I did it, guys! Yesterday, I sat in the bleachers of Yankee Stadium for the first time in twelve plus years when my dad tried to take me to a game and I did not yet understand that I should have appreciated baseball if not for the art of the game than for the hot dogs. I graduated from NYU!
My friend and I were rebels and sat with Tisch, the drama school, because we’re both basically actors anyway, and Tisch had a better view of the ceremony.
And, much to our surprise, halfway through the ceremony, we turned around to spot the one and only Bono! Once I got over the huge fan-girl moment I was having, I realized the significance behind this moment.
Yes, he was sitting there to watch his daughter graduate, but I was sitting there, because, a few years ago, I tied “City of Blinding Lights” into my college essay. I wrote to NYU that some troublesome times writing for my high school newspaper taught me that I had a voice, that my voice had power, and that my voice mattered. I wrote that I knew I needed to polish my writing abilities, but that I knew one day I could make an impact. That I could help someone through my words. I wrote that U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” had always spoken to me in a way that great music always seems to do when we’re young and impressionable and hearing all of these inspirational messages for the first time. And as I sat there, listening to President John Sexton conclude the ceremony, I could not help but to smile, knowing that Bono was smiling just a few feet away from me, and knowing that everything really had come full circle.
I am not the girl I was when I first stepped into Manhattan and called it home. I am stronger, I am wiser. And my voice? Well, it still gets me in trouble from time-to-time. But it matters. And your voice matters. And your life matters. So, do something with it.
The seconds, hours, minutes tick by and we waste so much time worrying about what we could have done differently in the past, worrying about what could have been. I look back, and I know I’ve made a ton of mistakes in this life so far. But I also know that I’ve grown, and that I must’ve done something right to get to where I am today.
So, find that passion. Find your inspiration. Whether it comes to you through the lyrics of a song, a passage in your favorite novel, a quote from your favorite movie or even just from the encouraging look or smile that a loved one gives you. Find your inspiration. And chase after it. I’m so glad I did.
“…Don’t look before you laugh. Look ugly in a photograph.
Flash bulbs, purple irises the camera can’t see.
I’ve seen you walk unafraid. I’ve seen you in the clothes you made.
Can you see the beauty inside of me?…”