By Brittany Davis
“Today’s the day my life begins. Today I become a citizen of the world. Today I become a grown up. Today I become accountable to someone other than myself and my parents. Accountable for more than my grades. Today, I become accountable to the world. To the future. To all the possibilities that life has to offer. Starting today, my job is to show up wide eyed and willing and ready. For what, I don’t know. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility. Today, my friends, our lives begin. And, I for one can’t wait.”
The day of graduation I had this quote on Facebook. I remember watching the episode of Grey’s Anatomy when it aired hearing the quote and reminding myself that when it came time for it to be that day, the quote would ring as true to me then as it just had. This idea of accountability. Of taking control of your life. Your actions. Choices. Mistakes. Triumphs. To see past GPA’s and honors, beyond the drama within friendships, to look over the parties and hangovers. Accountability: being responsible for what’s to come. This concept is something that is overlooked. When I first heard this quote, I was filled with hope in its’ promise. Intrigued by the complete incompleteness it had to offer me. It was reassuring in it’s lack of clarity. It didn’t tell me that I would walk out with a job, just that I would be walking out. It didn’t tell me that I was going to be sucessful, it just reminded me that I was going to “be.”
When we hear things like this, they’re meant to motivate us. To remind us that whenever that day does come, that we enter the world ready to take on whatever comes. The good. The bad. The planned. The unexpected. When I first heard this quote, having to become accountable seemed so far away. Now, it’s ringing truer than ever. To take on life. Life is more than getting the dream job right out of school. It’s more than sitting on your couch doing nothing. Life is in the inbetween and life is a blend of it all. To take on responsibility and possibility. To know that it is time for us to start applying to jobs, to search everyday for a way to ‘take on life’ and making a living. But it’s also about the possibility. The possibility to enjoy your life, to take a moment to breathe and celebrate the beginning of a new chapter. To embrace the memories that you have created. To hold onto the people that have become a part of you. Graduating is more than entering the real world, it’s about showing up. Not just for interviews and jobs, but for life. We didn’t just graduate college, we graduated from a stage in our lives; from college students to adults. We graduated from having the ability to be careless, to having to be careful; to have to weigh our options, to become accountable.
Today my friends, our lives begin. Sure these new lives should include careers and plans, but they should also include a life. Today my friends, we are expected to show up; to take risks in our lives, careers, and relationships. Today is the day our lives begin, just don’t forget to live. So put yourself out there and figure out what it is you want to do. Apply to jobs you’d love to have, and jobs that scare the crap out of you. Consider companies that challenge you, let the fear motivate you. This is the time to make mistakes, when we’re still young enough to correct them. Still young enough to learn from the consequences. Today my friends our lives begin, and I for one, can’t wait.