When did you graduate? You’re probably thinking about when you graduated high school or college when asked that question. If you think about it when you leave school is not the end of your education, it is the beginning. I was thinking about this the other day when reflecting on my career and where I am today. If you look back, I dropped out of school at seventeen, went back when I was forty, and am still learning every day. So looking back I could ask the question, did I graduate at all, at forty,or am I still on the road to graduation. What I have learned is that graduating from school just gives you the basics to go to the next step. Because I left school early and went back later I have never been to a school reunion and often wonder what they might be like. Watching a movie not too long ago there was a scene with a reunion and I wondered how that might go for my class, it won’t!
Now at fifty I feel comfortable enough that if I was in school I would be ready to graduate. You say why fifty? At fifty, I have had a thirty year career working for both large and small companies, I know what I want from my career, I know the lifestyle I want, I know what is really important in life, and I am old enough to know what the future might hold for me. You can’t learn any of that from a class. You can’t read enough fairy tail stories to wonder what life is like in other places. That comes from traveling, keeping up with the news, meeting people of other cultures, experiencing both hardship and friendship, be celebrated and beaten down, then you begin to understand the world. All of that takes time and experience.
I see people that have missed on the many experiences in life that are my age and I feel bad for them. They have worked at one place all their lives, never traveled, spent their hard earned money on frivolous items and have missed some great things life has to offer. Do they feel they are ready to graduate? That would depend on whether they are content with their lives, if so the answer is “yes.” As I watch young people get all dolled up, renting limos, having parties because they have graduated from high school or college, I often say to myself they don’t even know what’s about to hit them? Maybe we should move graduation to fifty? At fifty you get to rent a limo and have a big party for graduating, by then you have a totally different outlook on life and have learned enough to say I am ready to go out into the world. Of course I am still learning so maybe the real word for graduation is “retirement!”
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, and entrepreneur. He is the author of several books named Driven to Drive, Running by the Mile, and How to Start an Artistic Business in 12 Easy Steps. To learn more about Bruce and his work visit his website at www.outridgeenterprises.ca