“1994 will be the most exciting year of your life” said the brochure, in large bold block letters, and a chill ran from the base of my spine.
The most exciting year of my life? Was exciting a good thing, or could it mean disaster? What did this mean for the rest of my life? Was I consigned to 40 years of misery, mediocrity and disappointment? Was this the sign I had been waiting for, that burnout had finally arrived, that my hopes and dreams were just that, dreams, and my lifelong plans would never come to fruition?
It was an advertisement for a CD-based encyclopedia, a rather good one, but mundane after the threatening envelope. The product came, the product went, and not too much was made of it, but that horrible prophesy stayed with me the entire year, and several of the following years. Was 1994 the most exciting year of my life? Had I hit the peak? Was it all downhill from here?
Naah. Life has continued its up-and-down, good-and-bad cycle as it always does. 1994, it turns out, was an exciting year, but just one of many.
But it will be a long time before I forgive that advertising hack for trying to curse my life.