meagan-blogs

Finding Adventure 

Today marks a major milestone in my career – something simultaneously exciting and sad, just as closing a chapter of life always is.

After three incredible years, my time at Crystal Dynamics is coming to an end. I’ve accepted a new industry job and will be moving abroad to Dublin, Ireland. I’ll be working as a European Community Programs Specialist at Riot Games, helping to establish exciting engagement opportunities for the League of Legends community. Not coincidentally, launching cosplay initiatives will be one of my areas of focus, affording me the rare opportunity of uniting my career and my hobby in one place.

I’m sure some of you are surprised by this news, as I’m regularly vocal about just how influential Tomb Raider has been in my life. That being said, Lara Croft is one of the many reasons I’ve embraced this new opportunity. Since a young age, Tomb Raider has inspired me to face my fears, to rise and meet challenges, and to always seek out new adventures. Moving abroad alone is equal parts terrifying and thrilling, and I can’t help but imagine it’s what a young Lara would do in my shoes.

To my co-workers: Crystal Dynamics is and will continue to be one of the most passionate and dedicated groups of people that I’ve ever had the honor to work with. I swell with pride when thinking of the amazing work that’s been done at the studio, and I have no doubt that you will continue to establish new industry standards in the future. I’ll still be one of Tomb Raider’s biggest fans – only now I’ll have a shot at avoiding spoilers.

To my fellow Tomb Raider fans: I’m extraordinarily lucky to have met so many of you. Being Crystal Dynamics’ Community Manager has afforded me unparalleled experiences, and made my life richer because of all the friendships forged, memories made, and lessons learned. I will never forget our time examining ancient Egyptian relics together at the Louvre, laughing over impromptu language lessons in Milan, or attempting indoor archery with you in New York. For these memories (and many more) I thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart. I was proud to be part of this community before I started working at Crystal, and I’ll always be one of you no matter where my career takes me in the years to come.

Looking to the future - It’s no secret that Riot Games is an innovator, a fantastic employer, and most importantly in my eyes, a company fully and truly committed to its players. The League of Legends community is wonderfully diverse, talented, and passionate. I can’t wait to contribute to the community in big ways, and look forward to seeing many of you online, at conventions (look for me dressed as Iron Solari Leona soon!), and, of course, on the Fields of Justice. I’m a bit of an ARAM addict - but will be looking to climb the ranks in classic with friends over the coming months.

While I’m extraordinarily eager to start my life on the other side of the pond, I’m not rushing out the door at Crystal. Expect lots of updates over the coming weeks as I organize for my new life overseas – sort through my collectibles, sell my loyal Ford Focus, and get Donut and Sprinkles ready for an uncomfortably long “car ride.”

On a personal note, I would like to thank my family and close friends for their encouragement and support during this process. And to Sebastian – forever a partner and a friend – words can’t express my gratitude for placing any personal reservations aside and encouraging me to take this incredible opportunity, even if it puts an ocean between us. I love you.

Meagan Marie


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Today is a milestone for my family. Meaningful in the sense that we, as humans, feel the need to mark anniversaries for the good and the bad. Celebrating the good feels natural. Recognizing the bad sits oddly with me. But ten years is something worth reflecting on, I suppose.

Yesterday, my little brother Justin had been gone for 9 years, 364 days. Today, he has been dead for a decade.

I honestly can’t say the pain – which has subsided over the years from something sharp and physical to a quiet emptiness – is any different than yesterday. My body, mind, and heart have found their new median. This is what it feels like to be me in a world without Budman.

In ten years I’ve talked a lot about Justin. Mostly in private. Mostly to family, friends, and counselors. It wasn’t until these past few years that I’ve shared about him publicly. Since I’m unable to make new memories with him, I chose to share the memories I have with others. Like the video clip above - Justin and I playing Star Trek in the cupboard under the stairs. As you do.

There is one thing I’ve never said out loud in ten years though, and part of me feels guilty at this realization.

***

I don’t know if you know who I am. I don’t know if you’ve kept up with my family, or if you shut that door tight in an attempt to heal and move on. I know you asked if you could attend the funeral, and I know you sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers to our home. I also know you are a father. Other than that, you are a blank space. If there is a chance that you’ll see this, however, there is something I should have told you long ago.

I forgive you.

I’ve never harbored ill-will towards you. I can’t imagine the pain and trauma you’ve felt over these years. I can’t conceive what it was like to be there, in that moment. To juggle the terror of realization, the panic of helplessness, and likely the fear for the safety of your own very young child in the back seat.

Justin wasn’t one for rules. As with most teenagers, he thought himself immortal. He shouldn’t have crossed the street at night, far away from safety of the the traffic lights and crosswalk, on an icy road in the dead of winter. We all make mistakes. That was his. It was an accident, and one that came at a heavy cost. But it wasn’t your fault. I genuinely wish you and your family the very best. I hope you’ve embraced life fully, and love even more deeply as a result of this misfortune. I have. That was the gift that Justin gave us.

And to you, the second driver. The one that hit Justin while lying in the road, got out of the car to investigate, and raced off knowing full well what you’d done – I forgive you too. Not because you are remorseful – I have know way of knowing as you were never found – but because my energy is better off funneled into the good I can do in this world, and the change I can make. Not spent on grievances and ghosts of the past.

Best,

Meagan