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Being Lily

kcweiler20's picture

This summer, I worked as a nanny for two little girls - one 16 months old, one almost four - and would use reading to keep them occupied. A dedicated employee of the children's section my local library, and a lover of literature myself, I brought new books every day I looked after them. The older of the two took a particular liking to one of my favorite children's books, Dallas Clayton's Lily the Unicorn. After about a month of reading the picture book aloud to the little girl, I realized something incredibly important about myself and my own philosophies. Lily spends the entirety of the book attempting to cheer up a rather pessimistic Roger the penguin. She introduces wacky things for them to do, lovely gifts to give, and adventures to embark on. She tirelessly toils until Roger sees the metaphorical glass as half full, and the world as an inviting, freeing place. While the girl liked the colorful illustrations and out-there ideas, I began to focus on another aspect of the book. I found Lily's outlook idyllic, but somehow familiar. Where could this familiarity have come from? Lily was optimistic, non-judgemental, zealous, and unwavering in her ways. This brought me back to the college application process of my senior year, which I had long worked to block out of my memory; I was remembered of one of my favorite high school teachers, and what she had asked me to do before she wrote me a recomendation. I had to tell her three adjectives that would collectively describe myself, and I decided on the description of passionate, diligent, and spunky. These adjectives reminded me of Lily, and I realized that I had been bringing this character's ideals to life without even realizing throughout my life. I love to smile, and I would do anything to better others' day. I have my bad days as well, but nothing makes me happier than when I make someone else smile or laugh, whether it be through my speech, my writing, my face, or the fact that I always act as if I have just had a vat of Dunkin'. Thus, for my avatar, I shall give you my spirit animal, Lily the unicorn. I know I can make a fool of myself while attempting to cheer someone else up or give them a positive outlook, but it is always worth it. I am happiest when those around me are happy, and if being a watercolor unicorn is what it takes to get there, so be it.