I am writing this at work after listening to the latest Bombcast instead of working because I can not focus without getting this all down. At this point in my life I never really thought that the death of a complete stranger would affect me so profoundly. I have been listening to the Giant Bomb podcast and visiting the site off and on since it’s inception. Only over the last 6 - 8 months have I really listened weekly to the critiques,antics and entertainment that is the Giant Bombcast. It became part of my daily life when I really needed it. Graduating from college at 30 never having had a “real” job, bills were stacking up and I fell in line with what was easy. I started working a job I did not love, let alone like, to pay the bills and take care of my family. Listening to the radio while going to and from work made me sick. The same songs over and over, the talk about the hour long backup between me and work, and advertisements for I just don’t care what were awful. I decided to start filling that worthless radio time with podcasts because I needed to listen to something that didn’t make me want to jump out of my car in the middle of the highway while it was still rolling.
Listening to podcasts has made it bearable to go to work. Instead of dreading the commute with the possible jams, crazy drivers and the realization of what I was heading towards, I relaxed slowed down and just enjoyed my time. I didn’t care about the commute. My ride to work became about spending time with the hosts of all these amazing shows. I couldn’t believe that I was happier at work after just changing what I listened to on the way in. I began to start my day off in a good mood not needing to force a smile. Having coworkers in my office that also listen to the Bombcast gave us something to talk about during the day as well. Phrases like “did you hear that craziness Vinny was saying” or “why aren’t we playing more DOTA” became our momentary escape in the day. Gradually all of the people that I listen to while driving, all of whom I have never met in person and whom I have never had a single interaction with, became very important to me. This small period of joy made my day to day grind that much easier. That made hearing the news about Ryan Davis’ passing on monday upsetting for me. I knew that my time spent listening to podcasts from then on in a small but very significant way would not be the same. Even though I knew that the Bombcast would go on, some day, it would never be the same. Hearing more news as it was released, reading more about Ryan and listening to the memorium Bombcast today I found far more to admire about this man I had never met.
To get a little dark I also found far more tragedy the more I read and the more I listened. Being just 34 Ryan was not that much older than me and he was just recently married. I can not imagine my life ending now, at my age, without accomplishing all the things I have dreamt about. I also can not imagine my wife being taken from me just days after taking our vows. I have been married for 11 years now and know what that means and how much joy being married can bring. My wedding to this day is still the best party I have ever attended and I hope that he could say the same.
In his lifetime Ryan had done so much. He did so many things that I wish I had done. He affected so many more people than he probably realized. In the memoriam Bombcast the subject was brought up that some of the members of the show may sometimes struggle with a feeling that they do not make a big “impact.” Speaking to people's passion and bringing smiles to people’s faces is impactful. It may not impact global markets or solve world hunger but to those who connect with the members of the Bombcast and what they are saying the Bombcast team has a great impact. On many levels what Ryan did and what all the members of the Bombcast do can even be inspiring.
Hearing Ryan talk about what he loved, laughing, cracking jokes and genuinely enjoying what he did has personally inspired me. I know that after everything; tomorrow I do not want to be the same man I am today. I do not want to be in the same place I am today. I want to be as passionate and love what I do as much as Ryan did. I want to make an impact on others sharing with them the things that I love. Today I have no idea what my next step is, I do not know exactly where everything in my head right now will end, but I am committed now to get there. I cannot sit around waiting to just get by. That just will not do. I want to know when it is all over that I did what I loved, I loved what I did and I got to share what I loved with others just like Ryan and all the people on all the podcasts I listen to on a daily basis. For me I feel that this is the best way that I can pay tribute to a stranger that meant more to me than even I realized when I started writing this. My condolences to the team, my condolences to Ryan’s wife and family, and please keep alive this voice that Ryan has helped to create.
PS: This is my first post in this forum and I hope in the future to really contribute and be a more active member in this amazing community