Elmo or Oscar? You Choose.

There are tons of things we don’t get to choose in life – family, race, the country you’re born in, genetics, and many of life’s circumstances. All that being said, we always get to choose who we are.

For 29 years of my life, I didn’t know this. I thought I was completely stuck with what the world handed to me.  I was trapped in a small space and covered in rotting banana peels and other garbage.

I was Oscar The Grouch.

Woe is me!

I hid myself away in a garbage can and grumbled and grouched about everything that was wrong with the world. On rare occasion when I ventured out of my self imposed garbage can my eyebrow were pulled down and my arms were crossed; I had to protect myself from the world.

Then an Elmo would come bounding and bubbling into my grouchy path and annoy the heck out of me.

No one can possibly be this perky or happy...or can they?

Secretly I wanted to be them, free and full of laughter,  but it seemed impossible. I just didn’t understand how they could take the garbage of life and still laugh and live a life so full of joy. I told myself it was fake and that I was being real and they were not, that the garbage can is the only place a real person can live.

Oddly enough both Elmo and Oscar are monsters, they live on the same street, and have had the same hand in life dealt to them.

Who you choose to be and what you do with the garbage of life can bring joyful laughter or surly grumblings.

Choose to be YOU, just the way you have been made to be, and don’t wallow in the garbage of life. You don’t have to go through life with a rotting banana peel on your head. You can get out of the garbage can. Will you?

I still find myself in the garbage can wallowing in sadness and dissatisfaction more often than I would like to admit. Learning to live a fulfilled life takes growing some muscles so that you can hoist yourself out of that darned garbage can when you find yourself there again.

So how do you get out of the garbage can?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Set goals. Big, hairy, scary goals that hide in the recess of your heart. Then tell someone, anyone. I remember telling the salesclerk at a grocery store my dreams before I told anyone else. There is something freeing and empowering about voicing your dreams out loud.
  • Be disciplined in what you tell yourself about yourself. Positive and good words bring about fantastic results. When you catch your reflection, pause and find something fabulous about yourself. Look yourself straight in the eye and tell yourself the fabulous truth and do not be apologetic about it.
  • Be honest about your garbage with someone else. It feels amazing to have someone else hear all about your horrible garbage and then say, “Oh…that’s just a rotting banana peel. Here, let me take that off your head for you.”
  • Journal regularly. Complain, grouch, blather on and on in a book. Dump your heart out on a blank page and then read it and see what’s there. You’ll be surprised at the gems you find among the rubbish.
  • Investigate who you’ve been made to be. Guess what? You’re rather interesting! What do you like to do? What do you hate to do? What makes you wish you could be more Elmo-esque? When are you on top of the world and when do you want to pull the covers over your head and make the day go away? Get curious!
  • Be gentle with yourself when you fail. Sometimes when you take the rotting banana peel off your head you can slip on it with your next step. Just get up, step over it, and realize its merely a banana peel, nothing more.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you….you may just find yourself training for a bodybuilding competition and loving every second of it! At least that is one of the many fabulous things that happened to me after I got out of the garbage can.

Elmo or Oscar?

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  2. Well … I do kind of get sick of Elmo after hearing Isabelle listen to him sing for hours and hours and hours on end .. 😉

  3. I love this post! I’m an Oscar more than I’d like to be! I need to work on that!

  4. I’m Captain Vegetable, but I married Oscar. I’ll tell you a secret, Oscar is prickly on the outside, but a soft squishy Elmo on the inside! Oscar just needs more hugs!

  5. Great post! I agree, you can choose what “monster” you want to be. The happiest people aren’t the ones who have not had problems, because we’ve all had them. The happiest people are the ones that have chosen to overcome their situations and choose their attitudes. Here’s to more Elmo’s in the world. There are way too many Oscar’s out there;)

  6. I try to be Elmo as much as I can but Oscar does come out occasionally! I hate him and try to stuff him back in his garbage can =)

  7. Elmo, for sure. However there are days where I rant dramatically like Miss Piggy. And when I sing I sound like Kermit the Frog.

  8. Fabulous Post. Some real writing and some real digging. I love it!

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