To the Class of 2020,
It's early May. Trees are budding, flowers are beginning to bloom, bees are buzzing. The cold air of lingering winter has finally blown through and I've felt the warmth of the sun upon my face for the first time in months. The air smells fresh, sweet, and full of potential. Spring is such a fitting season for graduation. As the sun sets on one era – the chill of winter and the challenges of school – another rises just beyond the horizon.
I imagine many graduates are wondering, what's next? Perhaps mourning the loss of ritual, disheartened by the virtual ceremonies meant to ease the disappointment of cancelled commencements. Perhaps worriedly wondering what lay ahead; not only as graduates unsure of what life holds next, but as people searching for purpose and a plan amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Graduation is always a time of uncertainty; a time of change and growth. And this year is no exception. However, perhaps more than other graduating classes, because of COVID, the graduates of 2020 may be feeling a heightened sense of fear informed by scarcity (scarcity of jobs, answers, toilet paper). Yet, every season that comes to an end signals the start of something new. And so, instead of staying steeped in scarcity, may you be open to the abundance of opportunities that arise in this time of transition. It may not be easy, it may not feel fair, and you are more than prepared.
You have everything you need to see the uncertainty of this time, to name the fear of the unknown, and rather than run away from or be consumed by it, I invite you to lean in and harness it.
The comforts of what was familiar have been disrupted. While there is importance in tending to the grief of that loss, there is also immense opportunity in expansively and imaginatively creating something new. This new season – the signs of spring rising up all around us – is a brilliant and beautiful gift. A powerful metaphor for the potential of this time, this moment in history, this opportunity at hand for all of us; most notably the graduating class of 2020.
May the symbolic gesture of moving your tassel from right to left be not only an expression of your graduation rite, but also a whole-hearted embrace of what comes next and your role in co-creating it. May this time of social distancing be an invitation to re-connect with who you really are, what you truly value, and where you want to invest your time, energy, and gifts. May you find grace, healing, and liberation in the pause before the process of unfolding what comes next. And may you take time to celebrate your accomplishments as you look ahead and open yourself to the abundance of opportunities that arise before you.
With loving kindness,