Sometimes the circumstances at hand force us to be braver than we actually are, and so we knock on doors and ask for assistance.
Author Ann Patchett delivered the commencement speech at Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater, in 2006. Her speech was expanded to a book – What Now? Which contains essays on hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another.
If all fairy tales begin “Once upon a time,” then all graduation speeches begin “When I was sitting where you are now.” We may not always say it, at least not in those exact words, but it’s what graduation speakers are thinking. We look out at the sea of you and think, Isn’t there some mistake? I should still be sitting there. I was that young fifteen minutes ago, I was that beautiful and lost. For me this feeling is compounded by the fact that Sarah Lawrence was my own alma mater.