Friday, December 20

commence contentment

it feels like I used to have so much to say. I was just ambitious enough to be confident enough to recognize all my self-doubt and still ignore it.

is ambition something you grow out of? it does seem easier to have when you're young--when you haven't yet heard so much of what other people have said or thought or done, the world feels so much more ripe and open for everything your little human brain could possibly imagine into it.

and then you grow up, and get tired, and everyone around you and before you is doing so much already. how can you keep up?

I know it's a bit silly to worry about keeping up. I'm in my own lane and it isn't a race anyway. 

today I attended fall commencement at NSU. gymnasium full of chairs, lots of bright purple, congratulatory speeches, cheering, decorated mortarboards, lines and lines of accomplished humans, etc. the music was gorgeous, too--a string quartet and a vocal quartet performed excellently during the processional, the anthem, and the alma mater. I came away from it all thinking about the value of letting yourself appreciate things as fully as possible. that might become my mantra for 2020: appreciation.

I never attended my own college or grad school commencements. I probably didn't miss much, really. it just now so happens to be part of my job to go and sit with the other faculty and applaud on cue. it's nice to feel like a part of something and to pay attention to all these students' achievement.

the speaker this year was Denise Lewis Patrick--prolific writer, Natchitoches local, and 1977 alumna (she has a blog too, such as it is). I appreciated her talk for its down-to-earth encouragement and its brevity. she spoke about all the post-college things she'd learned--about people, organizations, and changing technologies. she promised today's graduates that they would similarly need to learn many new things, no matter how prepared they might feel for their futures.

feeling prepared might be a little overrated, anyway. how much ambition does a person really need in their life, after all? I might be just fine with a little contentment now and then and a decent supply of curiosity.

No comments: