Graduation Stella Queen of Bows

[Editor's Note] The Karmaloop Ladies’ Blog is so pleased to welcome the lovely and talented Stella Burchard! A New York City-based writer, sales rep, and blogger, Stella (aka Queen of Bows) is our newest blog contributor.

Graduations are all around now, and going to a few this year has brought back memories of when I was in school. One such memory is of my high school math teacher, Mr. Hull, who gave me a “B” in his class. Seemingly no big deal, but the month before graduating, I found out I just missed being valedictorian (and delivering the graduation speech) because of that one “B.” This was upsetting mostly because I earned an 89.6% in Mr. Hull’s class, which, rounded up, gives me 90% and an A. (You would think that would be clear since it was a math class.)

So what, boo-hoo, poor little nerd girl settled for second in the class. Well, I have residual feelings from not giving the speech because of .4% and a lame move by a sad teacher. To finally rectify the situation, I am giving you my graduation speech, addressed to all of us moving through life, with no pomp and circumstance, nonetheless graduating life’s levels and moving into new chapters:

Fellow graduates,

Pay attention and take with you the following:

1) Enjoy this moment. By moment, I literally mean moment as well as the current celebration, graduation, accomplishment, reflection, and situation. Moments are fleeting, so take in all you can.

2) Include your friends and family. Even if you have mixed relationships in your fam or would rather not deal, share your life progressions with your people. They want what’s best for you and want to know as things happen with you. During rough times you will hope they are there, so include them in the good. Plus, celebrating is more fun with other people.

3) Get closure. I’m not suggesting you shut everything down, just don’t leave anything unfinished, because then it will always be unfinished. Approaching my college graduation, I was advised by a recent grad to schedule time with all people I wanted to stay in touch with and connect among crazy schedules before leaving the school and/or city. I minded that advice, and graduated feeling like I said my goodbyes, had doors open with people I wanted them open with, and could walk away complete. Don’t leave loose ends, and you won’t have to clean them up later.

4) Keep setting goals. Just because you’ve achieved some success doesn’t mean it’s time to plateau. Continue building on what you have accomplished, raising yourself to higher levels with each new step.

5) Proceed positively. Even if the next step is scary, a mystery, or uncomfortable, I’ve never known someone to reflect on their negative attitude and appreciate a good outcome from it. You need optimism to take on bigger things, and you know what, you will get through those bigger things okay.

To each of you, congratulations on coming this far, and congratulations on the future greatness yet to come.

Stella Burchard is the Queen of Bows. For more on her + her writing, check out QueenofBows.com, her weekly columns on M.I.S.S., or follow her on twitter!