The Valedictorian with Anxiety Issues.

Please feel free to take ideas and inspiration from my speech, but don’t plagiarize.

On June 8th I was one of 43 or so graduates to successfully complete five years of high school in my small town. I was voted Valedictorian by my fellow classmates, I was so excited! The public speaking part was peanuts, I had taken workshops and practiced many times during high school. But finding the right words to represent such a diverse and unique class was the challenge. I felt great completion and satisfaction reading this out during the ceremony, I felt honoured and most of all happy that this moment that I had been waiting for for years, had finally come.

You could say this speech unlocked my cage, and I was able to spread my wings for the first time letting myself breathe in all the compassion, love, and support and all the excitement, joy and pure happiness I was immersed in that day. My anxiety level was through the roof at the beginning of the ceremony, shaking, tearing up, the whole 9 yards of panic attack. I had wanted so desperately to make my class and community proud that everything before the speech felt like a blur. I didn’t realize I had just been awarded around $5000 dollars in scholarships, awards, and bursaries, the camera flashes, the applause, it was like I was on a merry go round, unable to stop and seize the moment. But once it was my turn to take the mic, everything slowed down to a smooth, tranquil serenity. Like swimming on a hot summer night, you dive in letting the darkness and unknown surround you, the water warm against your skin as you surface and face up towards the night sky, you feel alone, but surrounded at the same time by huge amounts of beauty, zen, and acceptance. My extra large font i used for my speech calmed me down, for just glancing down I was able to pick up my train of thought immediately in my head and with one deep breath I began my speech. The silent darkness in front of me, the smiling parent’s faces, and my class to my left gave me strength and confidence. The words flowed beautifully, and i was even able to add comic relief on the fly when needed. Having my mom and dad hug me and tell me how proud they were of me, hearing my peer’s compliments, and being stopped in town by parents and community members saying how touching my speech was; was and still is one of the best feelings ever. I set out a goal to make a speech that people may not remember the exact words, but will walk away with a good feeling, a feeling that leaves both the graduate and parent proud, that fuzzy heart warming feeling. I put every once of passion and sincerity into my words below, and I am proud to say that  I accomplished my goal. I hope you enjoy. 

xx

 

 

I would like to begin by thanking my fellow classmates for giving me the opportunity to speak on their behalf.

*looks at class

I am very honored to represent all of you.

*looks back to the audience

 

In these caps and gowns we are one. A part of each other’s lives, learning life skills, achieving goals, and even failing Ogi’s surprise math tests. We did it all together.

 

But if you look closer, under those caps and gowns are individuals. Unique, talented young men and women who have dreams and the potential to succeed. I have been lucky to know some of these people since kindergarten, while more friendships were made during our 5 years of high school. We have grown up together, shaping each other’s lives.

 

However, none of us would have been able to get this far without the love and support of our community. When I think of Fort St. James, an African proverb comes to mind. “It takes an entire village to raise a child”. My peers and I wouldn’t have been able to weather the storms of life without some very important mentors.

I would like to thank the administrators and teachers, for giving us the gift of education. The coaches, community members, and employers for giving us skills to make the adult world a little bit easier to step into.

The family members and friends, who nurtured us and gave us the opportunity to grow.

 

But I can’t forget the parents.

 

Talking with my classmates this past week, I asked them “what do you want to thank your mom and dad for?” It was the little things, the everyday things that we are so thankful for. Here are a few of their Thank yous:

 

To all the Moms:

Thank you, for driving us EVERYWHERE.

Thank you, for making our lunch everyday.

Thank you, for supporting us through thick and thin.

 

To all the Dads:

Thank you, for reading us those bedtime stories and checking under the bed for monsters.

Thank you, for teaching us how to drive.

Thank you, for giving us strength and courage to face our fears and conquer our dreams.

 

That love kept us strong, through failed tests, life changing decisions, our first heartbreak, and the arguments. That love remained unbroken, unchanged, and unconditional.

 

And that has made all the difference.

 

So as you watch your child graduate today, feel proud of them, but also…

 

Feel proud of yourself.

 

Ernest Holmes once said:

 

“We cannot lead a choice less life.

Every day, every moment, every second, there is a choice.

If it were not so we would not be individuals.”

 

My fellow graduates, we have made many choices and still there are many more to make in our lifetime. Choose wisely, for we are able to create our own path and find our calling. Let’s step beyond our fear of failure for I know every single one of us has that spark to live the life we have always dreamed of. I challenge us to never forget the lessons we’ve learned during our time here at High School. I’m not talking about calculus or Shakespeare. I am talking about the experiences, the challenges, the memories; both good and bad that helped make us the people that we are today.

 

I know many of you are unsure, nervous, or afraid, gone are the days of being a teenager. We are young adults now. Take into consideration AA. Milne’s words: “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smaller than you think.”

 

We may not see each other for quite some time, we may grow apart, but this isn’t goodbye.

 

It is simply,

 

Until we meet again.

 

Thank you

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Can somebody please give this clown some matches please?

