One of my favorite scenes from the movie Good Will Hunting is toward the very end, when Ben Affleck’s character stops by Matt Damon’s character’s house to pick him up. Instead, Damon never shows. He isn’t there. He’s gone, moved on to other things, different things, things that – while not easy to transition to – are better for his future…which is exactly what Affleck had hoped for. He’s not happy that Damon isn’t there, but he’s happy for Damon for not being there. In that moment, as Affleck walks back to the car – crooked smile, with no Damon trailing behind him – you see everything his character is feeling. Happiness, sadness, pride, nostalgia, hope. Everything. It’s simultaneously the last thing he wanted and the only thing he wanted. Yeah, Damon was the lead in the movie, but in that moment, Affleck shines. And deservedly so.
There are far too few people in this world like Ben Affleck. (Or at least the character he plays in the film. Well, both. But whatever.) But when they’re in your life, you recognize them.
I recently accepted a full-time editorial position with Cleveland Magazine, officially ending my days as an amateur journalist-in-training. I suppose I am now a professional journalist-in-training (although I plan to keep the blog going…and the crowd goes wild). I had no expectations that I would be entering the field this quickly after my graduation in March, but I was presented with an opportunity that I felt was too good to pass up. Working at a consumer magazine was a goal of mine upon finishing my degree at Ohio University. I wasn’t sure exactly where or in what capacity I wanted that goal to manifest, but I knew that given the market, I wasn’t going to be picky. And while I didn’t anticipate my hopes would manifest by sending me to Cleveland, in some ways, it’s probably good that they did.
There’s a subtle beauty in things not working out exactly as you might have planned.
I’ve by no means reached the peaks of my career that I one day hope to hit, but this is certainly the first step in that process, and one I am overly grateful to have accomplished. And while I’d like to believe that some of my journey thus far is due in part to my own hard work, I fully realize how many of those around me have made all of it possible. I recognize it is not by my own works that I have made it here.
Personally, you can believe in whatever you want. I think that is your right as an individual, and whether I agree with you or not, I think it’s my job and everyone else’s to at least respect that decision. I certainly have things I believe in, and I’d be happy to tell you why, but if you feel differently, that’s absolutely fine. At one point or another, we will all have to answer for our actions and decisions, at least in some fashion. But those consequences are not mine to levy. With that said, I feel I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge my faith in God and Jesus Christ as the overriding factor for the rewards and triumphs and successes I have received in my life. The experiences I’ve had and the people that have made those experiences possible are all products of the gifts I have been given. I’m far from perfect and far from the man of faith that I strive to be, and yet I am prosperous in spite of my shortcomings. I am blessed, by nothing less than mercy.
You may find the fact that I feel this way to be ignorant or naïve or ill-advised. And that’s fine. I find it impossible to disregard.
I have no idea what exactly God’s plan has in store for me, but my past is littered with His blessings and His presence, a feeling as comforting as it is appreciated. It’s brought me to this point, spurred along by far more good than bad.
There’s a subtle beauty in things not working out exactly as you might have planned. It makes the good and fortunate things all the more obvious.
I’d like to thank my teachers, professors, advisors, mentors, colleagues and peers for providing me with the tools to thrive and the motivation to always be pushing forward.
I’d like to thank my family and friends for their unending support – ranging from the calls, emails and texts of encouragement and congratulations from friends, old and new; a cousin that lets you park your car at her house for the weekend; or someone that loves you fully and unconditionally, allowing you to leave home, because no matter how difficult it might be, it’s exactly what they had hoped for.
I’d like to thank my sister, Samantha, who has always been my biggest fan and biggest supporter.
I’d like to thank Stephanie, for being kind, selfless, understanding, supportive, strong, and for making me better. She is wholly beautiful.
I’d like to thank my parents. There is no amount of words I could write or things I could say that would properly thank them. Through them, I am truly blessed.
And yet again, I’d like to thank God. For everything I mentioned, and for everything I didn’t.
Thanks for reading