Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Life
Tags: , , ,

My little brother who is eleven years younger than me is graduating next weekend–which is crazy. The little turd who used to bite people so hard he’d draw blood is–GRADUATING. It also means I’ve been out of high for ELEVEN years. When did THAT happen?!?!

How many of you remember your high school graduation? Like REALLY remember it? I remember our powder blue gowns (they seemed like a good idea at the time). I remember my mom’s foot being broken, and I remember getting the academic medallion for keeping above a 3.75 GPA (I don’t know what happened either).

I LOVED high school–if everyone could have MY high school experience–I don’t know that we’d have dropouts. Seriously. So naturally I cried that day–but one of the things I remember the most is giving a speech with one of my best friends centered around the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Looking back on that started me thinking–how often do the plans we make at 16, 17, 18 years old–really pan out? Are the places we WANT to go–really the places we end up?

I left high school on an academic “scholarship” to a small, private school. Scholarship is in quotes because my “scholarship” covered $12,000 of my $26,000 tuition. Woohoo. I went as an accounting major, but that lasted a semester. I switched to English for about two days–then landed on fitness management. Around the same time, I unknowingly ended up residing in a house that drugs were moving in and out of–and just like that, it was time to get the hell out of dodge. I went home with my head down and my tail between my legs. I’m fairly certain when Dr. Seuss said, “You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away,” he wasn’t referring to a drug house.

So off to a state school I went and 3 1/2 years later (I was on the five year plan–step off) I graduated–for the second time in my life–and this time I was off to Memphis, Tennessee for a job. I didn’t know a single soul there and most people (parents included) thought I was delusional. End up though, Memphis was one of the “Great Places” good ole Dr. Seuss talks about–two of the greatest years of my life. Now I’m closer to home and I see my family often. I have great friends and a good job–and by most standards I’m successful, but more importantly I’m rich. I dont’ mean rich in the “I have a ridiculous amount of money and can buy anything” sense. My life is rich with love, kindness, laughter, and generosity.

I don’t think the Great Places Dr. Seuss talks about are necessarily actual places–I think they’re stages in our lives. Either way–not all the places I’ve been have been great, or even good. But he warned us that hangups can happen and when they do we end up in a slump, and “un-slumping yourself isn’t easily done.” We do it though. “Somehow we escape all that waiting and staying–we find the bright places where boom bands are playing.

Just remember this:

“You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

Dr. Seuss had it right. We CAN move mountains.

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So get on your way!

  1. wmarsau says:

    Great blog. I agree that Dr. Suess is probably talking about stages in our lives.

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