Tristan on Stepping Back from TSSZ, Somewhat
“Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of starts and stops. There are ends we don’t desire, but they’re inevitable, we have to face them. It’s what being human is all about.”
In one form or another, I’ve been a part of this community for more than 15 years. That is more than half of my life, but it dwarfs in comparison to the first time I picked up and played the original Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis my mother bought me in 1991–when I was six years old. It’s a long affiliation that has taken me from the glory days of a golden age of platforming to the onset of the hedgehog’s modern era, the introduction of new sidekicks and storylines, the many resets that have been attempted on the franchise since, and the ups, downs, and all arounds that have been part of it all. I have grown up with Sonic, and with many of you reading our coverage of everything Sonic, Sega, and beyond here on TSSZ.
But I don’t know that I’ve grown up, period.
Next year, I’m going to be 30 years old. Lately, I’ve had a sort of late quarterlife crisis, asking myself what I’ve done, and why I’ve not done more. One of my life’s dream goals is to become a television journalist, a dream that, for better or worse, no longer appears feasible, even in my late 20s. The satisfaction of my work here on TSSZ helps offset that personal disappointment significantly. Good journalism is good journalism, no matter the form, and I will never apologize for the journalism that has been a part of this site for so long, because while there were bumps in the road, I know what has been done here has made a difference within the community, with Sega and perhaps within the industry at large, for better or worse.
However, my entire life should not revolve and evolve around a place talking about a blue hedgehog. In recent years, I’ve seen a lot of my friends–people I’ve known since my pre-teens and even beyond–make the most of what they want. I know people who anchor in major television markets, and others who aspire and even open shows on Broadway. I know reporters, teachers, firefighters, agents, actors, executives, bakers, movers, shakers, but sadly, not candlestick makers. And most important, I have friends who are now married or close to it, and have children, and have generally become real adults who still aren’t boring. It feels like I’ve missed something, somewhere along the line, where I put my own dreams on hold for some idea of public good through the frame of a video game site.
That’s not to say that’s bad, or that I haven’t enjoyed what I do here, or that I don’t consider what I do here to be part of my “real life.” That’s silly. When I tell people we chronicled a significant civil case that had immediate ramifications on business and community, people don’t laugh–at least, not on the outside. When I tell people I almost got sued out of existence from the company I cover in the name of standing up for what I believe in, people don’t laugh–again, at least not on the outside. They definitely don’t laugh when I say our reporting may be why some don’t have jobs they loved anymore.
But as I evaluated where I was in life, I knew that, eventually, I would have to step back from the daily tasks of reporting here on TSSZ. It was just a matter of it being the right time, and ensuring the right team was in place to continue and grow what this site is and what it means to this community for as long as we can go. Now has become the right time, as I have accepted a job where my work will be seen nationally and, perhaps, beyond. I won’t bore you with details on where I’m going–part of that is that I just think you’ll be bored, and another part is that I don’t wish to suffer the same sort of harassment I endured when some less than kind individuals in this community chose to harass me based on where I will soon no longer be. The team is right as well. With the addition of Donnie to TSSZ beginning Monday, known to many as SSF1991 in the community and known for his work on the marathon streams and on Sonic Paradox, I am confident I can focus on what’s in front of me, while ensuring you will still get the latest Sonic, Sega, and important video game news of the day.
And so you will be hearing and seeing a lot less from me beginning next week. Donnie will assume the daily reporting responsibilities I had, while the rest of the TSSZ team will continue in their current duties, helping him and helping you stay informed. I will still be around. I will, for the moment, be retaining my EIC title and role, and will be reporting as I can, focusing more on administrative, maintenance, and decision making roles. You’ll still see and hear from me on upcoming special events like Sonic Boom NYC and New York Comic Con. There’s also one small matter I’d like your help with, and I’ll talk about that tomorrow. But beyond that, we’ll see.
So it’s not really a proper good-bye from me. That, I’m sure, will come later. I hope you’ll welcome Donnie, and I want you to know that, even if you don’t see my work as often anymore, I am working behind the scenes to ensure your experience here and the quality of reporting you get will not change. You are our reader for a reason, and we will never take your support for granted. You deserve complete news coverage on the topics you care about, and together, our team will continue to do just that. For me, however, it’s time to enter the Special Stage, create some chaos, and maybe come out with an emerald or two at the end.
It’s time for me to fly.