Monday, August 1, 2011

To The Class Of

My AP English teacher, senior year of high school, was a total rock star. After we had taken the AP placement exams (which got me out of one semester of college English... woo hoo) we were deemed with the task of writing a commencement speech. All my 18 year old angst came flooding to the surface, in the most creative way I could think of. Yes, this is written entirely from bits and pieces of song lyrics. Three cheers for unintentional plagerism...
I've got to be honest. I think you know. We're covered in lies and that's OK. There's somewhere beyond this, I know. But I hope I can find the words to say. I'm trying to grow, so before I'm old, I confess. You think I'm strong, but you're wrong. You're wrong. So, how do you like me now? Now that I'm on my way. Do you still think I'm crazy? Standing here today. You can call me a joker. You can call me a fool, but right at this moment, I'm totally cool.
This race is for rats. It can turn you upside down. It's a dream that strings the road with broken glass for us to hold. This destruction leads to a very rough road, but it also breeds creation. I believe it's time for me to fly.
I've been landlocked here for so long, it's high time that I set sail. I was born in this small town, where you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Yet, somehow, I know there's more to life than this. But I can't afford the airfare, so put umbrellas in my drink and I'll waste away in Margaritaville and pray this boat don't sink.
I'm going into the great wide open, under those skies of blue. Out into the great wide open, a rebel without a clue. I'll be running down a dream, that never would come to me. Working on a mystery, going wherever it leads. Living in the real world, whre everything's written in black and white. Living in the real world, where you don't get anything unless you fight.
Now, I understand about indecision, but I don't care if I get behind. People are living in competition and all I want is to have my peace of mind. I'm running out of self-control, getting close to an overload. I'm up against a no win situation. But some will win and some will lose. Some were born to sing the blues. This movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on.
If you're tired of the same old story, turn some pages. We'll be here when you are ready to roll with the changes. But even if you don't go all the way, I know that you'll go far. Just don't be too forceful, or you'll ruin your chances. And keep in mind that patience and elated wisdom don't share a common phrase, and hanging on won't justify the wait. Don't hang on. Nothing last forever but the earth and sky. It slips away and all your money won't another minute buy. But for what it's worth, it was worth all the while.
Do you remember, then, how it was when it all began? I tried all night not to break down and cry as the tears rolled down my face. Where does the time go? Spinning my wheels, standing still. It's like running on ice. Remember the photographs, the ones where we all laugh. We were having the time of our life. Well, thank you, it was a real blast. They call it paradise, I don't know why. You call someplace paradise, kiss it good-bye. Have no regrets. They don't work. No regrets, they only hurt. The road you leave behind is another road you're going to have to come back down. It's just the way this big old world turns round. You'll find out somehow, somewhere, someplace, sometime, you gotta go back down the road you leave behind.
I know that things are going to change. The only thing for certain is that nothing stays the same. But will we think about tomorrow like we think about now? Can we survive out there? Can we make it somehow? Tell me a story where we all change. We'll live our lives together and not estranged. You're going to find out who your true friends are. They'll call you a hero, or a traitor, but you'll find out, that sooner or later, nobody in this world is gonna do it for you. So do what you gotta do. And you'll find that you get what you put in and people get what they deserve. If you want the truth to admit it, you've got to find out for yourself.
There are too many mountains and not enough stairs to climb. Too many churches and not enough truth. Too many people with not enough eyes to see. Too many lives to lead and not enough time. You will come to a place where the only thing you feel are loaded guns in your face and you'll have to deal with pressure. But take it from me, you'll learn more from your accidents than anything that you could ever learn in school. Life's a dance you learn as you go.
What doesn't kill us makes us strong. And nobody ever said that life was going to be fair. You're never going to get anywhere by running scared. And if that's what you have in mind, then that's what you're all about. Good luck moving up, cause I'm moving out.
Your life is now in this undiscovered moment. Lift your head up above the crowd. Because who knows how long this will last. Now that we've come so far, so fast. But somewhere, back there in the dust, that same small town is in each of us. But I still don't know how and I don't know where we are. Yet, someday I'll try again and not pretend. This time forever. Someday, I'll get it straight, but not today.
Just give it your best and don't worry about what some may say. Follow your dreams, it's really all that you can do. So give it your best, and remember that life is what you choose. Follow your dreams and do what you love to do.
But in retrospect, my only words of wisdom are RADIO EDIT.

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