Dear Graduate: A Letter to Rainbow / by Kamie Chang Kahlo

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My Dear Little Rainbow:

You took a different path when finishing your high school years. You enrolled in the local community college estranging yourself from the plastic world of teenagedom and thrusting yourself into the young adult world of collegedom. What happened next was quite remarkable; From failure came success, from humiliation came pride and from isolation came openness. Your graduation and accomplishments are much to be proud of and your very different path is something that I could have predicted being your precocious, ever rebellious aunt. I would like to share a few of your thoughts about the last days of THIS part of a long, strange journey:
... The coming summer is already jam packed with plans for self discovery, hot yoga, vacations, unfinished novels, and unadulterated romances. Plans to move out of my parent’s home has for a long time been my go-to fantasy on sleepless nights and empty days. As I complete my final projects and exams I feel a small amount of weight being lifted from me. I’m beginning to notice what little things I had no time to appreciate as a student. Smells, tastes, and sounds now seem magnified to me. I feel this sense of excitement and empowerment that has laid dormant in me for the past three years. Everything I've done during this time was leading up to this point. I've played with the idea of joining the Peace Corps, with visiting the elephant nature parks in Thailand, moving to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and driving from ruin to ruin on the boarder of South America. Each fantasy was more potent and more inspiring then the next while ultimately I've decided to establish myself somewhere in Portland with a job, an apartment, and a boyfriend. I think I'll let my fantasies turn torpid before I take that terrific leap across oceans and desserts and what not. Graduation takes place on the forth of June, the day after my nineteenth birthday. Hopefully I will acquire some sort of photograph or memento to remember these final days by and how exciting and wonderful they've been despite the problems I've adopted in my personal life.

... I firmly believe that I can have anything that I set my mind to.
I hope these images are just the memento you wished for and I KNOW that you can and will accomplish anything you set your mind to. Congratulations to you my little Rainbow! What comes next is purely up to you.

Your Loving Aunt,
Kamie