Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day Five: Favorite Quote

When I was in high school I took a creative writing course. I loved writing and the class was taught by my favorite teacher so it seemed like a great fit. What I didn't realize was that we were going to be required to share our stories with others in the class. Instant discomfort. "DeMo" was a popular teacher and the class was pretty eclectic. Sure there were kids in the class who loved to write like I did; there were also some random popular kids who had taken the class for their own unfathomable reasons. I had a really hard time sharing my writing and it was pretty obvious that I held back--especially to the teacher who had already seen some of my work.

It was sometime during that semester that I fell in love with quotations. I'm not sure how it started but I would pour through quote books. My notebooks were covered in motivational and inspirational words expressed by people of all walks of life. I started coming into my creative writing course and writing a "Quote of the Day" on the board. It was just for fun and we were a goofy bunch. It quickly became my one real contribution to the class. It just worked for me at the time.

But. At the end of the semester DeMo gave out "awards" for the class. You know, those certificates that teachers hand out on the last day and they are supposed to say something specific about each student? Well, I got "The Plagiarism Award." Sigh.

It's not as bad as it sounds, though. DeMo wrote a couple paragraphs for each of us and read them aloud to the class. In mine he talks about how enjoyable the quotes were but that he hopes one day I will find the confidence to share my own voice. It was a spot on observation by a man who greatly cares for his students. (I had an independent study in creative writing with him the next semester during which I was able to be much more forthcoming.)

This is something that I have struggled with my whole life: trusting people with the me that I am on the inside. I give people a shell and then, when it's rejected, I have an excuse. "Well, they don't know the real me anyway." Not the most sophisticated self defense mechanism, but it is effective.

All this brings me to the quote that hits me most right now:

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

~ Anais Nin ~

And that is what I am feeling now. I feel a desire to share who I am that I have never felt before. It has become more lonely inside my heart than it could ever be painful on the outside. So I'm stepping out. This is my current mantra.

Do you have a personal mantra or a quote that speaks to you? Whose words do you find most inspiring? Why?


  1. i think it is awesome that people can write and make it sound fabulous. i sometimes wish i had that. shoot i wish i could just speak most of the time because i never feel like i have anything to say.

    i love these 30 days. i love quotes too but i havent read any in a long time.

  2. One Day at A Time. It reminds me to very much live in the present. I have a tendency to get wrapped up in what has happened or what is going to happen and I miss out on the great things that are happening now. It also helps me when I am going through a rough time to remember I don't have to know all the answers right now. I just have to make it through today and then I can worry about tomorrow when I get there.

  3. Wow. Just wow. I love this one. I love the quote as well. I actually keep a "quote journal." It's a really pretty blank book that I purchased and whenever something strikes me, be it a song lyric or some line in a book or movie, or something just said to me I will write it down. I think your quote will go in that book now. Thanks for sharing it!

    I think you should definitely try to put yourself out there. If people don't like you for who you are inside the shell...forget them! They don't count and don't deserve you! You may find that people love you even more if you give them something more than the surface. :-)



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