The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive. Brain Pickings
On May 20, 1990, Bill Watterson, creator of the beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, took the podium at Kenyon College the same stage David Foster Wallace would occupy 15 years later to deliver his memorable commencement address and gave the graduating class a gift of equally remarkable insight and impact, which remains among the greatest commencement addresses of all time.
Watterson begins the speech by articulating the same sentiment at the heart of the most unforgettable commencement addresses: the notion that not-knowing is not only a part of the journey, but an integral part:
I have a recurring dream about Kenyon. In it, Im walking to the post office on the way to my first class at the start of the school year. Suddenly it occurs to me that I dont have my schedule memorized, and Im not sure which classes Im taking, or where exactly Im supposed to be going. As I walk up the steps to the postoffice, I realize I dont have my box key, and in fact, I cant remember what my box number is. Im certain that everyone I know has written me a letter, but I cant get them. I get more flustered and annoyed by the minute. I head back to Middle Path, racking my brains and asking myself, How many more years until I graduate?
Wait, didnt I graduate already?? How old AM I? Then I wake up.
Experience is food for the brain. And four years at Kenyon is a rich meal. I suppose it should be no surprise that your brains will probably burp up Kenyon for a long time. And I think the reason I keep having the dream is because its central image is a metaphor for a good part of life: that is, not knowing where youre going or what youre doing.
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