Our Story: Graduation Day

I love a good love story. And that’s why I love nothing better than having a couple sit on my couch and tell me how their love story began. That simple question, “What’s your story?” brings smiles like no other as, in a split second, moments of their relationship pass by their eyes. The feeling of butterflies, the first kiss, the moment he knew she was the one. Hearing a couple tell their story tells you so much about who they are. So Ryan and I wanted to share our story too. From first crush to first day as Mr. & Mrs.

Part 1: When Boy Meets Girl
Part 2: Code Words & Crushes
Part 3: Class Rings & Field Trips
Part 4: A Christmas Gift
Part 5: The First Date Mistake
Part 6: Graduation Day
Part 7: Student IDs, Scantrons, & Schedules
Part 8: A Month Apart
Part 9: A Proposal
Part 10: I Now Pronounce You... Not Compatible
Part 11: Commencement
Part 12: A Lumpy Blue Couch
Part 13: Our Wedding Day


Graduation day was like a dream. We had all spent many study hall periods imagining this moment. And now it was here. The eleven graduates lined up in their gowns, guys in royal blue and girls in white, and waited for pomp and circumstance to play.

My stomach was tight, because I knew what would come in the ceremony… my speech.

The auditorium was filled with people and I hoped I had written a good speech, that I would be able to deliver it well, and that people would laugh at my attempt at jokes. When my best friend (and class president) began her speech, the knot got a little tighter.

In my ‘how to write a good graduation speech’ research, I had somehow missed the part where you traditionally open by greeting everyone: faculty, friends and family, and the graduating class. Instead I was jumping right in. So jump I did. And at the end of my speech, I spoke to each of my classmates in turn, saying something that I would miss about them. One classmate’s daily sports recap and statistics. Another’s love of ketchup on everything. And at the end, I looked right at Ryan and said “I’m not going to miss you, because I don’t think you’re going anywhere.”

I meant to imply that Ryan and I would be attending the same college in the fall, while the rest of us were scattering to many different schools, but I think the words had formed themselves perfectly, even if my shy heart wasn’t ready to admit it. 

I’m sure there were many in the crowd who were surprised by my words. How can someone just days past her 18th birthday know what she wants in life? I’m sure those same people would be appalled that Ryan and I took some of our senior photos together, walking hand in hand along the beach. And while we weren’t ready to make any life-long promises to each other (and goodness knows our parents weren’t ready for that either!), we had a lot of confidence in what we had.

Because when you find someone whose heart echoes yours, you hold onto them.