A little under two months ago I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Music. A few days later, while I was at work, I wrote about it on the back of a paper bag that would otherwise have been used to hold a bottle of wine. I had -- and still have -- a lot of emotions surrounding the strange commemoration that is a graduation ceremony. I think a lot of seniors feel this way. No one really prepares you for the torrent of emotions you're going to experience when you graduate from anything, but I hope this wine bag poem can shed a little light on it.

They say I'm about to have more adventures than I could possibly imagine.

They say it's only the beginning.

Well, to me it feels like the end.

To me it feels like anticlimax.

It feels like someone jerked away everything I have ever known and shoved me into the cold bewilderment.

I'm standing naked in a foreign land with nothing but a dream -- a strong dream that suddenly seems frail and breakable. Or maybe that's the trembling of my hands.

Father, I have never been so alone.

Is this what independence is? To be surrounded by people, but all the while alone?

If this adventure, I didn't know what I was signing up for.

(Does anyone?)

It's not that I don't want the adventure.

But this is harder than I thought.

It's lonely, and I'm exhausted.

The dream feels hard.

Father, You promised me abundant life, and I said yes, but I think I forgot that adventure included pain.

I forgot that it would involve leaving some things behind. Beautiful things.

They were the most beautiful years of my life, and now sometimes it feels as though my heart is aching.

You know, Father, in all the adventure stories I've ever read, the adventurer has to leave something good behind in order to go on to the next thing -- to continue on the actual quest, do what they set out to do.

It's hard -- but it's right.

It's the next right thing. And sometimes I guess that's all we can do.

You have planted a dream in my heart -- and this is the next right step: to leave the comfortable and step out into the cold.

We are afraid. But we have courage given from Heaven. We have been anointed.

May we be unafraid to feel our feelings -- to experience our own sadness and depth.

May we walk in courage and tenderness toward ourselves.

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