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  • Jessika Highers

There's No Place Like Home


At the tender age of 3-4 I became obsessed with The Wizard of Oz to the point that I wouldn’t answer to anything but the name Dorothy. Even when offered ice cream, I wouldn’t respond until it was offered to me as Dorothy. I had a dress and a stuffed Toto and the shoes — and no one was going to tell me any differently.

<Begin Scene> One day father (of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept, and in uniform) takes me to the grocery store. As he’s unloading the cart, he hears me chatting up a woman behind us in line. Her: “Well, aren’t you a doll! What’s your name?” Me: “Dorothy.” Dad:Her name is Jessika.” (then to me) “Your name is Jessika.” Me: (not skipping a beat) “My mom is Auntie Em. This is my dad. He’s the scarecrow. We’re off to see The Wizard to get him a brain.” <End Scene>

There are two messages in this anecdote.


One — I have and always will be ridiculous, but unapologetically me.

Two — Why do we let this type of imagination die? Who says we can’t be Dorothy or anything else for that matter?


So, in the words of another favorite movie of mine, I’ll leave you with this:


“When I was a kid, when I was a little boy, I always wanted to be a dinosaur. I wanted to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex more than anything in the world. I made my arms short and I roamed the backyard, I chased the neighborhood cats, I growled and I roared. Everybody knew me and was afraid of me. And one day my dad said, ‘Bobby, you are 17. It's time to throw childish things aside,’ and I said, ‘Okay, Pop.’ But he didn't really say that, he said, ‘Stop being a f***ing dinosaur and get a job.’ [...] The point is don’t lose your dinosaur.” - (bonus points if you can name the movie!)


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