Add another one of those moments to the list, because I've been asked by Fanshawe College to deliver a speech to the students in its IT program at this spring's graduation ceremony.
It's humbling to be asked, because speaking to graduating students as they get ready to close off one chapter and begin another - probably the most significant life-related inflection point any of them has had up until that point - is an incalculably huge honour, and I'm already feeling the responsibility of ensuring every single word I say resonates with them. Lots of weight there.
Graduation speeches have long been powerful venues for established leaders - captains of industry like Steve Jobs, world leaders like Bill Clinton, even entertainment figures as diverse as Robert DeNiro and Jim Carrey - and I often find myself studying their narratives for clues to inform my own writing and speaking.
Some of their best quotations come from these speeches, and I feel the need to ensure my own words measure up. So I've been waking up at 2 a.m. most nights, my mind racing with ideas about what will stick in their minds most profoundly. I grab my smartphone and jam my ideas in before they're lost to time, then drift back to sleep for a bit. Sometimes my scribblings make sense in the brightening light of morning, and sometimes not.
But come June 18th, I'll have between 5 and 7 minutes to chat with a few hundred folks whose lives are about to take them on adventures that not so long ago awaited me as I nervously fidgeted with my own graduation cap and gown. And I hope I can come up with the right words.
In a word, surreal. More to come...