneke. I could not be more proud of you. You have above and beyond exceeded all my expectations as a parent. And even though there have been moments I could strangle you {smile} I will miss you next year. So.Very.Much. You are my daughter...but now you are becoming my friend...and I cannot wait for this next phase of life with you. Your future is bright my love. Keep shining. From the inside out. Love, mom
my graduate in the beginning anneke taylor - baby dedication 1997

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