Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh, The Places You'll Go.

In case you guys have missed me incessantly talking about it, I am an elementary education major. I am also apparently part hoarder, because I collect childrens books like they are going out of style. We have tubs of books for my future classroom in the storage room in our basement, and that is in addition to the three FULL (as in, they are all literally shoved in there so perfectly that they will not budge) shelves in my wardrobe.

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

Currently listening to: Muse - Feeling Good.


Em said...

Aww this is one of the best things I have ever read! Dr. Seuss can cure anyone's problems. And I so know what you mean about book hoarding, it seems like the one thing I can't get rid of! But you gotta love them! I know whenever it's a special holiday or a birthday for the kids I babysit I get them books and they seem to love it so can never have too many books.

Thank you for the lovely comment and YES! You need to see 127 Hours it's such a great story and movie and having James Franco as the leading man doesn't hurt either. Oh and to add to you post I so just bought Between a Rock and a Hard Place, the novel of what happened in 127 Hours!

Okay I'll leave now..but not before adding I think you stole my Ipod because I not only have all your songs on your playlist but adore them!

Lindsay said...

I LOVE this book. It's one of my favorites.

I hope things turn around for you dear. If you ever need anyone to talk to I'm here for you!

MizzJ said...

I'm a firm believer that just b/c a book is written for children, that doesn't mean it doesn't have great lessons to learn and things to say. This book seems like it's totally full of wisdom we could use at any age!

Hope things settle down for you soon. Drama is never fun!

Claire said...

I think I could be in love with you for posting this!
I have been in need of 'unslumping' myself this week.
Heres to happy times..and no I don't get monday off but its ok i'll survive, with Dr Seuss's help! xx

HiFashion said...

Sorry to hear that you feel like a mess! It happens to all of us every now and then.
And sounds like a great book. Definitely encouraging and helppful.

I'm here if you ever need anything as well!

Olive said...

I'm so glad you shared this :). You can't always underestimate children's books, some of them, like this one, can be really powerful. If I ever have a kid, they're reading this, and any other good books like this I can get my hands on :P. Great post, and I hope you're feeling cheered up, you're awesome girl :)

Much love,

Anait said...

Life's most important lessons are also the most simple....and often captured in Dr. Seuss books...that was his genius.

Sometimes I also feel like I have everything and nothing, at the same time. Especially now that I'm in a transition period, living with my parents.

But don't forget all the little things, and keep striving towards your goals. You WILL get is as much about the journey as it is about the destination :)

Jenni said...

How is it that I've NEVER read this book?!?! Reading this totally just gave me goosebumps throughout the entire thing!! Love it love LOVE IT!!! What a wonderful message.

Allison, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you. You are just such a positive and kind person, and there are so few like you. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know you these past few months. I love stopping by your space on the web, and I appreciate your comments on my own blog immensely. Have yourself a perfect and lovely new week, darling friend!

Lee Oliveira said...

Shack it off girl..! Mess happens to all of us sometimes..
Go out and dance, its a great medice for the soul
Lee x

Kristin said...

I received that book for my high school graduation. I still love it many moons later! I hope you're doing ok!

Couture Carrie said...

Darling, I can totally empathize with your plight. I love your optimism! This book is perfection.


P.S. Thanks for your sweet congratulatory words today :)

la petite fashionista said...

Love that book & how it doesn't just depict things as all sunshine and roses! blogging is such a great support system! i feel you, i really do! so many exciting things going on, yet so much that's a hot mess! best of luck w/ everything allison!

Lani said...

I love this book. At my college graduation, they read excerpts from this book. And whenever I'm feeling like I'm in that "waiting room" I remember "Oh the places you'll go." It's a real pick me upper. I forgot how I stumbled on to your blog, but I'm rally glad I did...and was smart enough to bookmark it. =)

amy b.s. said...

i was given this book when i graduated from high-school and then again when i graduated from college. and even though i now have 2 copies, they still speak to me from different times in my life. and even now. just a great reminder that it's all going to work out.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Seriously got goosebumps. I read a lot as a child but I don't remember many Dr. Seuss books. This is fantastic. I feel like going out and buying it just so I can read it whenever I have a tough day.

I ma SO thanksful for you. You have been an amazing friend over these past weeks. Sucks that it took shitty situations for us to bond, but hey we're now great friends. Screw the distance, I still am happy to have you in my life.

GREAT post!

yiqin; said...

great post :D

Elisa said...

wow, to be a children's book, it's very thought provoking! Allison, you always come across a very amazing person, seeing the positive side of a situation. I admire you! I will have to find this book, because I would love to read it to Beli and as a reminder that she if off to Great Places!

(as always thank you for your encouraging comments)

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

I've been behing on blogging but so glad to see posts from you in my Reader! First of all, love this book! Second of all, I hope things are going okay...shoot me an email if you need anything!! xoxo!

Elisa said...

tomorrow (March 2nd) is Dr. Seuss bday, 107 years!

Nicole Linette said...

I cannot express how deliriously happy this makes me, and it gives me those good chills. I read this before I graduated because I was going to write an essay for a scholarship (didn't happen, haha), but it's just an amazing book. I need to get ahold of my own copy.

Miss you!
♥ nicole.

Jenna said...

This book is incredible... I received it as a graduation gift last year and after the wealth of love and support I got on the day of my party, I sat in bed and bawled, reading it over and over again. It's so inspirational. The best part? This whole ending:

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!"


Go move mountains. Life is beautiful, and it's waiting to unfold for you... you just have to make it happen. ;) Sending love.

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