Post written by Laura Cococcia. You can follow Laura on Twitter.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been going through a Dr. Seuss phase. I bought this recently for a friend’s niece who is graduating from college. I also gave Dr. Seuss favorites Hop on Pop and Are You My Mother? to my parents last Christmas.
But my favorite Dr. Seuss is undoubtedly Oh, The Places You’ll Go!. I’m guessing some of you also have a story about the book. It’s the one everyone receives when they graduate from university or high school.
I have six copies on my book shelf. Six.
As with all Dr. Seuss books, it’s written with humor and rhyme and elements of truth. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! provides inspiration for aspirations, particularly for those need it. Like those who graduated with a degree in basket weaving.
Thinking back…where did I end up going after graduation? I wanted to change the world, so I was a full-time volunteer in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Chicago. Having no money, I then went back and lived with my parents for a while (awesome). Then, I worked for the Girl Scouts as a marketing director – and yes, I had to wear an adult Girl Scout uniform once a month to the office.
Now I’m here in NYC, writing to you. I could write you a long list of events that fill in the gap between the Girl Scouts and now – or tell you the story instead (which I prefer). But I’ll save that for another time. And no, none of it was how I planned, but the whole journey was – and is – simply awesome.
It’s inevitable that the journey changes, new ideas are born within us over the years – we might meander a bit or change our planned path.
Oh the places we go.
But Oh, The Places You’ll Go! is not just for the graduate. Here’s a little excerpt to brighten your day if you don’t have one of your six copies handy. And no matter what sidewalk or crossroads I happen to be on or at, I always think these words make sense.
And that’s why I love Dr. Seuss.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Congratulations! 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 any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Think about what you were planning to do / see / be after high school or college. Was your journey that “plan” or did you take a different path? Are you the person with the degree in basket weaving who climbed the corporate ladder? No matter what it is, we’d love to hear your story.
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