Thank You, Odyssey, For Being My Defining Moment

Thank You, Odyssey, For Being My Defining Moment

Being an EIC wasn’t my defining moment, clicking that submit button two years ago, though, was my defining moment.
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In our lives, we have defining moments. These moments look different from person to person but, nonetheless, they exist. Sometimes, we don’t realize what these moments are until hours, days, weeks, months or even years after they happen.

For me, my defining moment happened two years ago.

Two years ago, I found Odyssey and shortly thereafter, I randomly decided to submit an application as an overzealous freshman who wanted to be published as much as possible. I remember being overjoyed when I was going to be screened by a Managing Editor at Odyssey’s headquarters. I was thrilled when I was offered a spot on the team.

I advanced from being a creator to a Contributing Editor and then an Editor-in-Chief, launching my own community, Aspiring Journalism Professionals. I thought I would be an EIC until I graduated, but, sometimes, our plans don’t work out the way we thought they would.

A few months ago, I was offered an internship position with the company, and it has been the best part of my Odyssey experience to date. Constantly being surrounded and supported by so many full-time employees even when I work remotely is such a rarity, and I’m so grateful it’s a rarity I get to experience.

I have been given an amazing opportunity that I want to take full advantage of, and, in order to do that, it meant walking away from being an EIC and passing that opportunity onto the next person in line who deserves to have her defining moment.

See, what I got wrong about being an EIC is that I thought I was defined by my role, when, in fact, I wasn’t. I thought that being an EIC was my defining moment, and if I stepped out of that role — I questioned who I would be.

Being an EIC wasn’t my defining moment, clicking that submit button two years ago, though, was.

Being an EIC wasn’t the end for me — even though I thought it was. It was part of a larger defining moment in my life that shaped me to be who I am.

It was one role that taught me I wanted to not only be an EIC, but I wanted to coach EICs. I wanted to help people find their voice and amplify it on a national scale. I guess you could say I wanted to help others find their defining moment through the company that gave me mine.

So often we judge ourselves not on where we have come from, but how far we have yet to go. As I step out of one role and fully immerse myself in another, I’m learning how truly wrong that is.

If you would have told me two years ago that I would be in this position I probably would have laughed at you because let’s be honest, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

There’s so much more out there that I cannot wait to accomplish, but I also recognize how much I have accomplished. That’s something to be proud of, and I didn’t realize it until now.

I can’t move on to the next phase of my defining moment if I keep holding on to the last one inhibiting someone else from getting her defining moment.

So, maybe our defining moments aren’t moments at all.

Maybe they’re a string of events. Either way, I know Odyssey is my defining moment, and while tears have been shed making this decision — I’m beyond excited for my future with this company and all that my future and defining moment has to hold.

Cover Image Credit: Stephanie Ginzburg

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...

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Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.

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Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.

Signed,

The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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