it was senior year. beaumont school for girls, class of 1990. the assignment: for our high school yearbook, we had to submit a quote to go along with our senior picture.
thankfully i opted for a tasteful headshot with a simple black background—no vertical blinds or wicker armchairs for this girl (that was so sophomore year!).
so now all i had to do was come up with a quote.
the pressure was on. for some, the task was a no brainer. "dead poet's society" was the blockbuster movie of the year so "carpe diem" and "seize the day" were the obvious choices. others took the high road: "i wanted to live deep and suck the marrow out of life" a la' Thoreau and the transcendentalists. and still others took the cheesy route. remember that terrible 80s song by timbuk 3? that's right, "the future's so bright (i gotta wear shades)" [insert groan here]
after intense internal debate, and because i waited until the last possible second to submit my quote or forever be remembered for saying [nothing], i decided.
"look at the donut, not the hole."
i was in honors classes, got good grades, and this was the best quote i could come up with? rather than quoting an author, a philosopher, a president or my favorite line from a cure or depeche mode song, i chose a simple kitschy quote to sum up my credo in life.
should i chalk it up as a bif, the result of a bad case of senioritis? or the duress of a looming deadline? it's interesting that even when it think about it today, it still resonates. it's brilliant in its simplicity, direct, a bit unexpected, and all about being optimisic. it's who i am. the same mantra then as now. it was an epiphany.
when you look back at moments in the past that have defined you, it's interesting to reflect on your life's trajectory and see whether the thread continues. can you "connect the dots" or trace them back to a single guiding principle? or has time, experience or maturity changed your outlook?
what would your quote be now? if you've got one, say it out loud...and live by it.