September 21, 2012 | 8:27 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I had lunch this week with a young man named Michael Mazzella. If you have been following my reality blog from the beginning, you know I have a rather unfortunate history with Mr. Mazzella. I heard of Michael when he was a 19 year old kid who was on the path to a career in the entertainment business.
He was writing blogs for Lynn Hudson’s website and decided that he was going to hate me, simply because he was told to. For reasons I will never understand, I was hated by people who never knew me. By never understanding why, of course I mean it was all about hate, jealousy, and ignorance.
Michael got caught up in all the drama. He was a young kid, a good writer, and in his zest to get his career started, a little naïve. I reached out to him with some words of wisdom based on my experience. He responded to my kindness by writing a scathing article about me, a woman he had never met.
It was sad, hurtful, unbelievable, and in the end quite funny. This is not really about me, as much as it is about Michael, and ultimately faith. Michael reached out to me a few months ago and we made a plan to meet for lunch. Due to scheduling conflicts, and a change of heart, we never got together.
I was apprehensive because while he told me he was sorry and wanted to make amends, why would I care? It was over and I did not want to go back to that time. I forgot about Michael and his request for lunch, and then he reached out again. This time when he contacted me, things were different.
Lynn Hudson had passed away, and I was deeply moved by her death. Death does not give anyone a pass for having been an unkind person, but what her passing did do was allow me to forgive her. I was able to see her as a mother, a wife, and a sister, not just an adversary.
I agreed to meet with Michael and so we had lunch. He was not what I was expecting. He was nervous to meet me and I felt bad for him. He is a good kid and you can see the pain and shame that he feels. Many things have been taken away from this boy and he carries the burden of what was lost.
Judaism says: It is forbidden to be obdurate and not allow yourself to be appeased. On the contrary, one should be easily pacified and find it difficult to become angry. When asked by an offender for forgiveness, one should forgive with a sincere mind and a willing spirit. — Mishneh Torah, Teshuvah 2:10
Ideally a person who has caused harm, needs to sincerely apologize, then the wronged person is religiously bound to forgive. Next week is Yom Kippur and so I not only accept his apology, but am relieved he accepted mine. Life is unpredictable and I feel blessed to have peace with Michael.
It’s sad that peace never came with Lynn because it is hard to be left with so many unanswered questions. You have not heard from Michael for a long time, and so I invited him to write a blog so perhaps some of your questions can be answered. He has dark days, but he is ready to move on and start fresh.
The lesson to be learned is that forgiveness is a comfort to both the person requesting forgiveness and the one accepting it. As I enter into a new year for my faith, and head into Yom Kippur, I am seeking peace for myself. Meeting Michael eased my sorrow and reminded me to keep the faith.
FROM MICHAEL MAZZELLA:
It’s been months since you have heard from me. It would be easy to slap a few words up saying I’m doing just swell and life couldn’t be any better, that would be an untruth. I believe depression is manifested by the loss of hope of what could be and holding on to the hope that the past could be any different. To say I have been depressed for the last several months would be a gross understatement. One day I was on the fast track to becoming everything I ever dreamt of and the very next I stood starring at the reflection of a person who was 35lbs heavier and someone I simply no longer knew or recognized.
The day my life changed was a disaster of cataclysmic proportions, leaving only broken pieces to be salvaged. How I was going to find peace from these broken pieces was beyond me. For my entire life I found entertainment in reading about other people’s lives and their stories, fiction or non-fiction. Having worked in entertainment news and often serving as the publisher of said stories, never once did I stop and think about the impact they had on the people who they were exploiting. It wasn’t until the morning of June 1st 2012 that my soul became tethered by the very platform I had so often stood upon.
For the first time I was reading an article about myself, written by the two people who were in the forefront of my life, some pieces of the work were facts, some total untruths, but everything was nonreversible. I felt as though my vocal chords had been ripped from my body and my voice could not be heard As I read the hundreds of scathing comments from readers who took the time to be mindlessly entertained by the downfall of another, much like I had often done, my mind began to fill with remorse and regret for the people I had written and “reported” on. People like Ilana Angel and Sonja Morgan.
To see people I had once loved calling me a snake and claiming I lied about my age was horrifying. Mostly because I had lost my voice, something I once relied upon. Not for one moment do I claim to be guilt free, nor did I ever say I was. I have made mistakes. I look back at things I did and think I was an idiot. How could I be so blind to my own actions? I am appalled by the lack of sense I displayed, and my choice to ignore the sea of red flags that was right in front of me. Despite this, I have never had malicious intent toward anyone and I will not fall on the sword for things that are exaggerated or not true, I will not.
Let’s talk about life lessons. For a moment I thought it may be a problem that I have not earned a college agree, well y’all let me tell ya, in the last few months I have learned more then any professor could teach me. First of all, if you start out getting what you want, but not what you need, you are screwed. Second, when you ignore that little whisper telling you something may not be the best idea, don’t ignore it, because again, you will be screwed. Third, insecurity encompassed with an overly ambitious desire to do everything right away will only lead to one thing, wait for it, you guessed it, getting screwed.
I have learned so much about trust, the great importance of always telling the truth, even when it may hurt feelings, and loving all people no matter what. To wish malicious intent on someone will only lead to pain in your own life because the fact is, everything you do to hurt someone will be done right back to you. I’ve learned so much from the mistakes I’ve made that I believe it may be a good thing in the end. I promise you I’ll never make them again. To think you have the power to destroy someone’s career and rip their dreams out from under them is a sick thing. No one has that power and it is not what God wants.
Every human being on earth has a right to work and go after their dreams. If someone wants to stop them for whatever reason, they will have God to answer to. I just turned 20 and it’s a new decade in my life. It’s time to move on and be myself again. I will say that when Ilana suggested I write this, I was instantly filled with fear. I could only think about the horrible things that people would attempt to do to me, but as I thought further, I realized I am the only person who has the right to say who I am, period. I am not a snake, I’ve lied but am not a liar, and I really do think I am a good person.
I emailed Sonja apologizing for what I had written about her. No one needs to feel that pain, even if they are famous. As for Ilana, she is a lovely person. For her to allow me to do this is something she did not have to do. Many of you know she and I have had a tumultuous past, but this is proof that anything can be mended, forgiveness is possible, and you should not judge someone you have never met. As for me, I am living in Hollywood, looking for a new job, and never giving up. I will become the next Wendy Williams. Minus the cong-congs of course.
Love to everyone,
Thanks to Michael for reaching out, being kind, being open, and most importantly for keeping it real.
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