Celebrate Good Times (Come on.)

I’ve wanted to post about the feelings this time of year creates for a while now. Anytime someone important in my life graduates, I always think I’m going to find some kind of inspiration to use from their graduation and it will write itself into a thought provoking blog post.

I searched for it when one of the first children I ever babysat graduated…

Me and Megan

The left picture is her graduating from high school in 2012. The right picture is me graduating from high school in 2003.

And I feel old.

Oh yeah, and she just graduated with her Bachelor’s this month and is ready to rock the teaching world as the best new elementary teacher on the scene.

And now I really feel old.

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I thought maybe last year, when one of my flower girls from my wedding* graduated, something would come.

But no.

*Way to make me feel even older. She was going into fourth grade when I got married.

Last week, Jon and I trekked up to Newark to watch my fourth brother, Andrew, graduate with his Master’s.

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I’ve never been to such a major affair. Since NJIT doesn’t have a campus that lends itself to breaking graduation ceremonies up according to the separate colleges, everyone was brought together in the Prudential Center.

Reading the names alone took around two hours.

Only to entertain Jon, because you know how I feel about selfies, we took pictures to pass the time…

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My favorite part is the man on the right.

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Oh wait, no, the lady in the middle is my favorite!

I can’t blame either of them.

The ceremony was long, long, long.

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The oldest living NJIT graduate was brought up at the beginning of the ceremony. He was 100 years young.

I’d love to hear his thoughts on the college today and life in general. Being 100 years old, he has witnessed not only the positive changes which have occurred in the growth of NJIT, but also, so much change which has happened in the world around us.  In him, I know there is an inspiring and world view enhancing story.

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Master of Science in Civil Engineering!

Thinking of this man helped me this time around to realize why I love this time of year. Celebrations such as these cheer the weary soul, but also remind us of the goodness of change. While this is no earth shattering realization in and of itself, as someone going through unplanned changes, I’ve often considered the unexpected change a bad thing. Change needs to be planned out, like choosing to go back to school for another degree. As I sat, feeling pride for this planned accomplishment of Andrew’s, I realized even an unexpected change can be just as wonderful, if embraced.

Even good change can be daunting, but the alternative to allowing change is digging your heels in the sand and refusing to budge. For me, I’m looking towards embracing change, the expected and the unexpected, and seeing it as the next adventure in my story.

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