Tuesday, September 1

Go get 'em, kids

Oh kids,

You are off to another adventure. Lucky you. Your world is getting bigger by the minute.

After this summer, you know more people, more places, more experiences. You've met heartbreak and heart-joy. You are getting stretched in ways that will mold your adult years; things that don't make sense now will. They always do. Sometimes we wait decades to find out, sometimes we discover it right away.

You will walk in the sun many days, joy exploding from your face. Let it explode. People around you need it. They need your smile, your kind words. Don't hold out on them. Be the nicest person in the room, not for you but for them.

Because one day the "them" will be you. You will be sad and lonely. Not might - will. It happens to every one of us. And you will need that smile, that laugh, that one word that changes your heart from breaking to hoping.

Giving up is the easiest thing you will do. Holding out hope is the hardest. But every hard thing you overcome is a diamond in your crown. Wear it with pride.

Wear ALL of you with pride. You won't be the best at many things, but sometimes you will. Be who you were created to be, not what group mentality asks you to be. Choose carefully who you call friend. Go ahead and experiment with that. This is the time to find out. You'll trip your way through potholes, but I promise that by the time you are an adult, you will choose well.

Be 100 percent you. Not 60 percent for this person, and 25 percent for that one - put all 100 in every time. You will be included because of who you are one day, and excluded for the same reason the next. That's OK, your peers are all figuring this out, too. Forgive and forget.

You will want to be someone different many times this year - faster, stronger, smarter, prettier, cooler, bigger, smaller, greater, lesser, wiser. Decide only to be a better you.

And good news: school is not all there is in the world. Really. There are hundreds, thousands of other adventures awaiting you. If this particular adventure isn't your favorite this year, hold tight. June is right around the corner. Just promise you will take something away from the journey.

Your world has walls all over it. Sometimes they protect you, but other times they keep you penned in. Jumping over those walls will seem a monumental task. But oh, on the other side. Freedom waits. God waits. He doesn't want you inside that wall, either, because He can't use you there.

They say no way, oh, I say I'll rule the world
Ain't afraid of the walls, I'm a break 'em down
They stay the same, oh, I'm feelin' high as a bird
Ain't afraid of the ground, I'm a stay up
I say yeah yeah yeah, they say no no no
They say slow slow slow, I say go go go
They say no way, oh, I say I'll rule the world
I say I rule the world

Walk Off the Earth, "Rule The World"

I write this as much for you as for me. Because as an adult, you will forget. Life seems more about living than learning for us. More about survival than awe.

Do something new and amazing this year to remind us old people that learning is for all of us, every day.