Dorothy Goes Back to Oz

We are all pretty familiar with the story of Dorothy lost in Oz desperately searching to find her way home, adjacent to strange acquaintances being forced to overcome perilous fears and a wicked witch all at the hands of a bogus wizard. What if I told you “The Wizard of Oz” is based on one book in a series entitled “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” In the series, despite the unpleasant circumstances Dorothy goes back to Oz on multiple accounts.

Nipsey Russell as The Tin Man, Diana Ross as Dorothy, and Michael Jackson as The Scarecrow in “The Wiz”

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home. If so then why does she go back to Oz? Unless Oz granted some kind of epiphany or grand awakening, maybe Dorothy realized that she stood to gain more in her discomfort than in the realms of her familiarity. There is no place like home could be better read as there is no place like your comfort zone and although terrifying, once escaped it becomes a thrilling joy-ride that won’t have you so apt to click your heels and beg for home.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

-Anais Nin

I am a firm believer that to arrive at a metaphor is to arrive at a deeper understanding of something. I say this to say that Oz metaphorically speaking is the personification of everything that exists outside of your comfort zone. I can relate to Dorothy, and her penchant for returning to Oz, despite the apparent discomfort of this strange place, it held vasts treasures that were able to add wealth to her experience. This hits home for me as I move into the new year as last year found me stepping outside of my comfort zone and making decisions that challenged my belief systems to the core. My metaphorical Oz was the decision to step away from drinking and embrace a plant-based (vegan) diet. It may not sound like much, but these decisions would ultimately change my perspective on life and have a profound impact on my social infrastructure. As an introvert who often struggles with anxiety, drinking was a buffer I would use it to smooth out my social interactions. Saying no to drinking felt like social suicide, I was worried about my relationships, and the people with whom I ate and drank. I all to often wondered what would become of us? How was I supposed to be charming and fun without my “Gummi Berri Juice” to help get me over that hump?

Ted Ross as The Cowardly Lion, Richard Pryor as The Wizard of Oz, and Michael Jackson as The Scarecrow in “The Wiz”

In truth, my relationships did change, and they were going to change because I had changed. I also came to recognize that alcohol couldn’t give me something that I didn’t already have, I just had to take a different route.
Over the months that I ate plant-based and nutritiously avoiding alcohol, I saw my productivity sky-rocket, and my creativity started coming back in spades. A fog was lifted and my new found clarity saw me remembering my love of art. I committed myself to be an artist willing to do anything that would nurture my creative process.

“Remember that you came here realizing the necessity of struggling only with yourself and thank anyone who helps you engage in this struggle.

-George Ivanovich Gurdnjieff

I would eventually find myself back in the comfort of drinking and not following a plant-based diet primarily out convenience. Although it is comfortable, fun and familiar, I don’t believe it is in service to the destiny I intend to manifest. 2019 finds me happier in the places that scare me, and I’m packing my bags and headed back to Oz, with renewed focus and of my own free will. We only have one life to live, and even if reincarnation is real, I will never get to be the person that I am today again. I owe it to myself and my creativity to continually challenge myself in new ways. I don’t know what parts of your life represent your metaphorical Oz, but fret and fear not, be brave enough to follow your heart on the path to your true desires because yes, there is no place like home, but we all know home is where the heart is.

Lena Horne as Glinda in “The Wiz”

My gift is my word and this word is for you.



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