I grew up following my mom around the house with a mountain of books and reading to her every chance I got…which was ALL the time considering she worked from home. My book collection was the equivalent of what a public library would have, but I always seemed to pick the same five books to read. One of which was Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go…one of Mom’s favorites as well! While she listened to every book I read there was something special about this book that wasn’t evident until recently.
The theme is simple; it talks about the journey of life and its challenges. However, I can only imagine the feeling a mother has as they listen to their child read this book…anticipating their child’s future, how their child will change the world and the uncertainties their child will face along the way, all while having this deep, yet simple book narrated by an innocent, optimistic, worry-free, five-year-old.
Now fast forward 16 years and that future is today, the opportunity to impact the world is here and that mountain of books I once read is now a mountain of uncertainties. For 21 years, I followed a set and simple path…go to school and get an education! That’s ALL I’ve known.
I knew if I performed well by the tests I took, the papers I turned in and the report cards my parents had to sign. There was a set measurement of success and each accomplishment advanced me to the next grade, next school and eventually my next “home away from home” …college!
Now post-graduation, there are no grades to motivate me to perform well, I have to find my own motivation and what excites me, there are no advisors telling me to sign up for five specific classes, only mentors offering me advice that I can take or leave and there is no way for my parents to track my progress, only the trust they have in me that I’m working towards my future!
Don’t get me wrong this is all wonderful and what’s supposed to happen when you become a college graduate, but it’s interesting when all sudden you become that funny looking person wearing a yellow onesie and a yellow hat to compliment and realize “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who will decide where to go.”
But not to worry Dr. Seuss didn’t steer us wrong and there is a lot of truth in this witty rhyme. I would encourage anyone in college, nearing graduation or recently graduated and feeling the pressure of this grown-up thing to not overthink it, grab a cup of coffee (just don’t make it black because we’re not that grown up) and pull Oh, The Places You’ll Go off your Mom’s bookshelf and prepare to be inspired!
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!