I gave the book to my brother the day he graduated from high school. I practiced several different times reading it aloud because I wanted to read it to him after he opened it. As the day approached I decided against it, thinking I would dissolve into tears. But when I gave it to him, still intending not to read it, my sister asked me if I was going to. I said no, but my brother said that I should. So, surrounded by a few of his friends with my brother next to me on the couch, I read it to him aloud, and managed not to lose it. I love this book. I have a copy and it's going to Nicholas, the little boy I nannied for years ago, when he graduates from high school. I'll read it to him too.
"Oh, the places you'll go!" has a matter-of-fact and realistic way of approaching life post-graduation. It starts out by telling the graduate that they're now on their own, and they're the "guy" who'll choose where he'll go. It describes how the person will look for different places to settle down and reminds the graduate he's too good to make bad decisions.
Eventually our graduate in the book decides to leave town and is soon soaring ahead of everyone else until.... POP. The balloon carrying him far ahead of his classmates and friends gets punctured by a branch and he's come to a dead-end (sorry, I saw an opportunity to rhyme and I had to take it). Here is where Suess reminds the confident graduate that sometimes he will fall behind, life will go great until suddenly it's not, others will surpass you and your safety bubble will pop (ok I can't stop it now!)
The bummer continues as Suess says once you fall from your "lurch" you'll most likely be in a "slump." After looking around for a way out the graduate comes to the dreaded "waiting place." Here everyone is just waiting for something; though the somethings vary.
I picked up this book because it's incredibly encouraging. Any time one of those realistic bummer times gets mentioned in "Oh, the places you'll go!" Suess shows that those times don't last forever and the graduate is soon on his way to success again.
I feel like the "waiting place" is where I am right now. I've been there before so you'd think I'd remember I'll soon be out, life has a funny way of going back and forth like that. But waiting is miserable. And I agree with Dr. Suess,
"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."
I know the "waiting place" isn't where I belong and I refuse to be in this place without doing what I can to get out of it. I've had friends tell me that I have a good attitude considering what's been going on this year, but it doesn't mean my thoughts are always so optimistic or positive. My mind goes back and forth just like life goes back and forth. I'm learning a lot this year and I'm very thankful for that, but I'd sure love some things that are important to me to work out you know?
Later in the book after he gets out of his slump, good things start to happen again until the "lonely games" come around:
"All alone! Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good
chance you'll meet things that scare you
right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither
and yon, that can scare you so much
you won't want want to go on."
I love how Suess didn't hold back, because to deny that alone is what we'll be sometimes would be a load of crap lol But seriously, alone is also something I've been a lot lately, whether I like it or not, just like Suess said. It's my truth for right now and it is what it is. I get that life goes back and forth but it's also taught me that hope isn't always the best route. Hope has taught me that realism is better and to do what you can do on your end but that's all you can do because you can't control your circumstances or how others feel about you. I don't particularly enjoy cynicism, but having great expectations can also be extremely dangerous. Over the last few years I've been trying to find the in between, a place where I don't lose sight of my dreams but where I recognize that life goes back and forth, it isn't consistent. My only choice is to figure out what I believe and stick to those standards when life's inconsistencies arise once again.
And will I succeed?
According to the good Dr.: "Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)"