This collecting of books is beneficial - I've been pulling them out when I tutor, and they are a huge hit when I babysit.
Lately my life - like my bookshelves filled with books - has just kind of been in a bit of disarray. While I have so many things that I am ridiculously grateful for, there has been a lot going on with my home life, that is just carrying over into all aspects of my social and work life. While BBMing a friend the other night, I said that I just feel like everything is falling apart - that I have both everything and nothing at the same time. From the outside looking in, I have it all together, when on the inside, for the past few weeks, I have been a mess, a jumble of emotions inside.
So now for the tie-in.
The other night, while babysitting, one of the books I brought was Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Now, I know this is a book for children - I know that. But when I read it (and maybe this is just my super emotional state), I felt like crying, and I felt that it is so much deeper and more powerful than your average book for children.
I won't post the entire book here - but just in case anyone else is in the same boat as me and is just going through some tough times, or anyone who just needs a little encouragement, these are some of the advice that Seuss gives us in Oh, The Places You'll Go. I condensed it as much as I could, but it really is so good that I promise it's worthwhile to read (yes, even though it's a picture book).
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you. You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
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.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!"
I like that this book combines optimism with realism - yeah, sometimes life sucks, sometimes things don't go as planned - but by having faith in yourself and confidence in your abilities, we can all pull through our tough times. I think having an outlet - therapy, nights out with friends, long BBM conversations, TV, working out - all these things can really help us with our struggles and hardships.
I'm always here for you if you need anything.
So, when you get down, or when things are tough at home, work, with friends or relationships - just remember:
Love you all so much - hope you're doing SO well. <3