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From Mother’s Day to Memorial Day, to Graduation and Prom, May is full of special occasions worthy of celebration. When we gather to celebrate, we pay homage to the hard work we have put into achieving a specific goal. We allow ourselves the opportunity to let go and congratulate ourselves on a job well done. Often times we look for the very large accomplishments in life–graduating high school or college, starting a new job, reaching certain health goals. A common misconception is that only these big life–changing events are celebration-worthy. In a world where the little things are often taken for granted, it is necessary that we embrace our small achievements and celebrate those victories on our way to a much larger success.

Sometimes it can be difficult to claim a victory, especially when we view the accomplishment as small. I can admit that there are times when I am slow to claim a victory. As imperfect beings, always striving for perfection, we tend not to see the greatness in the things we do. It’s only when we take a step back to look at our journey with fresh eyes–or through the eyes of someone else–that we begin to accept our greatness with open arms. How many times has someone else sung your praises long before you ever allowed yourself to do the same? Guilty as charged!

Think about a college student preparing for graduation. This student has put in countless hours of class time, has studied relentlessly, and made tremendous sacrifices in order to reach a specific goal. After putting forth so much time and effort, the graduate may not be able to see that their great journey started with the simple decision to complete the college application. While the completion of the college application may not seem like such a big deal, realize that it was the FIRST STEP in that college graduate’s endeavor towards educational greatness and the FIRST STEP toward that college degree. It counts. It means something, especially since many people never make it that far into the higher learning process.

If you have just graduated from college, recognize that great accomplishment. Give yourself that congratulatory pat on the back, do your “happy-dance”. If you’re not there yet, maybe you’ve just sent off your college applications, celebrate that moment. Celebrate the victory of taking a first step whether your first step is completing a college application, sending your resume to a prospective employer, or walking that first mile on the treadmill. Realize that every motion forward brings you one step closer to your goal and that those steps are worthy of celebration. Years from now when you have received your diploma, your career is blooming, or you are living a healthier life, you will look back on your first step, that seemingly small moment in time, and realize just how big it always was.

This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please contact The Stone Foundation by clicking here, or by phone at 410-296-2004.


Melissa Brooks-Cuffee holds two Bachelors degrees from Towson University: one in Psychology, the other in English. She is a member of the Psi Chi and Lambda Iota Tau honor fraternities, and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Baltimore. Melissa has assumed various administrative roles within the healthcare and mental healthcare field and maintains the positions of Administrative Assistant and Scheduling Coordinator at The Stone Foundation.


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