I'm a free agent

As the title suggests, after nine years, I have resigned from my positions as Online Content Coordinator and Lead Broadcast of the SCG Tour at Star City Games. There are plenty of reasons that I have elected to do so but I'll boil it down to two very simple ones:

1. The company is going in a different direction and I respect that decision. I'm a big believer in accepting life for what it is, not what I want it to be. Over the past two years, people have asked about the return of the SCG Tour and coverage of events. I have mostly avoided answering that question, not because I didn't want to answer it, but because I wasn't at peace with the answer. So here's me saying it in the firmest way possible not only for you, but also for me:

Coverage of events, at least the way you think of it via Star City Games and the SCG Tour, isn't coming back any time soon. And that's ok. I'm going to be ok. I did the best that I could and I can live the rest of my life knowing that.

2. I have a lot more that I want to do. Throughout the past two years, I've been having an internal struggle about who I am and what I want to accomplish. I say struggle because I've known what the answer is for a very long time but I was too afraid to actually admit it and act on it. So, just like before, here's me saying it in the firmest way possible to hold myself accountable (but this time it's me quoting Gary Vaynerchuck because he says things better than I do):

"There is nothing wrong with following someone else. There's nothing wrong with being a #2, #3, #4 at a company. But if you want it so bad ideologically, you gotta start going into the forest without a map."

I'm not a #2, #3, or #4. I'm a #1 and I'm damn proud of that. And I know this because the things that bring me the most joy are the things I've created, working with the people I've created them with, and knowing that their success and failure are ultimately in my hands (a responsibility I take I extremely seriously) Those things include:

- Coalesce Apparel + Design
- The Resleevables
- The Cedric A Phillips Podcast
- My Twitch stream
- My Discord channel
- My physical health
- My mental health

These are the things I want to give 100% of my attention to. Nothing else. Because these are the things that bring me the most joy. And if I've learned nothing else during the complete shit show that have been the past two years, it's that we don't get a lot of things to really care about.

What's next for me is an interesting topic. Some things I know for sure. Others I don't. I know that my ten year run in Seattle ends on January 31, 2022. I know I'm moving to Denver because it's cheaper, one of my best friends lives there (love you PSully), and there's a few interesting opportunities out there worth pursuing. I know that I'm going to be focusing on taking Coalesce Apparel + Design as far as I think it can do instead of having it be a side project. I know that The Resleevables will be coming back and it will be bigger and better than it ever was. I know that I'm going back to recording pro wrestling podcasts with JoeyBags regularly now that we both have the time again and life is a bit less depressing than it was before (new episode up today btw WWE fans!). I know that I'm going to go back to being something resembling a full-time streamer on Twitch again because, somehow, ten years has gone by since I last was one and I didn't realize how much I missed it. I know that I'm in the best physical shape of my adult life and I'm excited to see just how far I can push that. And I know that while it has been incredibly difficult to be a black male in this country the past two years, my mental health is surprisingly good and I think these changes in my life only stand to make it better.

What I don't know is what I'll be doing for steady work or income. A lot of things I've listed above are part time gigs that I'm attempting to make full time gigs. But one thing I've always believed is that if you're talented and have the willingness to hustle, you'll figure things out. I've never been short on either so I'm not terribly concerned. I also know what it's like to be comically broke and it doesn't scare me one bit, so if everything falls apart, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, knowing that it was a possible outcome when making this decision.

As is oftentimes the case with me, even though this message is coming from me and is about me, I'm self-aware enough to know that my successes over the past nine years aren't solely because of me. No one gets to the levels that I've gotten to in Magic (or anything!) on their own. So here's a run of thank yous in no particular order for those I've worked with most recently (if I've forgotten you, it isn't purposeful):

Ari Lax
Bennie Smith
Brad Nelson
Bryan Gottlieb
Carmen Handy
Corey Baumeister
Craig Krempels
Dom Harvey
Gerry Thompson
Jake Browne
John Dale Beety
Patrick Chapin
Patrick Sullivan
Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
Ross Merriam
Ryan Overturf
Ryan Saxe
Shaheen Soorani
Sheldon Menery
Todd Anderson
Jeremy Noell
Justin Parnell
Jon Suarez
Stephen Green
Pete Hoefling
Heath Oldham
Kyle Nottingham
Jason Brooks

For a lot of people, change is scary. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit scared. I just gave up a job I'm very well compensated to do to pursue a Magic apparel brand, a couple of podcasts, and a Twitch stream in the middle of a pandemic.

And yet, for the first time in a really long time, I feel alive. Time to get after it.

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