When I was in high school, I would volunteer for every extra-curricular or special event that needed planning and organizing. Being that I went to an all girls high school, that was a lot of planning and a lot of events – dances, masses, special brunches and lunches, competitions with other grades and events with the all guys’ school across town.
Over ten years ago, when I sat in a room with my fellow classmates planning our high school graduation, I remember the back and forth when we were trying to pick the perfect graduation song. Our class was very united, not in the way many classes think they are, we were a force to be reckoned with. We’d always come together when their was a competition in the school and defended our four-year title of winning every Penny War, Powder Puff or whatever the competition would be. We also encountered set-backs during our four years in those halls, whether personal ones or as a class. Regardless of what it was, we stood together. This song had to represent all those emotions. We spent hours in that second floor room going back and forth playing songs on our little CD-player radio and each one would get rejected by the group. Finally, one of the girls suggested a song. No one had heard of it. I remember her running downstairs to the parking lot and returning with the CD in hand. We all quietly listened to the song, some of us with tears in our eyes, and unanimously agreed it was the perfect fit. It’s tough for a room of 18-year old girls to come to a unanimous decision with no discussion, but it was truly perfect.
The song captured how we all felt. The safe net our school symbolized for us, the adventure we were all off to – whether new schools or new cities. It mentioned the faith we all had – the faith we were taught and instilled while in those same halls. It described how at home we felt and the fear we were all experiencing quietly. We all knew we were off to an adventure, but we also knew set backs, failures and tough times would be faced before anything could prevail. I’m sure some of us have experienced those times in one way or another in the ten plus years since our graduation. Personally, to this day that song holds a special place in my heart. It wasn’t a popular song then or a one hit wonder, and it isn’t so now. It’s not often played on the radio, but whenever I do hear it, those days of safety, comfort and courage come to mind.
I often find myself listening to that song when I’m faced with a difficult time or need some inspiration, and I hope by sharing it with all of you on my Wise Words Wednesday, you can find the same inspiration in it today as I did over a decade ago. The song’s message is basically not to let anything stand in the way of your dreams, that even with the setbacks, we all have a mission and purpose in life and we must leave our comfort zone and try to make them happen.
As I’ve mentioned from time to time, I’m currently in the middle of launching a new magazine with two other ladies. This magazine will be a parenting magazine for families who also have a child with a unique or special need, as well as a “typically” functioning child. Many times the media forgets about the tough situations families face and make things seem too normal, especially in the parenting magazines. We’re trying to not only educate those with children with unique needs, but also remind others that it’s ok and give them ways to incorporate both worlds into one. Unique Me magazine is at the printing press as we speak! Last week we went to sign the final proof of the complete magazine and give it the green light to get printed. When I was driving around town after that monumental moment for me, this song came on. I was very surprised, as it’s not often played on the radio. I took this as a sign that I’m on the right path, tears flowed and I got chills thinking how this song still speaks to me a decade later. So for my words of wisdom today, I leave you with the lyrics of the song and link to the video if you want to hear it.
You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin’ as it flows
And a dreamer’s just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what’s behind you
And never knowing what’s in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores
And I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I’ll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
‘Til what we put off ’til tomorrow
It has now become today
So don’t you sit upon the shoreline
And say you’re satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance that tide
There’s bound to be rough waters
And I know I’ll tke soome falls
With the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all
Lord, I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
What wise words from the past continue to inspire you or give you hope? What meaningful words have been present through many stages of your life? What words do you often find comfort in? Share them with us, you never know who might need to hear them today.