“Thanks to this passion I have opened a blog, discovered hidden talents,” Jonell said on her blog, The Rambling Epicure. “The frightened and psychologically bruised girl that I was in the past has healed and blossomed considerably.”
Her change she wanted to see in the world didn’t involve people to become chefs or bloggers. Jonell found an outlet, a medium, that allowed her to become that change.
And science has proved cooking’s therapeutic value, too.
Like Eliot said, look again. Look closely. Really closely. Then, imagine it as the cook’s art. And hear Eliot say this:
“You know, I didn’t feel anything for a long time. And Toby taught me how to cook. And after he did, I started to feel stuff again. That’s what I shared through my food — this is my art. This is my art, Parker. It’s like letting a stranger in your head. Just for a second. And you allow them to feel what you’re feeling… Look again.”
<p>Sometimes in life, out of the clear blue sky comes a vicious storm. We must seek out the shelter of a cave in order to survive. We might feel as though we’ll never escape the dark crevasse. </p>
<p>But there is always hope. </p>
<p>Just when I felt like giving up … I clung to such moments of grace, no matter how small, as proof that behind every closed door, there lies an open space.</p>
“There were times when I wanted to leave, especially when he passed, and not come back,” Ryan said. “It was kind of tough to see that empty bed there – which I made sure it had his sheets on there, the whole year, and I wouldn’t touch it.”
Now Ryan’s 21, a semester away from graduating St. Bonaventure University with a journalism and mass communication degree. Since that November, he made a conscious change — a change that others noticed immediately.
Prior to that November, Ryan said he did “what makes you happy” ahead of what needed to be done.
“Some of our best times together were when we played ‘Call of Duty’ while pre-gaming on weekend nights before we went out,” said Connor Baird, a student who hung out with Ryan and Nick frequently.
After that November, however, his life outlook changed.
“It hit me: ‘Is this what I wanted to do?’” Ryan said about the partying more than working hard. “No. What I want to do is make a difference.”
People now describe Ryan as kind, genuine, loyal and ambitious. But without fail, everyone mentioned Ryan’s work unmatched work ethic — one that he admitted didn’t exist when arriving at St. Bonaventure.
“Ryan is one of the most professional, hardest-working young men I’ve encountered in my career,” said Jason MacBain, sports information director at St. Bonaventure. “Ryan has found a way to do this by fighting through several personal hardships over the past year, something which I admire even more about him.”
“He had (the men’s basketball team’s) record picked for A-10 play, and I thought he was crazy,” said Daulton Sherwin, who worked with Ryan at The Intrepid. “I though he was being kind and giving our team wins. Well, wouldn’t you know the little fucker was pretty much dead on at the end of the season.”
“Since day one, Ryan has been an extremely hard worker in achieving the goals he set out for himself,” said Sally O’Rourke, who dated Ryan for three years. “He is the person who has motivated me to not only discover what I wanted to do in life but to work as hard as I possibly could to get there.”
Ryan grew up too quickly. He experienced death — but more accurately, loss — before 20. He has consciously sacrificed personal gratification for others, especially his family. He treated Sally like a wife, always, making sure her needs were ahead of his.
Where does he get all this power? Strength? Drive?
“When I’m feeling down, I look at (the bracelet) and go, ‘Why are you down?’” Ryan said. “You’re blessed to be here today, and you’re here for a reason.”
True to his form, he doesn’t think of himself first. Until the day he dies, he’ll read, “Live the life you love. Love the life you live,” and think of his best friend.
And that letter from Nick. And that unspoken promise he plans to keep.
“When I was around Nick, he was the one to spark a room,” Ryan said. “When he walked in, everyone smiled. I was a little bit passive with that. In high school, I was in his shoes — the person that sparked the room. It was a change for me, but I didn’t mind taking a back seat to him.
“I realized how many people he touched, and I wanted to emulate that as best as I can,” he said. “He gave everybody a chance, even if they crossed him, he’d forgive really quickly. And I want to get to that point. Because that’s definitely the life I want to emulate.”
[[ FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve lived with Ryan for the last two years ]]
But regardless of if one or 1 million people read it, I hope I helped people out. Because I’ve never taken that responsibility and honor lightly.
