‘Ha sido un placer’

Matt Spain 2005 Part 2 124

Eleven years ago, I starred in a Spanish play.

Not because I’m a good actor. But because it was a Spanish immersion program, and I chose “teatro” over “coro” as my elective.

Let’s be fair – I shared the starring role with a future Georgetown grad with a fancy name, Ryan Callahan. But I was, let’s say, the male lead. And I did what can only be described as a horrible job learning my lines. I read my lines about seven times one evening, and I had them DOWN. Except not.

And what I knew was, the lines were nonsense in my mind — I had the words, but not the meaning, not the heart, not the reality of this play. (And it’s not like it was Shakespeare; it was some crappy fourth-rate play. I don’t even remember the play’s name.)

As time passed and we were ready to perform, only one line became clear in my head:


This became the one line I remembered, the one I internalized, the one I got.

HA SIDO UN PLACER. It’s been a pleasure.

It doesn’t make sense, but whenever I have to say goodbye, a chipper, happy, excited 17-year-old me pops up in my mind, and all he says is, “HA SIDO UN PLACER.” And he delivers it in an incredible, positive, upbeat tone. Like today was the only day of his life.

In my brain, HA SIDO UN PLACER makes me smile more than anything. It’s almost my personal rally cry – acknowledging my amazing life experiences and the spectacular humans I’ve worked with, while not over-promising about my future. HA SIDO UN PLACER.

Today, I’m 28, and I’m moving from Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood to Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. Both are areas I love, and my life in Chicago – two years at a great brand agency, and a year completing my master’s degree at Northwestern – transformed me and my view of myself.  But I’m ready for the next step.

My internal cry, as weird as it sounds, resonates: HA SIDO UN PLACER. I cannot utter a word about Chicago that’s negative.

But a new world awaits.


Chicago, it’s been a pleasure. Brooklyn, zoom.

Forward we go.


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