Dr. Seuss and Me

1 Nov

In 2005, when I graduated from high school, I, like millions of other kids, got the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”  It was given to me by my favorite teacher, and she left me an inscription.


Can’t wait to see all of “the places you’ll go!”  You’ll change the world, you’ve already changed mine…Have a great life!


Mrs. Clary xxoo

Upon receipt of this gift, I enthused how much I loved it and gave my teacher a big hug.  Then I, like millions of other kids, packed the book in some random drawer, and forgot about it for the next five years.

Sometime in March, I was digging around in my memory chest (what, you don’t have one?) for an old photo album, and I saw the book.  I had totally forgotten I owned it, and couldn’t remember the story at all.  So I read it, and it made me cry.  I guess I was particularly discouraged that day, and a candy colored book filled with nonsensical words and an A-B-A-B rhyming scheme was the pick-me-up I needed.  The inscription from Mrs. Clary was so nice to see–maybe I’d forgotten my potential, but she didn’t.

I keep “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” on my desk, and I reread it every so often.  I’ve had Hang-ups and Bang-ups.  I’ve been caught in a prickle-ly perch, I’ve lingered at the Waiting Place, and I’ve heard the Hakken-Kraks howl.  But when I hear that 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed that I’ll move mountains, and what’s more, that my own mountain is waiting patiently for me, a high flying Mind-Maker-Upper, how can I stay in a Lurch or a Slump?

I’m sure the rest of us have our little, random pick-me-ups too.  Some of you may like that new Katy Perry song about lighting the fireworks you have in your chest that are brighter than the moon, moon, moon and will make all your adversaries go “Oh! Oh! Oh!” as these fireballs shoot from your heart.  Whatever, I can’t judge.  When it comes to feeling good, you need what you need.  I would be embarrassed that a children’s book is my source of inspiration and motivation, but since it’s written by Dr. “My books are filled with allegories for war and Hitler” Seuss, I feel slightly better about my maturity level.

In case some of you haven’t read it, here’s a little video of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” narrated by John Lithgow for you to watch.  (All the brainsy and footsy people are doing it.)


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