Its life’s most trivial things that can sometimes bring about the most surprising changes. In fact, I’d wager to say that many an epiphany comes about quite by accident during the minutiae of everyday life. But that’s the beauty of it really, that life can deliver you this life-changing event in the most simple of ways.
I would be remiss if I did not say that these events are often not as evident as one might think. It can take the form of anything, a random act of kindness, a simple anecdote, or just some friendly banter. What’s key here is just being open to the moment. Granted 9 times out of 10, when these situations occur they are not going to register any kind of monumental moment in your brain. As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and this certainly holds true to these chance encounters.
You are often not going to think talking to the random guy in the elevator is going to have any bearing on your life but its funny how when you reflect on it later things can change. While my recent epiphany was not the result of some random person imparting words of wisdom to me while in an elevator, it was just as much a chance encounter and just as enlightening.
I had applied for a baseball media internship with a minor league baseball team and upon finishing the application it directed me to attend an internship fair. Unfortunately, the time set aside for that fair did not correspond with my schedule so I took a shot at emailing the team and informing them of the situation. Luckily, enough I was contacted by the public relations guy who gave me a chance for an interview. It was a very welcome call since I am continually trying to find a way to make my niche into the baseball media world.
The day of the interview arrived and I went on my way leaving with ample time to get there but as it so often happens I got there just fine but had a bit of trouble finding the right entrance. You’ll get quite the workout walking the entire circumference of a baseball stadium! Finally, I found my entrance and walked in for my interview.
While the interview went great, at least I hope, there was one moment that really caught my attention. He asked a pretty simple question,
“Where do you see yourself in baseball in the next 5-10 years?”
I responded without hesitation, “I hope to be a beat writer for Major League Baseball.”
It was one of those questions that you have an instinctive answer for, one that you know deep down to your core the answer. There was no thinking involved I knew it is what I want. What he responded with next though was the real kicker,
“Don’t ever settle in this field. If you want to be a writer, keep at it until you land a job as a writer. Don’t take a position with a team if it’s not the kind of job you want. You’ll get stuck.”
This was a monumental game changer for me because I was looking to catch on in Major League Baseball in any capacity possible but just to catch on so I could get that proverbial foot in the door. Heck, I even would have taken a job as the mascot!
I always knew settling was a bad thing in certain areas, like your love life, but I always thought it was something rather necessary in the career world. Something about that interview that day completely changed my outlook going forward in landing that coveted baseball media job. Yes, it may be a hard dream to chase, but it’s one worth the chase.
The point of it all is though, that if it were not for the fact of sending that email asking if there was any chance of getting an interview, I would have never gotten this piece of advice. Now, I have no idea if I got the position or not but I cannot help but think it was a win-win situation no matter what happens.
I have received a lot of advice in my short 23-year existence and many times, it has been the kind you cherish, like the time my history professor told me the key to writing successfully is to “Have fun with it”. This tidbit though did more than just give me direction in my future career, it reaffirmed something for me…It reaffirmed a childhood love that is on its way to becoming a lifelong passion.