“Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low? Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know.”
I’m an enneagram One.
If you don’t know what that means, Ones are perfectionists with extreme attention to detail and a critical mind. Everything must be done without flaw before we hit the sheets and prepare for the long list of grueling tasks for the next day.
Being editor of the Optimist ruined me as a One, but I loved every second of it.
Whether it was my unwillingness to delegate a task or going through each page and check each comma, every headline, all of the body copy and every single detail, I’d stay up most nights (mornings) in an attempt to make sure everything was as perfect as it could be.
Ones typically find their identity in the fulfillment of completing a task perfectly, and I started off the year strong, putting the wrong date (day AND year) on the first issue of the semester. What a success story, right?
I have a lot to thank the Optimist (and university) for. A lot. During my time with the Optimist, I’ve gotten to travel to so many states, win a few awards, cover events most students dream of and grow a family for four years.
But the lesson I appreciate most has to be learning that it’s OK to fail, that my identity isn’t in what mistakes were printed for the whole campus to see…forever, but rather the 200 stories and tens of thousands of photos I took over the course of my time with the Optimist.
Who I am isn’t found in the tears I shed sitting in my office shedding tears by myself for the 13th straight hour, it’s found in the laughs I shared with my best friends, my family, who sat with me for the ten hours prior to.
For four years, I got to live and breathe news. For four years, I got to build lifelong relationships, including the person who would walk next to me through every single failure in every single year.
Maxiumus Prime (or Maxie P, or salmon shorts, take your pick…), I can’t thank you enough for encouraging me when life got “ugly.” I can’t thank you enough for reminding me how worthy I am even when I fail.
We got to experience some incredible things together. From late night Sonic runs after soccer games during sophomore year to trivia night in Jacksonville before the big basketball game as seniors, we’re wrapping up a truly unique time.
But we also got to experience some rough things together – mostly my weekly, on-cue Thursday tears.
I can confidently say there is no other best friend duo that matches ours. Of all people on campus, your friendship was the most consistent reminder of God’s grace, and that was exactly what I needed. Every day.
The hardest part of being editor was remembering that I am worthy – no matter how many mistakes or how many successes, no matter how many times I fall short, I am so much more.
As I listen to You Say by Lauren Daigle, I’m absolutely sure it was written for the Ones in the room. Even when we fail, the only thing that matters is who we are in Christ.
Through this long, grueling, difficult, life-sucking, 52-week process, getting to learn the growth in failure has by far been the best part. I wouldn’t trade this experience nor these people for the world. Thanks for letting me be perfectly imperfect.
“Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet, You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory.”