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Editing My Life

editingThere are times when I think back to the person I used to be, and I realize I wouldn’t like her.

Scratch that.

I probably would have liked the REAL person I used to be. What I wouldn’t like is how she presented herself to the rest of the world.

What I needed was an editor:  someone who adjusted my words (and actions) so they took into account the perspective of others and helped me better explain where I was really coming from.

Take, for example my test taking experiences as a teenager.

I’d take a test then complain to everyone around me that I had failed. When I’d get back a 94 or a 96 out of 100, the other students would groan,roll their eyes and show their basic irritation that I had lied about failing.What they didn’t understanding was that I hadn’t lied. To me, any score less than perfect was a failure. I hated falling short.

What I didn’t get was that some students really failed – even when they did their best.

If I’d had an editor, he/she would have told me that failure really is a relative term and  instead of proclaiming  it, I should have said I wish I’d done better.

Recently, instead of worrying about a score on a graded test, I find myself worrying that I’m falling short in various aspects of my life. I’ve come to realize that I still need an editor. Life experience is a good editor, but it’s not perfect.

Maybe that’s because I still expect myself to excel at everything I attempt, and when I fall short, I focus too much on my imperfections.

A good editor would tell me that life is as much about the experience than it is about the outcome, and I should appreciate the experiences.

Maybe that’s because I still find myself judging people by the standards I set for myself, and when don’t show the same passion, or they blame others for their shortfalls or when they just show up rather than commit to making a difference, I get irritated.

A good editor would tell me that judging someone never provides any insight. Giving people the opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words does.

And maybe it’s because I worry that there is so much to accomplish.

A good editor would tell me that any thought, belief or desire that we actually put in writing is an opportunity to touch lives and influence others. Once our words leave our care, we can’t control who is actually listening or reading. We just have to trust that the right person will hear them.

There are times when I wonder how I will someday look back and view the person I am today. And I wonder if I’ll still note how I needed an editor.

That’s when I realize that I am actually my own best editor.

All I need to do is listen and follow her advice.