Twenty-one years ago, I met someone who has been a special person to me ever since. I’ve learned so much from her and it is a pleasure to be able to call her one of my mentors. That person also just so happens to be our current fearless leader at The Daily Feels – Janis Gaudelli!
As any good story involving eternal teenagers, we met at a mall. She was working and event that I was attending, and we ended up clicking immediately. She introduced me to one of her colleagues, who would also go on to become one of my favorite people, as well as a mentor, and friend – and for a short period, my boss.
Janis and I kept in touch after that town hall at the King of Prussia mall. Life has taken both of us in different directions over the last two decades, but one thing has remained constant. If I have ever needed advice from her, she was always willing to help. Also, we have had plenty of time to gossip about pop culture over the years too. Whether it’s Britney, Blink-182, or someone else, we have most likely discussed and shared our thoughts.
A few years ago, Janis reached out to me with an idea that she had. She was planning to create a website where a tribe of individuals could share their stories with each other and the world. I felt honored that she chose to include me… but honestly, was also a nervous and scared. I grew up in a family where we didn’t really share our feelings and with most of the writing that I had done up until that point, the goal was always to stay out of the story as much as possible. If it had been almost anyone else, I probably would have turned down the offer. I trusted Janis though, and with my trademark anxiety, I jumped right in.
Now that this will be my last regular contribution to The Daily Feels for awhile, I felt it was only fitting to dedicate it to the woman who has changed many lives. By the time we met, she had already created a community at Teen People magazine with thousands of teenagers. So, this wasn’t her first time at the rodeo when it came to creating a safe community for people to join.
Along with using The Daily Feels as a way to share her journey, she has allowed does of other people to share their truths as well. Regardless of how tentative we might have felt about sharing aspects of our lives, we knew that by sharing it there might be others out there going through similar things or who could relate to it.
That is one of the best things about Janis. She has a way of bringing people together… and doing so with the best outlook. She is always encouraging. While some of us might be inclined to turn green with jealous at times, Janis is truly happy to help people and see them succeed.
From that town hall, hanging out in the VIP boxes at The X Games, to having lunch at the MoMA, and terrorizing the halls in the Time Inc building, I am glad to be able to know you, call you one of my mentors; but most importantly to call you a friend.
Here’s photo from that fateful meeting… for some reason we were doing the sorority sister squat. It was 2000, what can I say?
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob