I'm not Jewish, so I can't claim this joke as being native to either myself or my sense of humor, but there's an old Hebrew proverb that pretty much defines my life:
"We plan, God laughs."
Woody Allen elaborated on that, but whatever. I'm more of a Mel Brooks guy.
I had big plans once. I wanted to write about video games for a living. I wanted to be the world's foremost expert on the medium, pontificating on the artistic and mechanical merits of digital worlds for a handsome enough sum that it could sustain a life of moderate comfort for myself, a wife and two kids. That was the dream, the ideal.
I achieved some of that. I threw myself into community-based work on a few websites, eventually honing my skill to the point where someone felt comfortable giving me a shot at professional, paid work. I had made it to the big leagues, and was being paid as a contributor for a site that was owned by an American mass-media monolith. My paychecks had their logo on them, and it never stopped feeling a little surreal.
I focused. I applied drive and passion, I improved and sharpened, eventually being promoted up from Staff Writer twice - first to Copy Editor, then to Deputy Editor. I was second-in-command. I felt like I had something great in my pocket, I was clocking time served as a Deputy Editor for a site owned by a company so major that you'd hear their three-tone fanfare just from reading their name on my resume.
Then one day, funding stopped, the site slowly started shutting down, contributors were let go followed by higher-ranking staff. I would end my tenure there after a year and a half without incident, packing a ton of completed work and loads of relevant experience writing pieces, editing the work of other writers and managing our stable of talent. I had great, glowing references, a solid body of work and professional perspective that one only achieves when you're on the management side of the desk.
I applied to sites. Pitched to sites. Very few answered, and those that did usually wanted contributor work for the low, low cost of free or would only hire if you moved to the city their office was located in, and with my wife-and-two-kids requirement already fulfilled...that wasn't going to work as part of my plans.
Whatever God actually is, I'm pretty sure He / She / It was doubled over and tearfully gasping through a grin after hearing that little gem.
I put everything my "dreams" were supposed to be on the back burners of my life. I buckled down and started working toward my Masters degree again, even though I can't stand school. I dove face-first into my day job, hoping to find something with a little more deeper meaning and inner catharsis, but to this day I haven't found much in the way of solace out of the daily grind. I.T. isn't really doing it for me.
So, somewhere during my random-vector internet travels, I stumbled upon this place. Curious to see what it could be, I signed up. I started writing this piece.
And now, you've read it. Thanks for that.
My name is Grant Patterson. I used to write community blogs for Destructoid. I am the former Deputy Editor of what were the last remnants of G4 via the Syfy television network, all of which is / was owned and operated by NBCUniversal.
I'm here to write about video games, anime and other things that grown, functional and responsible adults are no longer ashamed to openly celebrate.
Stick around. I'll do my best to make it worth your while.