“Thank you for applying.”
I knew what that meant. I was only at the subject line, and the response to my first internship application was already not going well. Gingerly, I opened the email. It was a well-crafted message of niceties about the difficulty of the decision and the talent of the applicant pool. I felt soothed by the end, bruised but convinced there might one day be a place for me in the world of journalism.
“We appreciate your interest, and encourage you to apply again in the future.”
I cocked my head at the computer. I had to be wrong. The years of cringing at signs that left out (or added) apostrophes and precociously correcting my parents when they ignored the existence of adverbs had failed me at this critical moment. I went through the rules of comma usage in my head, searching for the appropriate situation. A single subject with two verbs is a simple sentence. My first journalistic rejection was incorrectly punctuated.
Before that email, I was pretty sure journalism was the right field for me. Seeing that mistake made me positive.
I chose my career for the commas and stayed for the stories, though I remain entirely too fixated on the minor apostrophe errors that pepper billboards. I’m an editor, writer and storyteller, and for some reason, the things that keep me going more often than not start with the letter c: coffee, cardigans and cats, especially my rambunctious baby boy, Truman.