The above quote goes on to say the following:
“Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
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.”
It is scientific fact that Oh, the places you’ll go! (which you can order here) is one of the most important pieces of literature in our millennial lifetimes. It’s been read by pretty much everyone, gifted half-a-zillion times, is so freaking quotable, and it’s perfect. Almost to a fault.
Actually, yes. To a fault.
I love this book. I love how simple it is. I love how simple it’s not. I love how much more it means the older you get and especially now, while we’re in the throes of ages that suggest we’re adults and emotions that feel like the opposite. I know it’s overused, over-referenced, over-quoted; I’d probably groan with you if I was sitting in a graduation and the speaker started reading from this book.
But it’s still a really, really good book.
To a fault.
Because I’m a millennial, I’ve been exposed to this book to the point where it’s become a part of me. It’s seeped through my mind and entered my circular system and now it floats through my veins on a daily basis because that is how the human body works.
(I have med school friends.)
So I have parts of it memorized, not always verbatim, but close to it. Like the quote I referenced above, and that I’m gonna talk about now.
This whole idea of the Waiting Place. A place Dr. Seuss says we don’t want to be. It’s for people who have given up. People who have accepted mediocrity as the status quo. It’s for losers, basically.
People who aren’t like you.
And he must be right. It’s written in one of the most important pieces of literature of our millennial lifetime. And he’s a freaking doctor, after all! Certified in all life matters, pretty much.
So, is it messed up that I kind of think that he’s wrong about this one?
Ok, I won’t say wrong. Misleading, maybe. Unclear. Because I think that the reality is, the older we get, the more and more life does become a waiting game. A patience game. A try-your-ass-off-anyway game, when things seem to stay the same day after day after day.
Because the things we want now don’t come now. The places we see ourselves in the future look different than the spaces we’re sitting in today. And it’s not always as easy as walking down this yellow brick road of hard work and wishes to get yourself there. Sometimes (a lot of times? Most times.) you have no idea how the hell to even start. So many of us want the unconventional. The something more-ness. That thing that fits for us. And it’s not a one-size fits all. It’s not linking arms in a single-file line and skipping all together down the same yellow brick road.
I hear you, Seuss. Don’t sit around waiting. But life takes time.
I think a lot of us are in a waiting place. Part of me thinks that, in some capacity, we’ll always be in a waiting place. Waiting for all those workouts to translate on the scale. Waiting for all those interviews to manifest into the offer of our dreams. Waiting for all those savings to turn into a house. Waiting for our little business to turn into a big one. Waiting for all those dates to turn into the one.
Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re probably in that place. Somehow. In some capacity.
And that’s ok.
I don’t believe that it’s not about waiting, I think it’s about learning how to wait gracefully. Learning how to wait optimistically. Investing in your heart and your mind and your soul while you wait. Keeping hope alive while you wait.
And never, ever stop trying.
Maybe that’s what Dr. Seuss meant but didn’t say: not that we shouldn’t wait, but that we shouldn’t stop trying while we wait. Waiting isn’t the failure – it’s waiting in vain.
But as long as you keep taking action, you’re not. As long as you keep taking steps, you’re not. As long as you’re trying and keep right on smiling, you’re not.
So don’t be ashamed by your waiting place, and don’t you dare get beat by it. Because we’re all there in some way, and we might as well be there together – trying and grinding and maybe even rhyming – if that’s what it takes to get through.
Who knows, it might even make the time go faster.
So here’s to loving while you wait ❤
Pssst! This post contains an affiliate link, which means that – if you order this book here – everything with Amazon stays exact the same for you, and I make a tiny bit off the sale.