I am a mother-of-three with two graduating this week.  One from Grade 8 and one from Grade 12.  So, I wanted to write a note to my graduates as they turn the page onto a new chapter.

You never really know how the story will unfold.  No one does.  We didn’t know we’d be living through a pandemic, yet here we are.  You don’t have to know what you want to be.  Just be curious.  Take risks.  Embrace failure as a lesson.  Get up when you fall.

My first boss once told me, “It’s all smoke and mirrors.  Fake it ’till you make it.”  Just be willing to admit you don’t know.  Reach out to those who have done their 10,000 hours in something that interests you and ask them a few questions about the journey.  Never be the smartest person in the room.  If you are, change rooms.

Nothing interesting ever happens in comfort zones.  You must walk through your fear to create new pathways in your brain and find a connection that wasn’t there before.  Take a chance with the path less travelled.

Almost everything I worried about never happened.

Some friendships will remain.  Some will evolve.  Some will end.  You will cross paths with countless new people from many different places.  Ask them about their story.  Learn something you didn’t know before.

If you get a job in an office, consider accepting the desk by the washroom.  Some may not want that spot, but one thing is for sure… people from all levels of the company will pass by your desk many times a day which is a perfect networking opportunity.

When you meet someone new in business, formalize the connection as soon as possible with a text or an email to build that bridge.  You don’t want to reach out for the first time with an ask.

When asked to do something, try and say yes and then figure out how to fly the plane while you are in the air.  It will be a great chance to grow.

Be authentic.  Be yourself.  There is no one like you and that is your power.  This is how you will find your gift.  And once you find it, give it away.  Some find it in their teens.  Some find it in their 80s.  But we can all find it if we listen to that quiet voice inside.

And always be kind.   You can never go wrong being kind.

I am so grateful for all the adventures we have had.  My only hope, my only goal, was to help you have roots and wings.  I hope you know you will soar, and you will always have a soft place to fall with me.

Can’t wait to see how you change the world.