Monday, March 8, 2010

Whindingdilly moments...

My favorite book when I was a kid was The Whingdingdilly, by Bill Peet. In fact, before I left for college, I absconded my parent’s copy and I have kept it all these years. When I was working with college students, I used the book in a leadership presentation. Recently I read it to my boys and was again, reminded of its important message.

In the book, Scamp, a typically happy, carefree farm dog had become a bit glum. He was tired of being a dog and wanted to be a beautiful show horse, like the one on a nearby farm. After getting upset with his owner after being called a “silly ole dog”, Scamp ran away. He ran into a forest where he met a witch. The witch, of course psychic, knew that Scamp wanted to become a horse. Instead, she offered to turn the dog in to something better… “A marvelous magnificent something, I call a whingdingdilly.” Scamp excitedly agreed, and the witch did her magic…Scamp became a unique being – a conglomeration of various animal parts, and his new life began. The story goes into the various mishaps and craziness that Scamp experiences as the Whindingdilly. He finds that his dreams of being admired and fantastic, was not as wonderful as he expected. Finally, he is turned back into a farm dog, and he is overjoyed to be himself again.

As I read this book, again for the umpteenth billionth time, I could really relate to Scamp. Throughout my adult life, I have tried on various different “Me-s” – I found pieces of me here and there. Some pieces easily fit, and other times I would try to force an elephant ear onto my rhino face. I have dreamed many different lives, and some dreams became a reality, and others I had to let go. Like Scamp, I have wanted to be someone I am not, I have admired some people to the point of envy, and I have paid the cost of not being true to myself. As I get older, I am finding that I am more and more comfortable in my own skin. And, at times, am able to love myself and be myself – with no apologies. But I am sure I will have more whindingdilly moments. But, that is ok! …Because every one of those moments bring more Scamp moments and teaches me how to be a more authentic me.

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