Big Sis is in sixth grade, for just over a week now. And I've been tempted to post something to the effect of middle school:emotion::Pope:Catholic. Because, wow. Maybe it's just, as a BFF calls it, Transition Sickness. But there's been a lot of turmoil, sobbing, exhaustion, nostalgia for the easier times of childhood, and, as it turns out, reflection.
Tonight, Big Sis busted out a soliloquy that I urged her to write down. Because she's so right on, and she has managed, through her tiredness and tears, to focus on some big themes. Her ideas resonated, because just last week I exhorted a group of seniors to think of college:life::wedding:marriage. College isn't what you've spent 18 years preparing for; it's not the be all, end all. Life is what you've spent 18 years preparing for, and you're actually living it NOW.
It took me 43 years to figure this stuff out, but Big Sis has some wisdom as a newly minted sixth grader (and I copy her text here with her permission):
OK, Here it goes. I have just begun middle school, and lately we have been given a few talks. During each one I am thinking. We're hearing that middle school is all about preparing, preparing, preparing for life. But really it's not just preparing. It's all an experience. You're not just learning to learn, you're learning for your own good. You're living RIGHT NOW.
You can't always be living in the future, because it's like we are only preparing for the life ahead of us, which makes us a big stress case. Just go with the flow and relax and just think about how you're doing right now. Because otherwise all you're doing is waiting. All waiting will do is discourage you. You're not always preparing if you're having a great experience living in the now.
Of course it's alright to have your mind set on a certain career. But think of other things you might enjoy as well. For example, I love soccer, and would like to pursue my dream, but I can't put all my eggs in one basket. I also love to read and would love to become an author as well.
Not every stage in life is preparation for the next stage. If we act like that, when will it stop? The problem is, it won't. We will keep living like this and it will never end.
So, what I am humbly saying is that we, (especially us kids) need to think about life differently. School, in particular. We all need to think of it like an experience.