Marina Keegan Leaves an Essence
It’s graduation time. May and June are filled with speeches, reflection, and change. Perhaps it fits with the circle of life – the birds are ready to leave the nest? I don’t know. But every year I’m impressed with the thoughtfulness conveyed in the different commencement speeches and the wonderment of the soon to be former students.
The world is ahead of them. They know it. And they terrifyingly own it.
These thoughts are shared by Marina Keegan. Below is an excellent snippet from Song for the Special, a remarkable essay of hers.
Everyone thinks they’re special – my grandma for her Marlboro commercials, my parents for discos and the moon. You can be anything, they tell us. No one else is quite like you. But I searched my name on Facebook and got eight tiny pictures staring back. The Marina Keegans with their little hometowns and relationship statuses. When we die, our gravestones will match. Here Lies Marina Keegan, they will say. Numbers one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
And here is another from The Opposite of Loneliness which she wrote upon graduating.
For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.
Read these two short essays. Read them now.
Marina Keegan imagined the world ahead of her. She wrote of being scared she’d never do anything. The feeling of a life without meaning. Of being scared she has nothing to put on her business card.