You have to start by changing the story you tell yourself about getting older...The minute you say to yourself, 'Time is everything, and I'm going to make sure that time is used the way I dream it should be used,' then you've got a whole different story. Diane SawyerYesterday, I experienced, with C.C., his daughter's High School Graduation. Three hundred and seventy-five graduates walked across the stage to receive a handshake and their High School Diploma.
In the Valedictorian's speech, the young man presenting told of an assignment he did in Grade 6. Each student was asked to write 'a letter to self' which was to be opened upon their Grade 12 graduation. B.W. stood on the stage and held up his letter. "It's in the original envelope," he said. "No tricks. I haven't opened it before." And he opened the envelope and read the contents of his letter.
In Grade 6, he wanted to be a Geologist. He now plans on taking his Masters in Psychology.
In Grade 6, he liked hockey and basketball. Still likes team sports but he is also a musician and actor.
In Grade 6, he liked a girl named Tess. And he hoped she liked him.
In Grade 12, he likes C.C.'s daughter. And he knows she likes him.
Between likes and dislikes and dreams and schemes of what to do with his summer, a lot of time has passed since he wrote that letter. But as he mentioned in his speech, the core values, the fundamentals of who the person he is, were already set by the time he wrote that letter when he was 11. The difference is only time.
If I remember back to Grade 6 I see a young girl who loved her cat and dog and loved spending time lying on the grass gazing up through the leaves of a tree and day dreaming. She loved to walk in the rain without an umbrella. She loved splashing in mud puddles.
I remember a young girl who was frightened of becoming a woman and who relied on her older sisters to guide her through the confusion of what was starting to happen to her body. I remember a young girl who liked to spend time with children. She baby-sat whenever she could, and was fascinated with what made people tick. She read and read and even at age 11, Psychology Today was one of her favourite magazines. And she also read those True Love magazines that she is so embarrassed today to think she actually read them.
She believed in love. In fairness. In taking care of others. She believed the world needed her to help make it different. She believed she could make a difference. She believed everyone could.
She had a best friend named Marilyn. She didn't like boys. Yet. She loved walking the long way home from school with her sister and was always excited to see Pepi, the family cat, running across the field towards them. He'd jump into one of their arms and start to purr.
She was fascinated with watching people. With observing how they did things and she'd often try to figure out why they did what they did, said what they said.
She believed in magic. She believed the world was a wondrous place. An adventure waiting to unfold just for her.
She believed in being kind. In not hurting others with her words. She believed there was an answer to everything. She just had to look hard enough to find it.
She did not like violence. Did not like meanness. Did not like thunder and lightning. She still doesn't.
Today, she still believes in magic and is always amazed by the wonder of the world around her. She still likes to lie on the grass under a tree and look up at the sky through the filigree of its leaves. She still likes walking in the rain and splashing in mud puddles. She still likes watching people.
She still believes in love and she still believes she can make a difference. That everyone can.
Today, she is still that kind, caring, gentle young girl she was back then. The differences today are found in the lessons she's learned through time's passage.
The story of her life is different than she'd imagined it to be at age 11. It's better. More solid. Complete. Richer than she could ever have imagined back then, lying under a tree, daydreaming in the clouds above.
But who she is. The core person. The values and principles. The beliefs. Those haven't changed very much.
What's changed is her conviction. Her commitment to living true to her values, principles and beliefs.
She doesn't compromise on those anymore. She doesn't short-change herself and the world by scrimping on her truth.
Time taught her there is no value in being untrue to herself. There is no value in trying to fit in to someone else's story.
Her story is the only one she has to tell. She lives it, day by day, with the intent of making it her own personal best-seller.
She lives it as a gripping adventure of life lived way beyond the edges of her comfort zone, out there in the land of living true to herself. She lives it like there is no other life for her to live.
And, she's right. There isn't any other life for her to live. This is the only one she's got to experience right now.
The only life we each have to live today is this one we're living right now. This one where time passes, regardless of what we do to stem its flow.
Time passes. It's up to each of us to make a difference in how we pass the minutes flowing by.
The question is: Does time pass you by? Are you a passer-by watching it flow or are you in the flow of making each moment count? Are you stepping beyond the edges of your comfort zone, flying free in that place where you live your life being true to who you are, uncompromising in your commitment to be all you're meant to be in this moment, right now?