Enough Is Always Enough

May 6, 2024

“Enough is never enough.”

That’s what they say, and last weekend, I temporarily believed that. I had previously thought that enough was always enough. Or, at least, it should be. 

Last weekend, I met my coworkers at the South Carolina Press Association awards ceremony because each of us at the office earned writing awards, photography awards, and design awards––even second place for General Excellence in our division! 

(Proud of you guys; working with such talent is an honor.) 

We sat at a round table and waited for our names to be called, so we could receive our plaques. I realized, sitting there in front of my complimentary cheesecake, that this was the first award I had ever received. Ever. For anything.

I didn’t have cheerleading trophies like my sister did or a horse racing trophy and ribbon like my mom did. I didn’t have certificates for sports camp or a black belt for kuk sool won like my boyfriend did. 

Listen, I know there are a bazillion 24-year-olds out there who have never won a sports trophy, racing ribbon, or anything other than a pat on the back for completing a piano recital without messing up the notes. But to win an award for writing? To win an award for a feature story? That matters. 

Throughout the ceremony, I can humbly admit that I wanted the next best thing––the “Best of the Best” title, to be the “First Place” holder in feature writing instead of second. 

Would enough be enough? 

I glanced around the room, my excitement dwindling, thinking that second. . . second isn’t first. I could chalk it up to my competitive nature in writing, that I suddenly had a hungry flame to feed, or that I had to prove something to myself. 

But that would be a lie. 

I scoped the room again, and in retrospect, the crowd was small. The state of SC winners made up a group of what looked like just over 100 people. And the hundreds of other SC journalists weren’t there. 

Very simply, I just wanted more than what I had. Enough, briefly, had not been enough. 

I then recognized that it was a privilege to be right there in that seat. It was an honor to have my name called when so many others had not gotten the chance. 

My “about the author” page has since been updated and sent to my publisher, reading “award-winning journalist” now.

I won’t stop striving harder or further to meet higher goals and surpass my previous ones. But I’ll glance up at my framed award every time I’m in the office and remind myself that enough is enough. I earned a title I had worked hard for. 

To be in second place is just as good as first.

After all, silver always looked better on me than gold.


M.M. Cochran is the author of YA novel Between the Ocean and the Stars and has an educational background in English and creative writing. She has worked in the journalism industry, as well as the agenting and publishing industry, and she is currently a news reporter for The Greer Citizen. M.M. can be found collecting coffee mugs, slipping into an oversized sweater, and hanging out with her standard poodle. Her debut novel, Between the Ocean and the Stars, can be found online at Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com. To keep up with her writing journey, follow her on Instagram @m.m.cochran_writer.


Featured image by Giorgio Trovato.