Monday, October 31, 2011

Valedictorian Speech. "Cause I'm as free as a bird now..."

May 20, 2011
Good evening to all of our wonderful families and friends. I can hardly believe that this day is here and that I am up here giving a speech. Graduation has always been a day that I, along with the rest of my class, thought would never, ever come. But now that it is here everything seems to be going much too fast, and I almost wish that it wasn’t. Almost. However the excitement and anticipation that I have about what is ahead of me is much too great to stay here. Tonight is the ending of the life we have known for 13 years. Being seniors, we had finally mastered the art of getting our teachers off subject and putting those worksheets off one more day and that if one person does the study guide, why should anyone else?  We have done little things like this for so long that to know I will never do that again at Douglas High School seems unreal. Tonight though is also the beginning of the rest of our lives. For weeks I have tried to think of the words to say as I stand in front of my class for the last time. I have google’d and youtube’d famous sayings and thoughts until I stumbled upon this one. This quote isn’t something that I ever thought I would use in this speech, but on a night several months ago when my heart was in pieces, a very good friend of mine reminded me of it. Since then I have looked at this quote when I’ve felt like I was so out of control of my life, and it has always made me feel a little better. From the beautiful Marilyn Monroe “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” Throughout our lives we are going to experience things we don’t want to and meet people who are going to leave us, but all of that will just be preparing us for something so much better. We just have to keep a good attitude, push forward and try not to look back.  Our lives can be a very wonderful adventure, if we let them.
There are many people that I need to thank for sticking with me all these years. I would like to thank most importantly The Lord for blessing my life and helping me up until now. My mom and dad for everything they have ever done for me, for listening to me tell about my entire day when I came home from school for the past 13 years, and for letting me buy all the books I have ever wanted. My little brother Blake because I know he has and always will be there for me. My Mimi for always taking me shopping and letting me do whatever I want to 99% of the time. My Granddaddy for being the best there is and for always having food cooked. The rest of my family whom I love dearly and do not want to imagine life without. My beautiful, wonderful friends whom God sent to me. Matt and Andrea Long for letting me live at their house whenever I felt like it. My teachers who have put up with my eccentric ways and always seem to calm me down. Coach Otinger for teaching me how to drive. And Mrs. Erin Huffman for being the mom that I needed at school. There are so many others who I could thank, but you should know who you are.
Tonight will be the last time I will ever be together with my entire class, and I would like all of you to know that I love every one of you oh so terribly much and that this is not an ending but a beginning. To quote Lynyrd Skynyrd “For I must be traveling on now cause there’s too many places that I’ve got to see”. We are the class of 2011…and we are finished. Thank you. 

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