Justin Garrison
December 17, 2018

Here’s to you

Posted on December 17, 2018  •  2 minutes  • 385 words

Here’s to us who moved because we couldn’t afford to stay. Those who were on the receiving end of church meals and charity gifts. The thrift store clearance shoppers.

Here’s to those of us who never had a role model. With moms in rehabs and dads in counseling. With broken families and hidden scars. Constantly let down and habitually in trouble.

Here’s to the necessity of friends. Overstayed welcomes, dinners, and loose change sustained us. We are forever grateful to those who gave without questions or conditions.

With estranged siblings and no hope of escape. Matress on the floor and lucky if we had a door. Relentlessly resistant but knowing nothing else.

You are not alone. You are a lone survivor.

We are here.

We work hard to prove to ourselves we matter. We work hard because we have no choice. We are self-taught, first generation graduators.

We’re not on top, but above all odds.

We don’t know what we want to be, but we know what we don’t.

You are not your past. You have everything to offer because you have nothing to hold back. You belong just as you are.

You find family in unexpected places because you are expected there.

Forgive the mistakes. Distance from the malice. Embrace love. Even if you’re not sure you’ve ever experienced it before.

You matter not because of what you’ve done, but because everyone matters. You can prove that with your actions.

Experience gives you perspective. Learn from the experience of others. Share yours freely, humbly. It’s not weakness. It helps more than you can know.

Together we are strong. Our experiences guide us. We can make a difference when we are different. Without diversity we lose.

Push others to be better. Be patient to let them be themselves. Their contributions are better than your assumptions.

Be humble.

Be kind.

Be love.

To those who don’t identify with this that’s ok. You have different successes, failures, and struggles. That’s good. Please bring them to the table. We need you.

Find where people understand, and be patient with those who don’t. If you’re not accepted move on. You’re too important to be discarded.

Here’s to your journey. Here’s to your happiness. Here’s to what you can give and what others can give to you. Here’s to you.

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