This also may be the last USA TODAY College story I write. I’ll be graduating in May and won’t be eligible to write anymore. And for that — and everything else — I owe @USATODAYCollege a lot of gratitude.
At SND CLE’s kickoff social gathering at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Tony Lee (@sHecKii) asked the attendees about “What has SND (Society for News Design) done for your career?”
After coming back from Oxford, I fell into a mini depression. Well, depression is too strong of a word, but it wasn’t good.
I have never shared something from my journal before (and yes, I keep one!). When you write for a living, you need something sacred just for you. This is that.
This entry is very personal, but also not something I’m ashamed of. This entry isn’t directly related to marketing, advertising or social media — but everything about my life ambitions.
Hope you guys find it useful. And I hope you won’t do what I’ve done…
Danielle had a loved one to go back to. So did Iggy. Chey and Jon got to spend an amazing six weeks together. Sean found a girl. And bunch of others have people they love waiting at home.
I had no one.
I still remember when Denny stopped me during a basketball game and said, “Do you know why you’re going to make it in this industry? Because no one outworks you.”
But at what cost?
After the four-day vacation, everyone came back ready to go home. Home. Where family members, dogs, friends and, most importantly, loved ones awaited them.
I had no one.
Because I’ve been so fucking independent to a fault.
My family loves me. No doubt. But I can go a year without seeing my dad or stepmom. My stepbro and I don’t have a relationship. But then again, I’m 27 fucking years old. I’m a grown ass man.
What else would I expect?
Then, there are friends. My best friend Michelle is in a great, loving relationship. So proud of her still. My boys from the shop started to get girlfriends. I don’t play TCGs much anymore either. Most of my high school friends are married now.
Jerry talked about how he misses his family terribly, but no words could describe how much he missed his dog. I don’t have a pet, either, because I’m a fucking nomad.
So yeah. I had NO ONE. No one who loves me like that anyways.
What Denny said has manifested. No one outworked me. Therefore, my skillset, confidence, resume and everything in between is unmatched at Bona’s. That used to be arrogance. I’ve worked harder than anyone to make that into a fact.
My life has finally become what I dreamed of. I’ve battled so many demons to get here. And I’ll say it again:
Without St. Bonaventure University, I’d be dead, in jail or in rehab.
Even Julie said it has been only one year, but I’ve matured so much. But only if my dad believed any of that. Unless I become a creative director at a top-5 worldwide agency, I don’t think he’d ever be proud of me………..
On that note, I wish he’d want to see my documentary. My Oxford video. Anything that I do really. Because I’m not an industry leader or a paid six-figure-income professional, he thinks all I do is junk. Amateurish.
Days like today, it makes me feel even more alone than I already am.
Who’s in my corner?
It’s my third night being up at 3:30 a.m. I blamed the jet lag, but now I know it’s my soul in torment. Jesus I’m a drama queen, but that’s what it honestly feels like.
I turned my life around not because I wanted to have a family. I wanted a loving wife. I wanted children who looked up to me like a hero. I wanted to be that family man.
So that’s what I want. A family. Pure and simple. But it’s not like I can use the Popsie line and say, “Nice shoes. Wanna fuck/get married?”
At hookah, I still remember people telling me I lived the life. Yeah, I have — and I continue to — but I have no one to share it with.
It’s like if a tree falls in the forest and no one heard it, then did the tree really fall? I haven’t lived the life because I have no one to share it with.
For the first time in my life, love has to be the No. 1 priority now. Seriously. I don’t just want a girlfriend to have a girlfriend. I want someone who I can be a rock for and someone who’ll be in my corner.
Otherwise, what was the point of getting my shit together?
So glad to have met guys like Bill, Iggy and Sean. I’m finally surrounded and engulfed by people who make “Be the change you want to see in the world” a reality. Not only that, I love all my friends at Bona’s. Honestly they’ll never know that they literally saved me from killing myself.
So this is a promise, journal. I will get my personal life together. Because I want love, love that I can share with another female. Not just that. I want to strengthen all my personal relationships, too.
Because quite honestly, that’s the only people in my corner.
I don’t want any success if it means I’ll have no one to come home back to. I ran away from the negativity to find happiness and strength. Professionally, I have that. In spades.
Now, personally, all I want to hear is, “How was your day, babe?”