It was nearing the end of September, right before our week of Fall Break, and I should have just settled
for Robert Frost
[“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”]
or Marilyn Monroe
[“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”].
And I should have stopped rummaging through the archives of BrainyQuote and instead studied for the impending tests or started/finished the essays that always seemed to plummet furiously onto my agenda right before the nine-day break could begin.
But the last day to submit a senior quote for the yearbook was also Friday. And I was too excited about all things senior/all things implying leaving high school and beginning college to let just any words appear next to my senior portrait. I wanted to say what I meant and mean what I said.
So with that mentality and a character limit, I read quote upon quote, turning down some great ones by authors with weird instances in their Wikipedia bios (did I want to quote an old skeez?) and turning away from some of my favorite people who just weren’t exactly yearbook quoteable (Who run the world, girls. Right?).
After an unhealthy amount of hours on BrainyQuote I started to google things I liked. The search finally ended with the keyword:
Not the rocky, sparkly kind. Even though these people do rock and sparkle. Here’s what I meant by diamonds:
They’re the group of people I danced with, every day, all the time. They saw me at my happiest, covered in rhinestoned costumes and too much hairspray, and at my saddest, sweaty and faceplanted on the marley after a switch-arabesque leap gone wrong.
I was amongst “acres of diamonds” before I knew it was an incredible speech by Russell Conwell referenced in a quote by Earl Nightingale.
“You are, at this moment, standing, right in the middle of your own ‘acres of diamonds.'”
My senior quote.
It represented who I was both literally and figuratively, and it met the requirement of “if I say this out loud do I have to make an effort to make it sound cliche and preachy.”
I had no idea that stumbling upon this quote would affect my life so profoundly.
Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds” speech advises the audience to take a look around themselves before deciding to move on to the “bigger and better,” something that I needed to be reminded of as I anxiously awaited the day that I could escape my favorite educational facility – the one surrounded simultaneously by too much traffic and hilly pastures of cows.
Conwell wanted to remind people that diamonds, bits of opportunity and success, were hidden in the crevices of familiar surroundings, and gathering them took only the effort of wanting the find them.
Since finding this quote and speech, I’ve tried to make it a point to always see opportunity in everything. To walk through every door, just to see where it goes. Because you never know what’s around you if you don’t take a look.
There are multiple avenues to success. Success is relevant. And so long as you walk through a door, you’re succeeding.
Creating this blog was stepping through a door for me. I hope to document all the doors I step through, all the diamonds I come across. The diamonds in Tuscaloosa. In Atlanta. In Acworth or Birhmingham or the southeast or the United States or the world.
After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.