Remember Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz? Of course you do. She was the one in that blue dress and white pinafore and had that cute little dog that escaped capture by that horrid Miss Gultch by jumping out of the basket on the back of her bicycle. Then, both Dorothy and her dog landed most unexpectedly and unceremoniously one day in the Land of Oz…and that’s where Dorothy’s real problems began.

Dorothy wanted to go home–to Kansas–but she didn’t have the slightest clue about how to do that or even in which direction Kansas was from Oz. Come to think of it, she didn’t even know what Oz was or that she was in it at first, but once she found that out it didn’t help much because she’d never even heard of the place. Dorothy was in a tough situation without many apparent alternatives. So she did what she could-she took the one option available to her-and that’s how she got going down that yellow brick road. She hoped it would lead to Kansas…she had no idea it would be such a circuitous route.

I feel like I am caught up in the same syndrome as Dorothy–I know where I want to go, but I’m not quite sure how to get there. It has occurred to me many times in my adult years that the story The Wizard of Oz is really an analogy for life-everyone’s life, not the least of all mine.

So, here we are–I say ‘we’ because I’m assuming I’m not alone in this situation. We find ourselves in uncharted territory and all we know is that we want to get somewhere where we’re not. It could be in a new career, it could be in a particular school, it could be in a new or changed relationship, it could be at a new level in our profession. It could be many different things, not only in a new physical location-but it could be that too, come to think of it. But here we are-we know where we want to be, or at least we think we do, and we may have no clue about how to get there.

‘Look for the Yellow Brick Road,’ might be one piece of advice. Then remember all of the things that happened to Dorothy along that road-and all of the characters that she met–and all of the ordeals she endured. So even if we start out along a path, perhaps the message is that we can’t expect it to be direct or easy. It sure wasn’t in Dorothy’s case.

With all of the distractions along the way, think how easy it would have been for Dorothy to have been sidetracked altogether. Luckily she had her newfound friends that had goals of their own to pursue, but the key for all of them seemed to be in getting to Oz and finding the all-powerful wizard. That’s what I keep thinking: I need-a wizard.

So, what finally happens? Dorothy and Company finally find their way–against all odds–to the famed Emerald City, and what happens next?? They get into that darn field of poppies–and as sweet smelling as it is, it nearly does them in–and just when they were getting so close!!

So of course more trials and tribulations ensue but eventually, having overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, they eventually get to meet the Wizard himself.

Everyone trembles and shakes in his presence, even as he grants their wishes. The tin man gets his heart, the lion gets his courage, the scarecrow gets his brain, and then it’s Dorothy’s turn. Now all she wants–has ever wanted–is to go home to Kansas.

So what does she finally find out? That all she has to do is click her heels together three times and repeat “There’s no place like home.” So simple. And she had had that power all this time–and didn’t know it. Granted, she had to get those pesky ruby slippers first, but even once she got them she didn’t know what to do with them until she was told.

But you know what the clincher is?? (And I think this is the best part.) The Wizard was an imposter! After all of that, it was, in the end, an IMPOSTER wizard who supposedly had the key to that for which Dorothy had chased all over Oz. Imagine that. And to top it all off, in the end the wizard didn’t have the key at all–it was Glenda, the Good Witch of the North–you know, the one who always arrived via that bubble.

So, now when in the continued search for that ever elusive wizard that I somehow think MUST be out there, the one that will tell me WHAT it is I am supposed to be doing to get to where I’m going, I tell myself two things. It’s simpler than you think and it’s right there in front of you even if you can’t see it. So, knowing that, I then say to the universe, “Send in the Wizard! Even an imposter will do!”…or better yet, “Send a ‘good witch’ in a bubble!”

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