Karla’s Korner: Telling Our Story
Telling Our Story…
A milestone is defined as “an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development; a significant achievement. This past weekend as I sat on the lawn of The University of Virginia sandwiched between my husband and son searching for my daughter in a sea of approximately 2,800 graduating fourth year students (Thomas Jefferson insisted that students are identified by years of learning instead of freshmen, sophomores, etc.) I thought back to the day she moved into her first dorm room; it was August 22, 2011. I wrote about that experience sharing how difficult it was to leave her behind as she prepared to write a new chapter in her life book without me. Nearly four years have passed; she has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and will begin the application process for graduate school next year. She has reached a significant milestone in her life; she is preparing to write another chapter.
An unknown author wrote “Telling your story is important because that’s where you hide your dreams and fears”. Everyone has a story to tell if they choose to tell it. Everyone has their own unique set of life events that sets them apart from anyone else. While we all have similarities, yet we are all different. One of the speakers quoted Aristotle saying that “We (the whole) is greater than the sum of our parts” and as I thought about that relating it to the culmination of events that brought my daughter to this sacred place, this place of honor, this place where life and learning meet creating transformation of mind, body and spirit I see a young woman who used to be my little girl gearing up to write a new chapter in life book. She has a story to write and a story to tell. The sum of her experiences will be the whole of her story; the place where she hides her dreams and fears.
Wanting our children’s lives to be perfect we must acknowledge that perfection is not attainable. Life is messy. Life is complicated. Life is hard and it is exhausting. Life is also amazing and filled with endless opportunities for growth, love and fulfillment. Life is our one shot at being who we are meant to be whether it is a wife, mother, life partner, parent, teacher, doctor, garbage collector or ditch digger. Life does not sit still and wait for us; it goes on with or without us. Life is filled with stress, anxiety and stumbling blocks that can weigh us down leaving us broken and battered. But life is also a grand adventure where we learn, work, play, grow and love when we choose to do so. I believe that all of these things are necessary to make life complete. A whole life is not always filled with rainbows and sparkles. A whole life is one in which we embrace the tough stuff, the hurts, disappointments and fears knowing that on the other side of those things lie the good stuff; happiness, success, joy and love.
For my daughter college is a milestone reached. The past four years have been sprinkled with good stuff that encouraged her to be who she is without hesitation, to live authentically and embrace the challenges that being her brings. It has also taught her how to face those challenges and struggles with determination, endurance and perseverance; it taught her to never give up. For me her college experience has taught me that letting go is difficult but necessary and that a parents role is an ever changing process that requires an open mind and the ability to step back and allow our children to take charge of life; after all it’s their life.
As we prepared to stuff the last bag into the back of my Dodge Journey her brother and I climbed in, carefully shut the doors and sat quietly as the tears began to fall down my sweet girls cheeks. Graduation is a highly anticipated end to a time in our lives that bridges the gap between teenager and young adult. The pomp and circumstance is exciting but can be daunting as well. For those whose children are graduating from high school or college I encourage you to take a step back and let reality to set in. Allow your graduating student time to think, time to reflect and time to grieve for all they are leaving behind and then encourage them to celebrate the future and all it may bring. The time for them to begin writing and telling their own story is now, however, it is also time for you to close out this chapter in your life book, turn the page and begin the next chapter keeping in mind that they will return in your story but will no longer be the main character; the time has come for you to share your story in your own unique way in your own time, in your own way. Live it. Love it. Embrace it. Be it; tell your story not someone else’s.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.
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