It’s Time To Say Goodbye

Photo by Jason Gonulsen

You know it’s all beginning
To feel like it’s ending

During my Sophomore year of college, I took a philosophy class. On the first day, the graduate assistant teaching the class walked in dressed to the nines. Suit, tie, shoes, hair neatly parted.

He even had a suitcase.

I remember the suitcase. It ended up being the only time I ever saw him with it.

He walked to center of the room, paused until he had complete silence, and began a stern — and loud — lecture. He owned that room for 45 minutes, telling us how hard our lives would be for the next few weeks.

“The final exam, which is comprehensive,” he said, “will make some of you cry.”

He left no time for questions.

As I was walking out, I overheard most of the class saying things like “gonna drop this,” “f that guy,” etc. I just laughed and kept walking.

A few days later, everything changed.

“Well, that worked,” the graduate assistant said as he walked in for the second class of the semester. It looked like he had come straight from the gym — sweating, face flushed, a little out of breath.

“Forget everything I said the other day. I don’t like teaching a large number of people. This is a good number.”

There were 7 of us left.

I tell this story because I learned the most important lesson on that day: believe in yourself.

No one is ever going to believe in you more than you.

So this is why I am saying goodbye. I have a new challenge now, and that is photographing weddings. I am also passionate about sports photography — I feel that spark with both weddings and sports, just like I did when I shot my first concert.

But with focus being an absolute priority for me, I know I can’t do all three — weddings, sports, and live music. Not the way I want to do it, which is 100%.  My life has been a whirlwind of emotions the last ten years, and in the past six or so months, I have come to believe, for certain, that this is the right decision for me. I’m doing this for me.

Speakers in Code began on January 4th, 2010 with this post.

And it ends today.

A little over 10 years. That’s one fourth of my life, and it’s “time to move on, time to get goin’,” as Tom Petty once sang.

Thank you to Katie Guymon for convincing me to start this site/blog with her. Thank you to all the great people in St. Louis for giving me some of the best memories of my life. Thank you to all the wonderful publicists, managers, and everyone who helped me and Speakers in Code along the way. Without you, none of this ever happens.

To say goodbye, I would like to leave you with a final Sad Bastard playlist: Sad Songs from 2010-2020.

It’s been the best decade of my life.

Peace and love,

Jason Gonulsen

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