From the second I laid my tiny hands on a book until I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to have a future that involved books. Everything about them entranced me, from the smell of the pages to the way some of the covers shimmered in the light. I loved the way I could run my fingers over the snapped spines and imagine the people that read it before me. Once I learned to read the words on the pages, I never set them down. I can’t recall a time until college that I didn’t go through at least five novels a month. Every one of the happiest memories in my life can be recalled with my nose half buried in a book while the world moved around me.
I spent my junior and senior years being eaten alive with anxiety. I was a book nerd, there was no doubt in my mind, but what could I do with that? When I looked out towards the world, towards my future, there were so many options. Too many. I spent many sleepless nights looking over them.
There was the obvious choice of freelance writing but that was too risky for my soul to handle. The next option was teaching, which didn’t interest me at the time. I had seen how poorly teachers were treated and had no intention of living my life like that. After that, the options came and went faster. I thought about going to school for criminal justice, psychology, forensics, and finally, to become a librarian.
It wasn’t until a few weeks before my graduation that my one true calling hit me in the face. Literally. My boyfriend and I were in the last stages of writing our final papers for English class when he asked me to look over his work. I did; it was littered with mistakes, which I circled in red ink. I added some funny comments on the side, and when he threw the crooked white paper back in my face, we both laughed until we cried. After that afternoon, I took the time to look over the rest of my classmate’s papers and helped them make corrections. I took a lot of pride in knowing that they had bettered their grades because someone had helped them catch the mistakes they couldn’t see.
After a little bit of digging, I found out that being a professional editor was a career. It had never occurred to me before that someone had to be looking over works before they were published. Not long after, I signed up at the University of Mount Olive to be an English major. Being an Enlish major left wiggle room for me to change my mind after I graduated while still allowing me to focus on literature. That kept my childhood dream alive and kicking. I added on the publishing minor, and briefly, a creative writing minor. With that, my heart is content and I know that one day, I’ll be doing what I’ve loved since I was old enough to understand what books were.