My good friend JW and I were chatting about how much I enjoy watching commencement speeches; they inspire me and remind me that dreams and happiness are not only available to us on certain days of the week but all day every day! She went on to tell me about the great commencement speech John Waters gave to the 2015 graduating class at RISD, Rhode Island School of Design. I knew little of his work, and after watching it did a search and thou his art is not to my taste, his words are.
Here is a man who has kept true to himself despite the critics. In his speech, which is below and I hope you watch, he goes on to share how he is now accepted by society not because he conformed to it but because like all things, it evolved. What a beautiful thing! There is something to be said about bravery in vulnerability and vulnerability in bravery.
It is a tough road to walk when you're true to yourself while others don't see the bigger picture, I believe it is even harder to pretend to be someone you are not, to fit in and never truly know yourself and reach your full happiness potential.
"I didn't change, society did!" - John Waters
For the better, I have experimented with different versions of myself until a good fit click. In everything from music, friendships, jobs, food, and style. Seldom thinking twice about whether it would be my permanent self.
Every now and again I ask myself, "If I could go back in time, would I change anything?". The answer is always no. Naive, wide-eyed, bushy tailed Karen did as she should every time. No to say all the choices were good, but that I accept full responsibility for the decisions I made.
To be frank, I am still wide eyed and bushy tailed thou the naivety has morphed into a solid foundation of experience. I use it as a jump-off point to my next adventure with certainty that my instinct and resourcefulness will lead the way.