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This shark is heading off into the open ocean


After nearly nine amazing, wonderful, and crazy years, my time at Destructoid has come to an end. I fell in love with this place ever since I first laid eyes on it, finding myself entranced by the gonzo writing style Niero produced in secret while working at his then day job. I will always love this website, all of the people I've had the pleasure of working with, and most of all the insane community that formed around us. We all had a hand in building something unique here. Something I'm confident in saying that changed the status quo when it came to how the games industry would be covered.  

It's a bit surreal having to write these words. A goodbye of sorts even though I'll still be around, checking in on the site, and seeing where things go from here. I'm excited for the track the site is heading on. With a renewed focus on doing the type of content that made Destructoid so special back in the early days. I'm confident the current team under the leaderships of Jordan Devore, Steven Hansen, Andy Dixon, and especially with Jonathan Holmes as Editor-in-Chief, can get us there. Hah, I wrote us. Once a Dtoider, always a Dtoider.
I started at Destructoid not because I wanted to be a great gaems journalismst, become part of this big industry, or anything fancy like that. None of us from the early days had that delusion. I was just lost and pretty depressed in life at the time, trying to figure out my future. Dtoid looked like a fun thing to be a part of when I discovered it and straight up, I lucked out big time getting involved with all this.
Long story short, Niero invited me on board out of the blue, and I found a new home that I felt I belonged to. It was an incredible feeling having an avenue to talk about something I loved when I was at home or needed to pass the time during my then day job. Never did I imagine this would turn into a full time gig, let alone end up in charge of this place eight years later.
I've grown up a lot thanks to my time here. Where once I could count the number of friends I had on one hand, I can now get overwhelmed simply thinking about the friends I have ALL OVER THE WORLD. Where once I was a depressed sad boy, I now want to spread joy to all those that I can. Where once I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I now know exactly who I am, and what I'm good at. 
Dtoid offered me a chance to grow and experiment in ways most jobs would never allow. I got to find myself ... believe in myself. I'm not perfect. I don't claim to have all the answers. And there were plenty of missteps along the journey. That's all part of growing up, to being human. 
My leaving is nothing against Destructoid. It's just personally, I feel it's time I see what else is out there. I'm dying. Like, dying in a "I'm human" sense, not because I have cancer or anything ... well I don't think I have cancer. Oh god this is a terrible joke. Point is, I'm mortal and I want to make the most of my existence with this thing called life.  
I have a plan for the future and need to grow from here to achieve it, simple as that. Parting ways has been an idea I've been wrestling with for a long while now. It was actually right before E3 2014 that I finally committed to the thought, determined to make the big trade show my last on the media side. I love the games industry, I still want to be a part of it, and wherever I end up next will let me continue to do that, hopefully. I wasn't in a rush to just split though. I took my time so I could leave the site in a state that -- on the backend of things at least -- it wouldn't know I'm even gone. 
I'm choking. I'm choking on air and feel tears swelling around my eyes now. It's out of happiness. Thinking about how once upon a time we were the scrappy underdogs that Nintendo wouldn't even give the time of day to whereas now we see Destructoid quotes appear on Nintendo games pretty regularly. That still blows my mind to this day. 
More importantly, I'm thinking about all the people that have become my friends through this journey, and through the friendship have helped shape who I am, whether they truly know it or not. Colette, Dyson, the Burches, YTMVK, Carnage, Leigh, Husky, Chester, Samit, Becca, Hollie, Maddock, Linde, Mxy, Joanna, Ali D, Conor, Max, Bill, Steven, Brett, Fronz, .tiff, DMV, Dale, Dixon, Jordan, Jake Harder, Jake D, Venom, Curtis, George, Genevieve, ARC, Lizzie, Carol, Chris, Meagan, Sebastian, Razak, Renelly, Chad, Alex V, King Friday, Joe Ark Sun, Dope, Fabien, Kovic, Shaun, Oshry, R3Y, Mikey, Brandon, Ray, Laura, Tara, Julio, Armando, Miguel, Hardin, Dustin, Justin, Yamilia, Jacq, Tim, Beccy, Stan, Nick, Lisa, Aubrey, Salisbury, Harrison, Regina, Jenn, Neal, Neil, Shannon, Jared, Jose, Cutie Honey, Jesse, Larsen, Sam, Bryan, Drew, Nathan, Rami, Nigel, Steph, Drake, Michelle, Bob, Karen, Casey, Eric, Ali, Neuman, Andy Eddy, David, King3Vbo, Jennie, Tina, Brian P, J, other J, Rubens, Togail, Stella, Caitlin, Faith, Taylor, Kristen, Stone, Alissa, Goebel, Long, Varian, Kye, Koh, Jessalyn, Dakota, Shannon, Danny, Rachel, Ben, Andrew, Kranzl, Tony, Kohler, Steve, Carboni, John Lee, Jermaine, Eric, Guitar Atomik, Carlos, Zac, Kyle, Darren, Danny, Edith, AngelsDontBurn, ArrestedDeveloper, S-Kill, Ben, BahamutZero, BigPopGamer, blehman, BlindsideDork, Casey, CannibalCalvin, Zimmerman, deiga-the-semivaliant, Adam, DJDuffy, Sterling, Nicholson, Professor Pew, mid3vol, Mel, Marcus, Amarisse, MrSadistic, GRIMECRAFT, Neonie, Qalamari, Rio, Jayson, Chanh, Sharpless, Snaileb, Powers, AJ, Jason, powerglove, Gamegoblin, Volcanon, and of course, Niero. Plus so so so many more names that I feel like a giant asshole for not being able to recall them. I'm just so thankful for all of you.
I guess my point in this word vomit of a goodbye is that life is a journey. You don't get there alone. I want to experience more, explore more, and enjoy life more. I'm going forward towards the next chapter of my journey, scared and excited at what the future holds. Thank you. For everything.
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About Hamza CTZ Azizone of us since 10:04 PM on 10.01.2006

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