The Final Graduation: A Bittersweet Ending & Beautiful Beginning

“What she tackles, she conquers.”

-Richard Gilmore

Tomorrow, I will attend my final graduation. I easily get nostalgic, so the other night I decided to pull out my 6th grade yearbook. Each student wrote a paragraph about where they saw themselves in 20 years. Here is what I wrote:

“In twenty years, I Kayla Brown, will be 32. Hopefully, I will have a two story house with a huge garden in my backyard in Rome, Italy. I will maybe be married with a daughter and a son. I will have a beagle and and a golden lab. I will have a Bachelor’s degree in either interior design or architecture from UNR. When I retire, I will travel throughout Europe and write a book called, Within Europe. It will include the best sights to see, dining areas, overnight stays in suites, and places to have fun. This is where I’d like to be in twenty years.”

Let me know when you have finished laughing. Obviously, I have always loved planning ahead. Way ahead. While my fellow 6th grade classmates were writing about owning “19 boats and 1 yacht” and being “single and rich,” my 12-year-old self was already brainstorming the travel book I would write during retirement. I do not currently reside in Italy, but thankfully I have a decent chunk of time before I turn 32 to start working on that.

School has always been an important and essential component of my life. My parents never pushed me hard in school, it was always a choice I made to challenge myself. I have always admired the work ethics of both my parents and I knew I wanted to be just like them. They work hard and deserve every bit of the lives they have made for themselves. My parents are my biggest supporters and I would not be where I am today without their unconditional love and encouragement.

It is so hard to say goodbye to something that has always been a part of my life. I love the structure that comes with school and knowing exactly what I need to accomplish in order to reach the ultimate goal. But then I also have to remind myself that many of my favorite memories came from times when I did not have every minute planned out. By not creating specific expectations for my life, I know that I am allowing for the potential to experience a life that exceeds my wildest dreams. It might be cheesy to say, but anything is truly possible.

For those of you who have been reading my blog posts, you are probably wondering how I am going to incorporate essential oils into this post. Well…I am not.

Tomorrow, I will attend my final graduation. I will not need lavender to calm my nerves, nor will I need wild orange to uplift my emotions.

Tomorrow, when I attend my final graduation, the only emotion I am going to feel is pure and simple pride.

Pride is a direct result of hard work; it is not a feeling you can fake. Everything in life is only worth the time you put in to achieve it. The last year and a half have been the most challenging, yet rewarding years of my life. There were days when I doubted myself. There were days when I realized I had taken on too much. There were days when I felt disappointed when I fell short of the expectations I had set for myself. There were days when I cried (more than I care to admit).

Ultimately, was it all worth it?

Yes.

Yes, a million times.

The confidence I have gained, friendships I have developed, and self-development I have experienced is worth so much more than each and every obstacle and setback along the way.

For the first time in my life, I do not have an exact plan. Yet somehow, I feel more prepared for the future than ever before.

Tomorrow, I will attend my final graduation — a moment in my life that represents both a bittersweet ending and a beautiful brand new beginning.