A short time ago my youngest son graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) Degree. I told my friends that, as a mother, it was an Everest moment. By that, I mean the accomplishment of a difficult journey. We all start out at the beginning of any endeavor bright eyed and bushy tailed - full of energy, bravado, optimism and determination. A worthwhile journey, however, is far more difficult than we could ever have imagined.
We’ve all made these public or internal vows to ourselves that we will accomplish something, no matter what. Problem is, those no matter whats come up along the path like giant bolders blocking our way. So many times, we just want to say Stuff it. This isn’t what I signed up for!. We want to take the easy way out and throw in the towel. Our brain loves to talk us out of the journey that we were so determined and passionate about at the beginning. We come up with all these very logical and sensible reasons as to why we should quit and we start feeding these negative thoughts.
The journey can take many forms. It may be a marriage. It may be as the role of a parent. It may be as a carer for someone. It may be as a teacher. It may be as a university student. It may be as a sports person. The list goes on. I’m currently watching a Netflix series called The Crown. It documents very well the sacrifices that a young woman (Queen Elizabeth II) made as she put aside her personal pursuits and desires to devote her life to the people of the Commonwealth.
What we need to do is remember. We need to remind ourselves about the passion and determination that resonated from our heart at the beginning of the journey. We need to remember that undeniable feeling that this is the right way to go. This is what will get us there. This is what will get us through physical and emotional pain barriers. This is what will enable us to arrive at our final destination. Ignore the negative head talk and Just Do It as Nike reminds us!
The speech below is the one I made at my son’s graduation. This was my Everest moment and I can tell you, the journey to obtain this degree was long and, I tell you, it was no picnic.
The journey we’ve taken with you up to today reminds me of Lord of the Rings. Little did Frodo, Sam, Gandalf and the gang know when they began their journey, all the trials and tribulations that would lay before them: relentless rugged terrain, gruesome monsters, inhospitable weather as well as ghouls and evil spirits. But, despite all these hardships, they not only survived, they triumphed.
Here you are today son, here we are today – triumphant: still a united family; supporting one another, respecting one another and only wanting what’s best for one another. This degree may have your name on it because you are the hard-working actor on stage but we – dad, your brother, me, Nanny and Poppy are the production crew. We are the stage hands. We are the costume designers. We are the sound crew and the stage managers. We are the catering staff and the technical crew who have allowed your show to go on. We stood behind the curtains while you accepted the applause. This day is yours. This day is ours. You’ve triumphed. We’ve triumphed because, despite all the obstacles placed in our path, we continued on this journey because we never lost sight of the final goal which was the pursuit of your dream. Your heart felt desire and determination to be the fine, committed actor you were born to be. Let us raise our glasses to Brendan Lorenzo!