My favorite shots from my best friend’s college graduation last weekend. I was convinced it was Hogwarts in disguise, but this shot was actually from a torch light ceremony. To me, (the torch) was a representation of trials, tribulations, standards, limits, and boundaries that bind our desires, dreams, and aspirations (the flame/fire). Once reaching the end of the walk (life’s goals/journeys), the graduates proceeded to toss their torch into what became an overwhelming flame that burned immensely into the night. Emotions exuded from students, teachers, family, and friends the feelings of relief, pride, tears of joy, and anxiety towards what the future beholds. For me personally, I doted, dwelled, and captured the essence of this brief momental clarity in full manifestation. Take all of the problems that we face and the things thrown in our lives as a deterrent, things that are unplanned and appear at what seems the most inconvenient of times. No matter what they may be or the degree of severity, we all share the common bond of being faced with these obstacles and adversities and accept them as a part of life. I’ve always said the true meaning of strength is not mere brute force but the power to overcome, learn, and conquer the trials you face. The tenure of one’s strength is measured and judged after seeing what obstacle has been prevailed. At this time I greeted my best friend at the end of her march, fire ablaze, surrounded by family and fellow classmates. At this time her mother hugged me with tears in her eyes and said “Thank you, I know she couldn’t have done it without you.” I find this intriguing and a tad confusing at first because I feel that I didn’t do anything at all. I even told Toni (my best friend) that she wasn’t walking for herself but for her mother, father, siblings, and me too. Especially myself, due to my tumultuous ways and absences in my teenage years; I barely graduated high school and have never even been to a graduation let alone walk across a stage. Nevertheless, in all of my feelings of academic inadequacy I managed to find a slice of humble pie and accept my subtle subconscious contributions. More importantly, I realized that what I was able to pass on to Toni was the same thing I received and felt watching her march during this ceremony. Some may refer to it as strength, others as perseverance. In this instance, I’ll just use the “fire”. Regardless of the word used, the will and ability to rise, chase, and attain the goals you’ve set for yourself is a gem of unfathomable depths for a lonely hand. Through our sibling like support system, we both help each other come closer to grasping our manifestations of what we call dreams. So perhaps even with my doubts, I’ve helped my best friend more than what I think and vice versa. With all being said, consider this reflection of my experience and thank you note to my best friend Toni. For others who may read this I’ll say this. Whatever facet of life you come from and wherever the path you walk may take you; Continue to grow in life as you stride on a path towards your goals. Know that anything that may appear to be or pose as a threat to beset you and your path is a mere illusion that manifests itself ONLY if you allow it. Harness the strength and perseverance that gives you drive, create your own will, and embrace the “fire” within you. For by doing so you better yourself, friends, family, and ascend towards self preservation, your goals, and supreme inner peace.
“Dedicated to my best friend Toni “S-Class” Benjamin, the Graduating Classes of 2013 and so on, and to all in pursuit of their dreams”
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