All You Need is Gumption

I can’t say they didn’t warn me. When I took the job, my boss talked a lot about the “ebb and flow” of putting out a publication. And I knew what exactly what she was talking about. Why, as the editor-in-chief of my yearbook, I’d done ebb-and-flow like it was my job.

Except it wasn’t. And now it is.

And I’d gotten pretty used to the flow— or maybe it was the ebb?— of the we-just-mailed-a-magazine times. You know, it was all laid back and relaxed and, “Let’s go for cupcakes!” And then I got called back to the office one day, and I came out with a list of paragraphs to construct and people to phone. I had to raid the supply cabinet for 43 different colored highlights so I could enact the 2011 color-coding system. And call me crazy, but as I got sucked into the ebb— the flow?— I figured out for the 65747th time that I, um, kind of love it. As if you didn’t know.

Nonetheless, it was all so new. I can only imagine that my coworkers have stopped being surprised that I have on my I-haven’t-a-clue-what-I’m-doing face, cleverly disguised as my Don’t-worry-I’ve-got-this face. Fake it till you make it, baby. But yesterday was deadline day. Yesterday I made another trip back to the office and sat down as my boss took her red pen and nodded and checked things off and smiled and then she said, “You’re good to go.” You’re good.

I’ve got so much to learn; I’ve learned so much.

I learned, first and foremost, that people are people. They make mistakes. They forget to return your calls. They ignore your emails. You keep calling. You send another one. You write about them anyway. You do this because you are a person. Because you make mistakes. Because you forget to insert en dashes and because you didn’t call your dad back. Because someone’s gotta write. I’d like it to be me.

What? That seemed appropriate.

I learned that questions aren’t indicative of weakness, but rather of dedication. No matter what they ask, they say, “I want to get it right. My heart is in this, you know.”

I learned that sometimes it’s best to let it wait until tomorrow, and sometimes it’s best to, well, just do it. Then it’s done. And you did it.

I learned that everyone needs a, “You’re doing a great job, rock star! Keep doing what you’re doing, cupcake!” Even when you think they already know.

Go call your mom. Just do it.

I learned that you don’t have to be the best you’ll ever be today. Why, there’s a tomorrow and a 10-years-down-the-road for that. Just try.

I learned that according to the AP Stylebook, TV isn’t punctuated. Let me know what life lessons you can derive from that.

I learned you fail. And I learned that all of those get-back-into-the-saddle quotes are true. There’s always gonna be another mountain magazine issue. Get over it, already. Your best friend is tired of hearing about it. So is your mom. So is your dentist and the guy who sprays for bugs.

I don’t know much, but I know a lot more than I did two months ago. I don’t always get it right— my car is 7,000 miles past due for an oil change. (Don’t kill me, dad.) I forgot to call my dad back. (I’m afraid he’s going to kill me.) And cheese and rice, I forgot to insert smart quotes. Again.

Yet, I’m better than I was. And I’ll be better still tomorrow or next week or in ten years. I’ll ebb, I’ll flow. I’ll learn.

I’ll get my oil changed, and I’ll be good to go. Take that, deadline day!


4 thoughts on “All You Need is Gumption

  1. yay lindsey!! I’m so proud of you. I’m so glad you love what you’re doing even though it’s hard. ❤

    so much of this made me laugh. 🙂 i love your writing.

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