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Thanks for All the Fish

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Otherworldly Journey
As some of you may have noticed, I have had a bit of a hiatus these past few weeks. Life, a move halfway across the nation, and the beginning of a new career path have taken all of my attention. Anyone who listens to our podcast, Brainstorm Brewery, is already aware of this new life direction, but, for those of you who may not be as active on social media or do not listen to the podcast, the day has finally come where I hang my content production hat up and begin a new journey.

I have been dwelling on exactly what to talk about this week and decided that the best way to say goodbye is to remember all of the people who were responsible for getting me to the point I am now. Though I am sure I will forget some people who have been there through the journey just know I am grateful for each and every person who has been involved, and most of all those of you who have been here all these years reading and listening.

With this change does come a step back from content, but I still plan on being active on social media. For anyone who can make a North American Grand Prix, I can also be found there as well. I have accepted a position with Hareruya USA and taken a leap of faith, closing my business and moving from Michigan to Delaware with my good friend and previous employee to help run the newly organized North American branch. This decision has been months in the making and it has been hard knowing my time was almost up with my Gathering Magic family. Looking back, it is amazing all the changes I have been here for. How many of you remember Mana Nation?

Many moons ago, before this site took the new name and appearance, I was invited into a game of Commander, or EDH at the time, with the first Commander pre constructed decks where I was fortunate enough to meet Trick Jarrett, the then owner and operator of Mana Nation. From that interaction I spun my original article idea for Box to Extended, a format many at this point may not even remember. Over the years, my series has morphed a number of times from finance focus to a mix of constructed overview, finance and advice for keeping a Standard collection. Through this time, I had the pleasure of working under a number of great people, Adam Styborski in particular really helped me hone my writing and was always there for feedback when I needed it. For that I will always be appreciative. Recently Evan Erwin took the mantle and though our interactions have been limited it has been nothing but a positive experience as he has carried the name of Gathering Magic on, bringing in even more talent and content.

It is hard to look back and not be a bit nostalgic. After all, I have been writing for over five years now, all beginning thanks to Kelly Reid at Quiet Speculation. He gave me a chance to show what I could do and that catapulted me to not only having this series but also introduced me to my long time co-host, Corbin Hosler. Through this series and Brainstorm Brewery, I was able to share my knowledge base with a group of fans that have been there with me the whole way. Nothing makes me happier than reading an email about how, due to my articles, in part, someone was able to keep playing Magic when it was pricing them out or even get into Modern and Legacy through some savvy trading or well timed buys. Though I will no longer be producing written content for now, I really hope people do not stop asking questions, I will certainly still be available to answer them on Twitter.

Magic is what each person wants it to be in their life, and that is probably the single most beautiful thing about the game. Whether you play once a month with some friends at the kitchen table or are a true road warrior grinding Grand Prix this game has given us all stories of bad beats and come from behind victories we may never forget, but most of all it has brought together friends. For me this went one step further when I decided to start my own business years ago, I took what was a childhood hobby . . . and addiction, and found my own niche within the market. Over the years my business has grown and though I was sad to let it go I know the new owners, Joe Yang and Joe Welbes will continue moving forward in Michigan keeping bulk picking alive and well in the area.

This game has afforded me the opportunity to see all but three states in this nation, given me countless stories and a group of friends unlike any other, from all corners of the globe. I have truly been fortunate in my experience and if I can give you nothing else to take from this it is do not settle for a career you are unhappy with. I went to school for civil engineering, and, while I thought my life was on track, I realized more and more just how draining that field was on my soul. I took a leap of faith and ended up here all these years later, a decision I now look back on fondly even if it was terrifying to start. Not everyone is going to make it in this industry. There are only so many positions within the community, but if you really do have the drive and passion for whatever your end goal may be I hope you strive for it. Even if you fall down a few times just remember every scar is just another story down the road.

It has been my honor and pleasure to provide weekly content both here and on Brainstorm Brewery, and, though this is a step back, I truly hope it is not a goodbye for most. I will miss it all, but I am looking forward to writing this new chapter in my life. The fact I was not only afforded the ability to move but also offered a career in this field has made everything leading up to this point that much sweeter. I am humbled every day by the fact that I get to go to work and deal with Magic cards and travel for a living, I could not ask for more, and I truly hope everyone out there is able to find a similar path that brings them as much happiness as this game has brought me. I never would have guessed all those years ago when I retired from the grind and Pro Tour hopes that I would be writing this now, but I am so grateful for the opportunity afforded to me.

If you find yourself at a Grand Prix come see me at the Hareruya booth, or if you have a question always feel free to ask on Twitter. Though everyone I mentioned, and more, have been integral to my success in this field, at the end of the day the most important piece will always be you, the people absorbing the content we all produce, and I cannot express in words how surreal of an experience you all have made this. So to conclude I just simply want to say Thank You, all of you, whether I have met you in person at an event or interacted with you online at some point. Thank You for making me a part of your weekly routine and driving me to provide the best content possible, I will miss every bit of it.

Thank you for all the fish!

Ryan Bushard@CryppleCommand


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