One of my favorite authors growing up as a kid was Dr. Seuss. I remember my mother reading me just about every Seuss book she could get her hands on. Seeing all the amazing illustrations as she slowly turned the pages; the Cat in a Hat balancing a fish-bowl on a cane, the Lorax preaching from his stump, and the Grinch growing his heart three sizes…in one day, no less! I was totally immersed in the rich and vibrant world that was created from the mind of Dr. Seuss. How he put his imagination on paper through words, colors, and characters, inviting all of us to come inside…if we were willing.
As I grew up, the one book I found myself pulling from the bookshelf, whether at a quaint book store, a bustling Barnes and Noble, or in my own kids’ bedroom (of course we have a house copy) was “The Places You’ll Go.” Whether reading it with my kids, or just thumbing through to a favorite drawing or sentence during a tough day, looking for a bit of inspiration, I was always amazed that I could catch something different each time I ‘visited’. A different piece of wisdom, a different vantage point—similar to the way a painting or old favorite movie that you’ve seen a gazillion times seems to hit you differently at different times in your life.
Then there was “the waiting place.” God, I didn’t want to be in there as a kid. Who would? I remember the drawings being a bit darker, as if inked with regret. This always evoked a feeling of being ‘stuck’ in my own self-doubts and insecurities. The good Doctor made sure not to leave us there long, though. His words, “…and somehow you will get out…” allowed us all to exhale. Gave us a sense of relief knowing that whatever the obstacle, well…it was temporary. Our difficult situations and our uncomfortable emotions around them were not permanent. The twists, turns and the speed bumps of life are all real, but the assurance that Dr. Seuss gave was, and still is, priceless.
I believe each and every one of us are capable of finding our way out of our own waiting places. Capable of developing our own mental tools, ladders, and “what’s its” to help us move through our own muddy, boot filled, leg heavy doubts, fears, and sticky, stucky emotional trip-ups. Sometimes with more grit than grace, but whatever the problem before us, the solution can always be found within us. I believe this. I have faith in this…and think of all the places you’ll go!