Today my program had an end of the year celebration as a way to say goodbye to the graduating class. It is so hard to believe that I will be graduating in less than a week! I feel like it really hasn't set in with me yet. There is so much I still have to do before I leave and so little time to do it all!
While we were celebrating, I couldn't help but remember a poem I heard a long time ago called, "The Dash" by Linda Ellis. If you are interested in reading it for yourself, you can find it here. In the poem, it talks about how a grave marker will usually only have the date of birth and date of death, but the times that really mattered were during the "dash". As I looked around that table, my path has had so many twists and turns and I have made so many great friends in the process. Although I will never know when my time is up (and I hope it is no time close), I want to ensure my path in life includes some great moments, great friends, and leaves a lasting impact on the lives of others. I know my program director and classmates have left a lasting impact on me.
We had a closing ceremony the other day and I was very surprised to receive a few awards based on the impacts I had made on certain students during my stay here at Western Carolina. One of the students in particular mentioned how he had never had me as a supervisor or a mentor, but he wished he had gotten to know me on a deeper level because he looked up to me as a person and saw me as a role model. Another student recognized me for forming him into the man he is today. Although he didn't see it at first, he now realized I had his best interest in mind and as a result, he has become a better person who is now ready to enter the real world with his head held high.These speeches really took me aback for a while. You never realize how much of an impact you have on someone until they recognize you for it. By no means am I trying to boast about my achievements this year, but take a second and reflect on which individuals have made you who you are today and have placed you on the right path. When was the last time you recognized them for their efforts? As a challenge for the week, try to recognize them!
I found this video earlier today and thought it was a really cool way to remind us to "live our dash". Although I do not plan to create a jar of my own this year, I hope to include more of myself in these videos to dive in deeper to my personal journey and mention the many people who have helped me along the way and have led me to the right path where I belong.