Pop Culture Under The Microscope!

Reach Marc at: Marc@MarcMason.com

Site Feed

Buy Quality Marc Merchandise!

<< current

Marc Mason is a freelance writer based in Tempe, AZ.

Thursday, December 31, 2009  

2009 is finally almost over. Thank fuck for that.

As I’ve looked back over this past year, what sticks out to me is what an insane roller coaster ride it was. I had some incredible highs this year; on the other hand, I had some of the lowest lows to come along since Rebecca and I split.

It’s hard to find the balance.

On the high side, I worked very hard this year, and in doing so, I gained the respect of my colleagues in a way I never thought possible. I gave a presentation in Albuquerque last May that drew a ton of people, and when it was done, I was flying high in a way that no drink or drug could ever induce. That evening I spent time with an old friend whom I had missed terribly, beginning what was really a full year of touching base with the past and bringing it all to the present. It was amazing.

In the fall, I took on the role of professor for the first time. No longer would I be just the “hired gunslinger” that rolled into classes, taught for a day, and left the students behind. Instead, I would take responsibility for the same group of students across a sixteen-week span. It was a life-changing experience. I learned so much it was almost sickening. The hired gun stuff is fine for now, but I think my future may be in putting away the pistols and grabbing the whip and chair, spending the semesters taming a new group each time. Feeling the full effect of my impact in a way that my day job doesn’t really allow.

The lows… they were always there creeping in the background. Exactly one week after my triumphant night in New Mexico, I spent the evening in the company of someone who, in the space of two hours, completely destroyed every bit of confidence and self-esteem I possessed. I can still feel the emotional sensations from that evening reverberating through me to this day. Not too much later, I thought I had met someone really grand, someone I thought might be my next longterm relationship. Instead, she broke my heart. Coming so close to that prior soul-crushing, it left me almost completely malfunctional.

Confidence was an ongoing issue. Every time it seemed like I was gaining a bit, something would happen to kick me back down. I wandered dazed throughout much of the summer and early autumn. I discovered that I can fake my way through work, fake my way through social events, fake my way through so many things.

The zombie apocalypse is already here. If I can do what I did, then how many other thousands or millions are doing the exact same thing? The dead are walking among us; they just aren’t advertising that fact. Yet.

For all of it, I kept plugging along. The occasional high moment would come along, and I would thus be injected with a new fervor to work towards the next one. Knowing the lows were coming, I put my focus on numbing myself to them and waiting them out. It was a playing of the odds; the Law of Averages means that things do eventually have to swing back the other way.

And if you can’t trust the law, you’re screwed. Really, really screwed.

What I ultimately remembered, though, is that sometimes you have to make your own luck. Sometimes the only way to uphold the law is by breaking it for the greater good. Thus, I set out to end the year on my terms, and on my high.

As far back as 2003, I had put together a collection of columns from when I was doing Happy Nonsense on a weekly basis, adding a few short stories into the mix as well. However, it had never come together, and sat collecting metaphorical dust for years. Back in April I had dug it out and added author’s commentary for each piece, thinking that perhaps this would be the year I got it out in front of the public. Then all the shit I mentioned above started happening, and I put it aside again. Cut to December.

Taking charge of my fate, and putting the lows behind me, the book finally got finished and released.

When I held it in my hands, it was like light coursing through my veins. If I died tonight, I have at least left that behind. It’s a snapshot image of who I was from my late 20s to my early 30s, for better or worse.

Maybe that’s what it is all ultimately about. I had never wanted children of my own, but after having three step-children in my life during some of those years, I developed a strong realization of how much kids represent our footprint on this planet. Even now, as she nears 14, I see my impact on Krysten quite clearly. It’s brilliant to see those little things she picked up from me and incorporated into her personality at a young age still developing as a teen.

What I will mostly leave behind, though, are my words. THE JOKER’S ADVOCATE is hopefully just the start. What my focus will be on in 2010 is in powering through and upping my creative output. Producing more “children” with my name on the cover and/or in the credits.

So now I say goodbye to 2009. It wasn’t the world’s greatest experience. But it had its moments; the best one I made myself, quite literally. And hopefully by the time this day rolls around in another year, you’ll find me right here, doing what no series of lows can stop me from doing.

Still standing.

12:11 PM

Cheers, Marc!
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger.