Ive had a pretty interesting life to be sure. Ive traveled all over the place and seen and done things that should have killed me or put me in jail, and yet i am still here.
Ive been a gamer for the better part of that life as well as a sponsored skater, a janitor at a health club and a cashier at 7-11. If i had only been the many things i had a chance to be and not the things i was i think my life would be a lot different and a lot more fulfilling.
Gaming has in recent years opened my eyes to possibilities of what life could hold for me had i made some simple changes or choices earlier in life. Through Destructoid i got a job writing for Tomopop which i eventually quit to pursue other endeavors which til now havent exactly worked out, but i keep trying.
Before Destructoid though, i had a chance to do something that would have made a huge difference in my life and where i am today. I was offered something that could have potentially landed me in a very different place in life and ide like to share that with you if you wouldnt mind coming along as i relate a small part of this odd life of mine.
In 1998 after a really messy relationship disaster i had a chance to go back to school and rebuild things a bit. I ended up moving to Savannah Georgia to attend school at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) with a focus on animation and game design. I took a huge chance by moving but i figured why the hell not, i had nothing else going on and this was a positive step forward. I ended up going to school for a year and realized this wasnt what i wanted to do after spending endless hours in render labs hunched over a computer like a fucking zombie waiting. Yeah i get it, hows is this different then what im doing now? I understand that irony trust me. Anyhow this wasnt what i wanted from life, it wasnt me and i couldnt see myself turning into one of these unclean socially awkward code monkeys i was surrounded by.
I had been dating a girl at the time who was from Atlanta who also wasnt real happy about being in Savannah so we decided to move to Atlanta and check shit out there and see what we could get into.
I had been working at NBC as a graphic artist in Savannah and gotten a job at the NBC station in Atlanta so this made the move a lot easier since i would have a job ready once we got to town. Once we got to Atlanta things changed really quick and i got jerked around for 2 weeks by NBC before they came clean and told me they gave my job to someone else. I was furious and dejected and totally deflated and since rent was due in two more weeks i was freaking out.
I went into panic mode and decided to fall back on something i had been doing for years cause it was easy the pay was good and i knew i could jump right into it with little problem, i got back into framing. I got a job about two days at a local gallery which turned out to be a pretty good thing on some levels but not so much on others.
While i was working at the gallery i kept trying to find work as a designer at various places around Atlanta with pretty much no luck. Jobs were hard to come by and the ones i could find were entry level and paid shit compared to what i was making at the gallery. Over time i stopped doing design work almost all together and gave up trying to even get work in the field. I was letting my dream slip away from me little by little and didnt even realize it.
One day my girlfriend and i were out at a friends house, his name was Matt and he was also a skater and gamer nerd like me. It turned out that Matt worked for PLAYSTATION Magazine and was an editor or something. Matt and i became fast friends and would go out and skate sometimes or play games at his house.
A few months later Matt and i are out skating and he asked me if i had ever thought about getting into the gaming world. Matt knew i liked writing (mostly stories, poetry and lyrics cause i use to sing in a band) and asked me if i wanted a job writing for PSM. At the time things were tight as fuck money wise and i couldnt afford a multi-hundred dollar gaming console or games for that matter. I loved the idea of doing reviews and all that but i just couldnt afford to get into it and got really nervous about the prospect of something like that. Im not sure but i think i may have even been scared of the idea of doing this.
Basically after months and months of failures looking for jobs and having endless interviews that lead nowhere and the initial problems i had with NBC left me feeling pretty inadequate and a bit lost. When Matt asked me if i wanted to do this it seemed too good to be true and i felt like it couldnt possibly ever work out cause that was what life was feeling like at the time. Part of it was the money issue but a bigger part of it was i had lost my confidence and was totally shaken by the prospect of this.
About a month later Matt ended up moving to Florida for a new job with another publication and i really didnt ever talk to him again. It was kinda weird but in a way i was releaved i didnt take the job since he was leaving it. I know that doesnt make any sense really but thats how it felt at the time.
I eventually ended up breaking up with the girl and meeting my now exwife and going back to school and dropping out of school and moving back to Virginia where i have been festering for the better part of the last three years. My life has not turned out the way i thought it would to say the least.
I often try and take stock in the events of my life and understand them move forward and try not to make the same mistakes i made in the past. Often the events of Matt asking me if i wanted a job come into my mind and really bother me cause i should have owned up to it and done it. I think about how gaming has grown and how i could have possibly grown with it to what it has become today. I could and probably would have moved past the simple reviews into a more proactive arena such as scripting or Project Manager/Lead at a game company.
I had an entire future ahead of me, a future filled with possibilities and countless roads i could have followed that could have lead me to any number of wonderful places, but i let my insecurities get the better of me and all those dreams have gone unrealized.
I kick myself a lot for the things i didnt do and things that could have been. I realize thats kind of a waste of time so i try not to be so hard on myself about it but its still bothersome. I realized that you have to take chances in life otherwise youre not alive youre just living.
So i took a big chance last year and moved to California which ended up not working out so well but i loved the experience and what the hell, its not like i was doing anything noteworthy on the East Coast anyhow. I got laid off while i was there and thanks to Chad Concelmo i got an interview with Game Trailers and took another chance. I didnt get the job in the end and eventually had to move back east cause i ran out of money and didnt have a choice.
The one things ive learned over all these years though is to take chances and not let insecurities get in the way of what might be. I let too many chances like the the Matt offered me go to waste and i decided that its not worth it not to try. Whats the worst that can happen really anyhow?
I mean you move across a continent get laid off and have to move back penniless? Shit. Thats not the worst thing that could happen by far.
The worst thing that could have happened was i didnt try and instead sat here doing nothing and not making any progress in life or career.
I hope to find work again soon cause being jobless fucking sucks and at some point GeekVariety.com will launch and might turn into the thing i imagine it can be but until then i wont stop dreaming and taking chances.
I guess in a round about why im just trying to tell you dont not take chances. Do everything and anything you can. Try and meet people in person, network, take internships, try and get a job writing for a gaming site if thats something you love doing or want to be involved in. Do everything you can to learn about the gaming industry if thats where you want to be by getting involved and taking chances.
Trust me aint nobody going to do it for you so if you want to be a part of the gaming world then make it fucking happen! read