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The Graduate

Make room for feelings.

I just got back from my last child's college graduation.  It was not easy.  Kids drink and party and get exhausted.  They are scared.  Social media is not their issue - their issue is social isolation.  Now that their friends are pursuing their "dreams" what will they do?  Fear takes a grip.  We went through all of these emotions and didn't even know what hit us. But we also stuck it out together.  That's something. Cheers to me for not completely screwing this up.  Cheers to you and your kids too! They may think it's not a big deal to graduate but the time and commitment to something in the larger community is a big deal, especially during a global pandemic.

1. Feelings of loss - my friends are leaving; now what do I do?  

2. Loss of control - what will I do with all this worry?

3. Fear of the future - what will the future hold - can I survive on my own?

4. Letting go - who am I and what do I even want? Who is my adult self? (Parents: profound awareness of empty nest, mortality)

5. Fear of the world - will I get killed by stray gunfire?  Will I be safe?

6. Transition/Loss/Change - who will be there for me in this ever-changing landscape?

7. Expectations/Existential dread - will my parents be proud?  Am I good enough to succeed?

8. Push - Pull of dependency - will I miss my family as I move forward without them?

9. What path out of so many - where will the road lead me?

10. Families - can't live with them; can't live without them.  There's no perfect.  Acceptance of the big jumble called life.

Then we throw those caps and gowns out, we roll out of town, we return.  Turning, turning with our own reflections of how fleeting growing up is.  Can hardly hold on...  Try not to grasp, as Tara Brach says, just lean into the uncertainty and see where it takes you.  


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