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.