“Are You My Me?”

What’s your favorite quote, and why? (A plinky topic)

“Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because the people that matter don’t mind, and the people that mind don’t matter”
-Dr. Seuss

When I was little, I read Dr Seuss’s books over and over and over again. My first day in elementary school I had a very hard time with understanding the library system. I couldn’t find any book. And I was really embarrassed by the fact that every other first grader could navigate the entire catalog of swirling authors and topics. Some kids had Clifford, some were reading from the American Girl collection. There were kids reading about Submarines and Alligators. I really liked the pick-up-every-book-until-you-found-one-you-liked method I had learned from years and years of Garage Sailing with my dad. Everyone started leaving the library that day. They had all been in school for a few weeks and had it all figured out. I found a poster I regonized and grabbed the first book I saw underneath it. Dr. Seuss’s Are You My Mother?

In the book, a bird hatches from it’s egg. He runs around The Creation looking for his Mother. And he asks all these different people: “Are you my mother?” “Are YOU my mother?” “Are YOU my MOTHER?” “ARE YOU MY MOTHER?” “ARE YOU MY MOTHER!?” I always felt bad for the bird, because he didn’t know where he belonged. He couldn’t live with the turtles or the monkeys or anybody, because he was a bird. And he knew he belonged some place. He just couldn’t find it.

I started to do something similar in the library. Every week I got two books. The first was always Are You My Mother? the second was just a random book I picked up and thought “Are YOU my book?” Pretty soon I picked up on what authors I liked, what kind of books I liked, how to use the computer and eventually  became one of the most well read kids around.

Spending so much time with that book was a much bigger thing than you might think. Even though I was young, that book helped me to figure out who I was. I don’t think you ever really “find” yourself. You more of find things things that are not yourself. And the little bird never says “You can be my mother, because you’re right here. Because you’re convenient. Because people will like me. because it will make my life easier.” Nope. That little bird found HIS mother. His REAL mother. And I always looked at myself kind of like that. I wanted to be the real thing.

I like this quote for lots of reasons. One of them is that Dr Seuss had such a big impact on me as a kid. He’s my definite hero (as some of you have heard about:) I like this quote because it pertains to me. I never did like worrying what people thought about me. Half the arguments between my Mom and I are because I want to leave the house looking like a circus clown. Maybe I’ve got some part of my brain missing or something. I just like looking like I’m ridiculous. (Partially because I AM ridiculous-why would I try to lie to people with my clothes?).

The people that are bothered by me doing the things I do have always hurt my feelings. But not because of what they thought. Because of what they say. Or what they do. About being bothered. By me.

I like this quote because it’s true. You can’t please everyone, so why not please yourself and please the people that care about you, too. The people that don’t care about you or are bothered by you can reap more benefit from your true self then from something pretend anyway.

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One thought on ““Are You My Me?”

  1. Dr. Seuss is right, the people who matter won’t mind, the people who mind don’t matter.
    The bottom line, and it took me many years to realize it, and many more to fully accept it, is that people who truly love you are going to love and accept you with all your bumps and bruises. Even now, I’ve been known to say something like “well, this is how i’m going to be and you people will just have to love me through it. or go away, your choice” My true friends and loved ones sometimes shake their heads in disbelief, but they just love me through it and it’s all fine in the end.

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