I have had an amazing time interning for the purely online publication Buffalo Rising this semester; there have been ups and downs but through it all I just knew that there was a reason for my being there. I have published articles on a wide range of topics and this has given me some new found confidence in my ability to quickly verse myself in specific vernacular on deadline. I have both previewed and reviewed events, getting outside of my previously known all-too-well “press release regurgitation” write ups that I will admit, prior to getting down and dirty with Buffalo Rising, I was afraid of getting trapped in.
Newell Nussbaumber, my supervisor and owner of B.R., has given me so much more then an outlet for my work to be showcased; he has given me an opportunity to grow as a journalist and, most importantly, an opportunity to grow as a person. My first few weeks being an intern flew by as I hit the ground running, trying to maintain an personal quota of an article a day. After about three or four weeks however, my productivity went down and I began to feel the weight of everything else going on around me. We reconvened for our mid-semester evaluations and I was quite frank with him. I told him that I felt I let him down and that the Brett he got to know in the first few weeks is the Brett he should have never forgotten. I apologized for my lack in press and promised him I would pick right back up. Well, here I am, two school weeks away from the conclusion of my internship with B.R. and I couldn’t have come through on that promise any stronger.
There were nights were I’d rather have gone to sleep on time, there were days where I’d rather have gotten some studying done or practiced a little more piano or guitar; I learned to just let go. Why stare at this Macbook in our library for another second and worry about the amount of work I have to do? Why sit here and twiddle my thumbs while waiting to somehow subconsciously derive some divine formula for how best to attack my work in a timely, yet productive matter? What’s the point? I took only two days off since I made my promise to step my game up to my supervisor and those days were to make my 4th Day retreat, the follow-up retreat to the infamous Kairos retreat.
I’ve had plenty of opportunities to make 4th Day since my Kairos in the fall of my sophomore year, but I didn’t. They say you end up going on the right one, regardless of when you go; this couldn’t be truer. 4th day gave me the space and time to synthesize it all: my internship, my schoolwork, and my relationships with those around me, my future. Life as I know it came together for me in one gigantic epiphany; it’s like a trust fall.
You have your friends, family, and those that care about your well-being surrounding you, all you have to do is just put your arms across your chest, close your eyes, and let yourself fall backwards into their embrace. Life however, isn’t that easy. You can’t see the wind, but you know it’s there because you see its effects on other things. Sitting here, typing this blogpost at the same Macbook I’ll be writing articles and essays on for these next few months until graduation, I guess is kind of like the wind in this regard.
I can’t literally see the networking opportunities that can arise from Buffalo Rising or from the journalism program here at Canisius any better than seeing the potential of the guy sitting next to me on the subway train to downtown later this week. One thing’s for sure and that’s the fact that you’ll never know everything, but you’ll know everything that’s possible if you give it your all and stay true to yourself.
Your friends, family, and those who care about you will always be there to catch you if you fall, but your best friend is yourself and if you do it right, you can stand on your own two feet and those around you will watch with smiles on their faces because you have supported yourself.
This internship, time and time again, has given me the chance to grow and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I almost fell, and once I heard the hands reach out beneath me, I regained my composure. Life is a trust fall; who will be there to catch you if you grow weak?