The grass is always greener until you learn it’s full of thistles

Published 9:00 am Friday, June 11, 2021

It’s that time of year again. High schools all over the area are holding their annual graduations. As I was reading about these graduations and looking at all the pictures in the paper, I suddenly realized that it has been 35 years since my own graduation.

Suddenly I felt very old. Before I began to read I felt fine. Now, all of sudden I felt a sudden need to get out my walker and start driving 25 miles per hour everywhere I go.

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I began to think back on those golden years of high school and my own graduation in 1986. You know those years when dinosaurs roamed the earth and before the internet was a thing.

I can remember those days so clearly. I felt as if I was on top of the world. I was finally done with school and now I just had to sit back and wait for the line of people begging to hire me and pay me insane amounts of money to do nothing. Maybe that was a lesson I should have been taught somewhere in high school. I would have gladly traded those wasted hours learning algebra in order to learn a lesson of how to get a job.

Those illusions disappeared faster than chocolate bars at a Weight Watchers meeting and I found myself working for minimum wage as I began to learn what life was really about. It would take several years before I realized the value of a college education and finally found my niche.

As I think about all the new high school graduates out there with their innocent wide-eyed dreams of the world, I am reminded of a cat I used to have.

Molly was a house cat that was raised inside the house. Even though she had everything she could possibly want or need in the house, she still dreamed of the day she could go outside.

That opportunity came one day as I was painting the window pane and I opened up the bedroom window to avoid getting paint on the glass. Molly sat in the bedroom watching every move I made.

I realized that I needed more paint so I walked away from the window for a minute. It was then that Molly saw her opportunity to make her dream come true.

I was only a few feet away and watched as she jumped up on the window frame and stuck her head outside as if she was breathing fresh air for the first time. She looked both ways and put her fear behind her and made a jump for it.

She flew through the air feeling free as a bird. The wind was against her face and for a brief moment the world was at her feet. Then she landed in an area of thistles and reality sat in. She realized, now that she was actually outside, that the world was a big scary place and she just stood there paralyzed in fear.

I went over and picked her up and placed her back inside the house. She must have wondered why she wanted out so badly. She had it made in the house.

I imagine so many high school graduates will feel the same now as Molly did that day. If you’re lucky, you will have someone pick you up out of the thistles and put you back in the house until you get everything figured out.

The years since high school have flown by but I’m still young right? I must go now. I have to go get more Geritol.