One year ago today I did something that I never thought I would do. I left ScrewAttack. When I started at the company Craig gave me a chance that no one else had up to that point. I’m proud of what I was able to contribute to the team while I was there, but after 3 years at the company I became restless. When I left I was the Editor-in-Chief of the small news team I had built for the website, was a regular reviewer, video editor, continued working on my growly voiced Armory episodes for IGN, and of course was the host of Hard News. I had been balancing these tasks (not including what I was doing outside of ScrewAttack) for over a year. I felt stuck. In that all too familiar rut you hear people talk about when they get to the point that they feel like they’re going through the motions.

My personal life wasn’t advancing much either. I was 28, living in a house with friends younger than me and paying off my many bills. The year prior I had to have an operation without health insurance and only then did I learn the horrors of trying to find independent insurance. There were other health issues after the operation which have since gone away, but it felt relentless at the time. Not only did I have those costs to contend with, but my extremely large college loan payments never went away either. Bills were a very large part of my life to say the least, but I think that’s true for everyone.

Feeling like I was in a rut at work, and not making any gains monetarily I needed a change. I wanted to do more in, and for the gaming industry so when the opportunity came around that would give me the chance to work for a publisher in California I took it. Thoughts of health insurance woes going away was quite exciting, and I couldn’t wait to do something completely new. I didn’t want to give up the entertainment side of the industry either so I brought back an old website, The Daily DL and would soon begin making content for myself again. The Daily DL, for those who don’t know is what got me noticed by ScrewAttack. I had been doing gaming news before it really existed on the internet and brought a humorous, aggressive, honest and unadulterated opinion to the table. There’s no reason I would want to stop if I left ScrewAttack so I gave it a shot on my own.

I still miss every single person who I worked with in Texas. I will always consider them all some of my closest friends.

Getting here was fun. I had the opportunity to drive from Texas to California, see the Grand Canyon, and still remember the feelings of hope and excitement as I crossed the border and watched a stunning sunset as I entered the state. Whenever I get overwhelmed with work these days I remember that moment by myself and that I promised myself to take every single opportunity that came my way while here to make my life better. And every opportunity to meet, or experience something new. The latest adventure involved chasing a weather balloon, and a whole lot of poison oak on my skin, but I’d probably do it again if the chance arose.

Anyway, back on to some semblance of a story here. I’m in California. I’ve started at the video game publisher Frogster America, and I’ve finally gotten all of the settling bs out of the way. The Daily DL is doing well. I’ve got a regular set of visitors and traffic is rising every day. I had even built an all new news team that was surprisingly overqualified for the positions they filled. There were people working to make some cool video content too. Together a bunch of people who were as crazy passionate about gaming as I was were building something cool.

At Frogster I was managing the Runes of Magic community through Facebook contests, and I had the great fortune of being allowed to create a trailer for the game. I was happy that my video editing talents weren’t going to waste and I was actually getting pretty good with After Effects.

In my personal life I had finally seen a Doctor who took the time to listen to what was going on with my health and within a matter of a month had fixed any nagging issues. I was even dating a lady friend.

Then E3 happened. E3 brought forth many unexpected changes for me. It was the first time I went to an event as Destin from The Daily DL, and though I was only there for a 24 hour period I was able to come out of it with 13 pieces of content that I shot, and edited myself. As in, I set up my camera, conducted the interview, then imported the footage, got assets and edited the piece and put it up on The Daily DL by myself. 13 times. I was damn proud of what I had accomplished and even went on to see a few exclusives soar past the 100,000 view count. I also met someone who strongly suggested that I apply for an open position at their video game company, and seeing no harm in applying I did when I returned.

I also applied at IGN.

I had applied there before and I remember thinking this time that there was only one thing that would make me stop doing what I was doing at The Daily DL. That one thing, obviously, was getting a job at IGN. The way I saw it, if I ended up at the biggest gaming website on the planet then I was going to focus all my energy on contributing to that platform and being a part of it through and through.

However the balance of a personal life ended up out of whack. The dating stopped, though not due to the fact that I got a job, and to cope I did what I always do. I focused unwaveringly on my work. My old friend Jose actually ended up taking over my old position at Frogster and did a great job until the company shut down in December. I was really proud to see him step up and kick some ass. He really did some good and I was happy to help get him acclimated to the area, enjoyed spending time with him while he was here, and again miss him now that he’s gone back to Texas. Luckily the internet makes the world a little bit smaller.

And that’s about where things are left one year later. I’m still at IGN working on the guides team, and I still want to do more for the company. The one regret I have is that I feel like I lost a bit of the voice I had before in the industry. I know a lot of people think of Hard News as an informative or humor based show, but for me it was being the voice of Mr. Average Gamer. There were no sponsors that could buy me and there still aren’t, but I no longer have the platform to speak my mind completely unfiltered and as crazy as I want it to be. In the personal life side of things I’m dating, albeit long distance which is difficult to say the least. And as for friends, well, frankly I don’t really have any close ones in the area. I work with some nice people, but still haven’t clicked with anyone the way I did with the guys at ScrewAttack. I don’t blame anyone but myself for that because all I’ve been doing is working non-stop and not really making a real attempt to get to know anyone.

I don’t know how to wrap this up as it’s probably a grammatical mess, filled with errors and meant more for me than anyone, but I’ll give it a shot.

One year after moving to California I’m content, but restless. The cost of living increase means I live in a very nice house, but still with roommates, and over an hour from my job. I still work for a great gaming website, just a different one, and I still love video games. To sum it all up, not much has changed except that I’m working on making my life better one day at a time.

And now I apparently make gigantic posts about nothing.