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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

Quotes I know that occupy a special place

There are a lot of things that come up during the three eight to 10-hour sequences a week when The Observer produces a new paper. There are even more ways to remember them, from the old papers hanging around our office to stories I've heard from writers past and present. One of the ways our Editorial Board is trying to do this is through a document in our Google Drive entitled “Observer Office Quotes,” currently featuring a dozen or so goofy if not outright hilarious lines for our exciting but sometimes delirious shifts making the paper you know and (hopefully) love.

For whatever reason, quotes have always fascinated me. Maybe because one of my five actual skills is being able to memorize the play-by-play calls of every Philadelphia Phillies home run hit in the 2022 postseason. Maybe it's because I’m (as former Managing Editor Aidan O’Malley once called me) an “old soul.” Regardless of the reasoning, I have a quote list of my own, full of 47 phrases of wisdom coming from everywhere, from the Bible to “Stranger Things” and everything in between. Here are a couple that have stuck with me over the years and are on my mind as my senior year of college begins — whether I'm willing to acknowledge it or not.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - often attributed to Confucius

This quote is a large part of why I’m writing for The Observer in the first place. Sports have been at the center of my life since I was 7-years-old, and I want to keep them there for as long as possible. Other than my friends and family, they are probably the thing that makes me the most excited. There are plenty of fields that pay more, have better hours and more stable jobs than sports media. But writing and talking about sports are things I have loved from a young age. I know I'm going to be surrounding myself with sports for a long time to come — I may as well see if I can get paid for it.

“I’ve decided that I’m going to be more honest. I’m going to start telling people what I want directly. So, look out world.” - Pam Beesly, The Office: S3, E17

The moment I heard this, I knew it was exactly the mentality I needed to adopt. It was late 2018, early in my junior year of high school, and I was navigating the precarious, stressful balance of trying to find a friend group later than most. At this point, I had a couple of close friends, knew their friends well and liked them a lot, but was utterly terrified of putting myself out there.

Pam feels the same way during many moments of the first few seasons of “The Office,” caught between a long-standing relationship with Roy Anderson that she thinks should bring her happiness and a friendship with Jim Halpert that does. Like Pam, it took me a while to make the right decision, and the road there certainly wasn't linear. But we both made it to the other side, and that’s what matters. No one can read your mind — you have to ask for good things before they will happen.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” - Matthew 6:34

I struggle with this quote a lot. Case in point, I’m writing this article at 12:30 a.m. a week before it’s due. There are so many things to do in college, and I’m more than keeping myself busy even as senioritis slowly starts to set in. I could work all day, every day if I really wanted to and still not have accomplished everything at the bottom of my to-do list.

However, there’s no need to do that, even if I am the kind of person who likes to plan ahead. There are so many simple beauties in each day — the taste of my favorite foods, the bright sunshine that fills campus this time of year, the smile I get from looking at the Gritty magnet on my mini fridge — that are important to enjoy. They only happen a finite number of times. Soon enough, May 19 will hit, and everything after that will be different. But that’s May 20th’s problem, and that reality makes today a little easier to power through.

“Just because something ends doesn’t mean it wasn’t worthwhile.” - Faux Pelini

Speaking of May 19, it’s hard to believe my formal education is likely down to its final few months. I dreamed of going to Notre Dame my whole life, taking an unofficial visit (aka going to my first Irish football game) at literally 1-year-old. Every day here is a little bit surreal, and every accomplishment is just a little more significant here than it would’ve been at any other school.

I have gotten so much out of the first three years of my Notre Dame experience. It’s a bit sad to think that the wonderful things I get to do and see here will soon be in my rearview mirror. But everything that’s happened here, including if not especially just getting here, has happened for a reason. Same to you and everybody else. The end doesn't erase that; it affirms it.

“There are certain feelings that can never be replicated and that is why they occupy a special place.” - Matt Gelb

I almost cried hours before this quote was written on Aug. 8, 2021, after seeing J.T. Realmuto round the bases in front of the largest crowd for a Phillies game in almost two years. The Phillies, kings of heartbreak for a decade at that point, suddenly looked like a team capable of reaching the postseason for the first time since I was 9-years-old.

I’d been unable to access the special feelings of those big games that doubled as high-water marks of my adolescence until that day. It wasn’t the same as it used to be, of course. But it was close, and it made me appreciate those feelings more. It didn’t matter that those Phillies didn’t bring me a Red October (although it helps that the 2022 team did). This is a universal experience, one that’s far bigger than baseball. It happened when I made those great high school friends, and some pretty great ones in college and other places, too. As I said goodbye to my childhood home of 14 years last month. As I spent my first few months truly on my own this summer. And it countless other moments, big and small.

It’s helped me be more present in life. I know the importance of taking a deep breath during a vibrant editing shift or while I’m out with friends. I know the joy of those moments can never be duplicated, and because of that, I’m able to enjoy them even more.

Andrew McGuinness

Andrew McGuinness is a senior in Siegfried Hall from Haddonfield, New Jersey. Naturally, he loves his Philadelphia sports teams, even if they don't always love him back. Reach out to talk sports and shows, especially if they're Abbott Elementary or Survivor.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.