This week celebrated what would have been the 111th birthday of the creator of everyone’s favorite top hat wearing cat, Theodor Suess Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss. It was by happy accident that, last night, I picked up a worn out library copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go.
I recall receiving it as a high school graduation gift, but I don’t think I’ve read it since then. And now, with 13 years of practicing this adulthood thing under my belt, it struck me in a way that I couldn’t have imagined then. No doubt I’ll think the same thing when I read through the pages 13 years from now.
It’s been exactly one year this week that I made the decision to change career paths and, by default, life paths. I didn’t know what the destination would be, but for the first time I was willing to take a chance. I was willing to do something that was for me – not because I was supposed to, or because it was expected of me. I was terrified. The world doesn’t revolve around me, of course, but I knew my decision would impact and inconvenience others. People I love and respect.
But – and this has been an evolving realization – I needed to love and respect myself first.
And that is a tough practice, especially when we’re taught to be selfless and do what needs to be done and to suck it up because life isn’t always awesome. That’s all still true. But it also doesn’t have to be so hard. We can be selfless and do what needs to be done without sacrificing ourselves in the process.
But we need to be brave. We need to do what our heart calls us to do, even if we don’t have all the details sorted out. Another challenge. How do we make this change without feeling irresponsible or foolish? Well, I realized that if I was asking myself that question I didn’t really have to worry about it. I had to trust myself, and in doing that trust that the universe would take care of me. It still required effort on my part, but I had to believe that it would be okay. That I would be okay.
And a year later, I am. I’m still cautious, and I still think too much. But I’m also learning to let go. I’m trusting the process, and trusting the fact that I will be able to handle what comes. Even better? That I’ll thrive. I’ll love the journey because I chose it.
Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for the reminder. I’ve got mountains to climb, and a view to savor.