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Jess, Shut Up - Grads should know: things change


I attended my nephew Jesse Billups’ (state wrestling champ) graduation at ACH two weeks ago and Lake Roosevelt's last week end. What awesome ceremonies they were.

It got me thinking about 20 years ago when the class of 1992 at LRHS put on our gowns and caps and set sail on our adventure. The unknown that lay ahead: I want to do THIS, but what about THAT. College, military, parenthood and careers, all the dreams and ambitions that only a young woman or man can have. Back 20 years ago, I personally did not listen to much advice. Save your money; go into the Air Force; go to a community college first; slow down; enjoy family; go on an adventure. These are all things I ignored and now pass on to current grads as advice of my own.

The truth of the matter, though, is that things change. Little decisions can have a life altering impact. You meet the “right” girl or guy, things change. You get injured, things change. A parent passes away suddenly, things change. Unfortunate circumstances make things change. We just don’t know what lies ahead.

As the class of 1992 gathers this August for our 20-year reunion, we will come together as a class of changes. Some achieved their goals they set in ’92, others will still be working on it. Some will have altered their course dramatically. Some won’t be there at all. Some who wanted out of Grand Coulee so bad will be living here happily raising their kids.

There will be teachers, coaches, lawyers, bankers, mothers, and fathers. There will be a bus driver and minister, a business owner and a politician. Some will be rich, some poor.

We will remember Shannon Nason and Rob Williams, and tears and smiles will mix. Key people will not be there for many different reasons, but we will ask, “Where are they?” and someone will let us know.

I could not have guessed in a million years how things would be for me now, as will be the case for many of my former classmates. But the one thing we will all have in common is that we have made it this far on our adventure. Some are scared, some are frightened. Some are strong and ready for the next 20. But whether we want to or not, the journey continues and we must face it.

So my advice for the class of 2012 is really very simple when I say it, but is most difficult to achieve: Enjoy it. What ever job or school you pick, make sure you enjoy it.

Work hard, but enjoy the work. Whatever life hands you, enjoy it. Enjoy your family, friends and co-workers. Life is precious and things change. Enjoy it.

But in those times when you have a choice to either be bitter and grumpy or disappointed and down, find what gives you joy and cling to it. Nothing is set in stone. Things change.

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