I’m going to be graduating soon, its like I’m sitting in a cannon at the circus, aimed straight up to the stars. The clown now just has to find his matches so I can be launched into…. I’m not sure what exactly. My art and my writing has been put on the back burner for  a few months now and I am on the verge of throwing a can of paint at my bedroom wall and just finger painting like a five year old. I am so in need of artistic expression right now. Grad, Scholarships, Prom, Guests, Bursaries, Work, Baby Goats, School, Exams, Transcripts, Applications are whats on my mind right now… Oh and food. Cant forget food. I’ve been tempted to create another blog to share my recipes and restaurant recommendations. I suffer from IBS, so I have quite the restricted diet,. (no gluten, wheat, dairy, high sugar content, caffeine, oh and did I mention pretty much anything tasty?) Its hard to find resources online, so I was tempted to just create my own for others. Just a thought. But at the moment I feel like I am carrying to many thoughts right now and I may just fall down flight of stairs metaphorically before all this graduation hoo-hah is done and over with.

If a clown asks you if you have any matches to spare…

Please just give them to him.

xx

This is Bella, one of the four baby goats I am looking after.Image

Soon I will become the adult version of me… “Hmm maybe prostitute isn’t the right word. Somehow I sense grandma would not like that.”

Just to let all my relatives know I have no intentions on becoming a prostitute.

It is simply a metaphor.

🙂

So I got a blackberry, and you know what happens when you give a human something that vibrates,flashes pretty colours when you get a message, something well…

awesome, shiny, and new. You become a savage cell-phone user…

You get into the habit of procrastination, oh trust me I was pretty good at procrastinating before I got this beast of a phone. But I can’t blame this phone for me being lazy enough to screw over the blogging world.

So I decided to blame it on being a grade 12 student.

This whole grade 12 thing?

Tis a wee bit nerve-racking, all this pressure to become something,

all this pressure to not end up sleeping outside Tim Horton’s in a cardboard box having entertaining conversations with a tomcat who could less if you were dead or alive.

My older brother got it easy! Ever since he was what like a preteen he knew what his career would be.

Me? I am not so lucky, my mind was like a prostitute to careers, it would change its fancy everyday. Hmm maybe prostitute isn’t  the right word. Somehow I sense grandma would not like that.

Maybe sleaze is better since I didn’t make a profit for changing my mind so many friggin’ times??

Hah.

It seemed everyday something new and exciting interested me, and I set my sights on being that certain amazing person when I grow up.

“I”M GOING TO BE AN ARTIST!, AN ACROBAT!, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER!, TEACHER! BIOLOGIST! JOURNALIST! PALIENTOLOGIST! CORONER! NEUROLIGIST! PSYCHOLOGIST! ARCHIOLOGIST! PHOTOGRAPHER! EDITOR! ILLUSTRATOR! SINGER! DANCER! CHOREOGRAPHER! AND THE LIST GOES ON!

** I am just that brilliant that I can’t go find a dictionary and spell some of these words correctly, and the spell check can’t spell them either… ^

maybe I was one of those kids whose curiosity was on overdrive. Not like A.D.H.D though mind you…

It seemed spastic, my mind always is spastic, have you read my writing ?

It’s like a Pomeranian chasing a laser pointer,

on the couch,

attacking the curtains,

smashing into a wall,

jumping repeatedly on the spot,

drool flying everywhere,

I think you get it.

Anyways, do you understand what I just said?

Its okay if you don’t just smile and nod that’s what people usually do, well that’s what I do when I’m stuck in a situation where I have no clue what the hell is being said, (like in math class).

So I’m sure everybody realises that normal people need money to prosper, especially when your last name isn’t “Bieber” or “Sheen” or “Woods” they just need to show up, play a sport and shave on TV,say something or sleep with someone, sing a song that makes little girls wail asking their parents “why can’t I have that JB cutout cardboard that is  life-size  in the shoppers drug mart???”

Like I said, I need a job that can support my Pomeranian of a mind and well, I think being a Pomeranian wouldn’t make any money.

I have always had a knack for drawing and writing, making people laugh, and helping people when they are stuck in a tiffy.

I invented the word “tiffy” to describe that moment when you find yourself standing under a large industrial fan while someone is throwing shit at it. Maybe I didn’t invent the word tiffy but I’m sure that my definition of tiffy was never thought of before.Ive said tiffy to many times…

And now ladies and gentlemen we move on to the conclusion: precisely a more thought-provoking, delicate matter…

I’ve read in magazines that sometimes if you ask your friends what they could see you doing as a career it can be a good tip in helping you decide what you will be doing after the sweet/nasty life of highschool. More nasty than sweet to be honest, more like sitting in a hot tub of acid with frustrating passive aggressive hamsters. Anyways. I’ve got ten months to decides what my next step will be after the exams, after that hat with the annoying tassel, after I get prettied up to spend five hours in a prom dress, after I move onto the next step of my life. I will become an adult version of me.

Why do I find that mildly disturbing?

I’d jump from one scenario to the next: from highschool kid to “______”.
*okay not all the hamsters attending highschool with me are passive aggressive, nor are they hamsters…
How do you know what you want to do? Does it fall from the sky and smack you in the head? Do you have to go through a near death experience to know what you want to do? Or can you just wake up one day, and swing your feet outta your bed, sit up, yawn, and say ” I know what to do with my life now”
Well, if it was that easy, maybe there wouldn’t be anybody having deep conversations with an aloof cat beside the dumpster.

Hopefully the adult version of me will look back on this while I am sitting in a comfortably furnished loft, (the kind you see in CSI… You know the ones where they find the dead model in the bathtub, only mine would not have a dead model in the bath tub, only a rubber ducky…) then I would laugh at how pathetically stressed I was over something that somehow figured itself out, then go to the nearby Timmy’s and order two lemon and honey teas, tea bag left in, and nod kindly to the scruffy man and his cat sitting outside the door, sit beside him and indulge in conversations only cats could think of.

Ciao

xx