When I was working in D.C., my boss had a framed newspaper article on a wall in her office. She pitched a story to The New York Times and it was printed on the front page, column one. Now that’s a slam dunk. As she told me that story, I remember thinking, “someday when I get my first piece of significant news coverage all on my own, I will frame it.”
It happened this week. An article that was published online last week came out in print on the front page of The Oregonian featuring the university I work for. A series of three emotions rolled in.
Shock. I heard the rumor and I called the reporter. She confirmed that it was indeed on the front page. I grabbed my keys and ran to the store and sure enough, right there above the fold was the story I pitched. In print. In the most widely-read newspaper in my state.
Elation! “Take my picture holding it!” I exclaimed to my friend and co-worker who I’d brought with me. As I began to smile, I suddenly couldn’t stop. I kept looking at it. It was beautiful. It was gratifying. I did it. All by myself.
Gratitude. As I drove home from work this evening, I was overcome with gratitude. Just two years ago I was laying in bed in chronic pain on pain medication with no answers, no diagnosis and no hope. I remember my family and friends telling me that things would get better. That someday I’d go back to work and reach new heights. I thought they were just trying to cheer me up. I didn’t believe them. If you had told me then that in two years I’d earn media coverage on the front page of The Oregonian and that it would also be for a small Christian university in religiously cynical Portland, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m so grateful for where I am today, for my job and for the privilege of representing such an amazing university.
I fulfilled my promise to myself on my way home from work. I stopped in at my local framing store with a copy of the article. I picked out a beautiful mat and frame and placed the order.
I’ll pick it up next week and I’ll hang it next to my UO diploma on a wall in my office.
It will stand as a reminder: Never stop dreaming. Never lose hope.