For the princess in all of us, Happy graduation Nebraska MFA

hh 003 Ireland was peaceful

I like how at the Nebraska MFA graduation the students all dress up. They become a prince, a princess for their special day. I like that. Dressing up is one of the ways we humans make a point that a day matters to us. That a moment matters to us. We pause; we change clothes, and we celebrate.

When I was a girl, one of my favorite stories was The Little Princess followed by The Secret Garden. I liked the idea of The Little Princess very much because the little girl in the story is very poor and lives in an attic. She has to work hard and do cleaning and wear raggedy clothes. Just like me as a little girl! Yes, she was the story of my life. Up to a point. The point was that she turns out to be actually a very rich little girl who was deeply loved by her father. This part did not happen to me. She is discovered to be actually the heiress to the diamond mines. That glitter of diamonds created carriages and horses, dresses and all kinds of fancy stuff. People start treat her like she’s nice, like she’s special and all because as it turns out, she is a princess.

Now we raise kids telling them again and again how special they are. We tell them are beautiful, they are loved, they are a princess. But then they come in touch with the “real world,” with counselors and teachers, coaches and bosses, they may feel that they are not a princess. Let’s pause there for a moment. What we really want is to be special.

We imagine that if we were a princess, nobody would ever be mean to us again. Little hint here, as best you can, choose people in your life who are kind people. Marry someone kind. Be kind to your children and don’t ditch them. When the going gets tough, stay with being a parent, hang in there, and they will hopefully be kind to you.

When we walk into a room, people would say, Here she comes! Hint here. Don’t wait for others. Just say to yourself, “I’m here. Let’s get this party started.”

Note to self.

Don’t worry about what people think of you.

Do your work. Your creative work. Your life work. My work is being a friend, a mother, an editor, a writer, a teacher, not in that order. But, whatever you’re doing, do it well.

Compassion and integrity.

If you want to feel like a princess sometime, just dress up and be it. You always were a princess if you want to be one.

And now, graduation is about to start, so let’s get this party started.

Published in: on July 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Kate just read your blog I didn’t realize I was sitting by such an interesting person on the plane! It was nice to meet you, hope to possibly run into you again in the future.

  2. Exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you for a wise, succinct and … special entry.

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