Tuesday, May 22, 2012

“Congratulations, you’re on your own.”

Those were the first words my father said to me when I graduated college.

He claims he never said them, but they’re not a combination of words you quickly forget.

And before you go thinking That Dad Guy is a jerk, let me tell you, it was the absolute best thing he could have said. Even better than all of the words of advice and inspiration and storytelling delivered to the graduating class from on high during the commencement address.

Because what he said was perfect because what he said was right.

I was on my own. I just hadn’t realized it yet.

Like many college students, I still thought of my parent’s home as my home. The place I would always return to over long breaks and short holidays.

No longer.

Also, in a way, I still craved my parent’s approval and sought their advice and turned to them in times of uncertainty.

No longer.

Of course, my father and my mother and my family would still support me. And my friends, too. And, if it came to it, I could surely move back home, if that’s what I decided.

But by telling me that I was on my own, he made me realize that I was ready to be on my own.

And that’s a milestone truly worthy of congratulations.