“I couldn’t do what you do.” The woman is smiling at me as I gather up my papers to leave her office. I just grin back at her, for I’ve heard that comment several times this week. I’m not sure what it is about an editor’s job that makes us seem special. People have commented that they couldn’t sit reading documents for hours on end or wondered how I know grammar so well to be able to correct what I do read. But in most of the cases when people have made the comment to me that they wouldn’t want my job… well, I wouldn’t want their job either.
We all have our own skills and abilities, a unique place that God has given us to serve. And it’s a good thing, too, as the world would be a boring place if we were all editors, or mechanics, or teachers.
I didn’t know, when I was growing up reading voraciously anything that I could get my hands on, that I could turn that into a career. I didn’t know, when my English curriculum was pounding grammar rules into my head year after year after year until I could do them in my sleep, that that also would become my career. I didn’t know, when I signed up to be the editor of a student newspaper because I figured it fit with my writing abilities, what I was getting myself into.
And yet all of those shaped me, developed my skills and talents, and brought me to where I am today. It’s a fascinating journey, this discovering where we fit in, where we can use our passions and abilities. My twin brother took years to begin pursuing his skills as a mechanic, and my other brother is still figuring out where his abilities fit. I’ve watched my husband change his educational plans three times as he figured out what he wants to do. Now I love listening to his stories about student teaching, because he’s so good at it.
I recently met a couple friends for lunch. Two years ago, we all graduated with English degrees and were planning to head on to master’s degrees. Now, one of them is working on cruise ships and doing her education degree while the other is studying for LSATs and applying for law. They laughed that I was the only one who had stuck to the goals we had back at graduation. Yet I applaud them for being willing to change their plans, to reconsider their goals and abilities and what they want to do, and go with the change.
So maybe you couldn’t do what I do… but I probably couldn’t do what you do either. And that’s okay. Because we each fill a need, and however we got to where we are, we’re here now, using the abilities and talents we have in a way that only we can.