Today is your day.
You’re off to great places!
You’re off and away!

I was 17.

I was standing in front of a stadium of friends and family.  To my left were my fellow classmates.  On my graduation cap I had added the words, “only the beginning.”

As I recited Dr. Seuss’ lines in my commencement speech, I believed every one of them.

This book seemed to be written for high school grads ready to take that big step into the ‘real’ world.

But, what about now?  What about a 30-something-mom-of-two-kids? Could I still be off and away?

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.

During my speech, I knew the world was my oyster.  I knew, as I entered the ‘adult’ world, whatever path I wanted to choose would be available to me.

But what about after? After the degree and the diploma?  And the marriage certificate, and the dogs, and the mortgage and the two perfect kids and the new SUV?

Could I still steer myself in any direction I choose?

Out there things can happen
And frequently do
To people as brainy and footsy as you.

I love my life.  I love my kids and my husband and my home and my community.

I also realized, there was more for me to do.  I trusted, even 18 years after that graduation speech, that out there things could STILL happen to people as brainy and footsy as me.

For me, it was within my career.  I knew there was a brainer footsier way for me to serve the world, and myself.  I knew I could make a bigger impact and feel more fulfilled at the same time.

I knew my kids could be my greatest accomplishment, but they didn’t have to be my only accomplishment.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re dark.
A place where you could sprain both your elbow and your chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go it?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

As much as I was choosing my own path in college…really I was still following a map of the path I had chosen.

Choosing your path in adulthood – in real adulthood – is a little trickier. What about the hard work you’ve already put in?  What about the cost?  What about your reputation?  What about the dishes? What will your mother say?

Should you go left or right….
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple its not, I’m afraid you will find,
For a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

There is no map when you are a grown-up.

But you still have those brains in your head and feet in your shoes.

You are still that confident 17-year-old on the stage with “only the beginning” in sharpie on your cap.

You can make tiny shifts on your journey, or huge ones.

You can seek the support you need to start that new thing.

You can still make great choices.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
98 and ¾ percent guaranteed
Kid, you’ll move mountains!

Now, when I read this story to my own little toe-heads in their snuggly pajamas, barely starting their trek towards that graduation cap, I know the world is their oyster.

I know they are off and away and they can steer themselves in any direction they choose.

But you know what??  So can I.


And so can you.

Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting
So…get on your way!