Maybe I should put a disclaimer up front before I even start writing this, because I’m already emotional and I can already see this going downhill.
About two years ago now, I was introduced to the world of Let’s Play on YouTube. My first YouTube love was Tobuscus, and his videos changed a lot of things about my life. Since 2008 I have been a University student (now a month away from a graduate), carried at least two jobs not including my freelance commissions, and have mentored a robotics team full time. Toby gave me something that my chaotic life had been desperately needing - momentary mental vacations. Toby’s ten minute MineCraft videos would give me the perfect amount of downtime I needed without interfering with my busy life. I could listen to Toby talk and laugh and yell while working on a project and time would fly by and I would be happy.
This is when I learned to allow other people to help me through my projects and difficulties, even if it was in an indirect way.
Two years later, my YouTube reliance has taken me to NateWantsToBattle, Dookieshed, PewDiePie and others, most being recommendations from my two media team kids.
Three weeks ago, while watching a Five Nights at Freddy’s video from NTWB, the top related video on my side bar was for the Five Nights at Freddy’s Lets Play from a user named Markiplier.
I watched it, and for the first time since Tobuscus signed my heart, I fell in love with another YouTuber. So, his newest subscriber quickly found his horror game playlists and spent hours listening over coding streams and finishing my senior portfolio.
Ironically, tonight, while working an 89X event for local bands in Westland, one of my interns, Joe, a fellow gamer and YouTube enthusiast, entertained my new Markiplier interest by asking me this question- “If Toby and Mark were each alone at separate tables with an open chair, who would you sit with?”
Joe was in hysterics for the first 20 seconds I remained silent, deep in thought, and then quickly tended to me when he realized that this was a question I was having severe difficulty answering.
Four hours later when the event ended, I still couldn’t answer the question. Now, at 3:46 a.m., I can.
I am forever faithful to Tobuscus. His videos light up my day and Gryphon makes my heart melt. However, there are a few qualities about Markiplier that Toby doesn’t show as often.
Toby changed my life, and tonight, Mark is about to, too.
Tonight’s large pin “Your subscriptions” recommendation was a horror stand-alone Let’s Play episode from Markiplier called Ripest of Fears, a fan-made game. The game and Markiplier’s commentary came and went, and suddenly, Mark is near tears from a revelation while watching the fan’s compilation of Mark’s milestone and thank-you vlogs.
Markiplier fought off his tears. I did not. This video and Mark’s reaction hit so close to home for me. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and people come in and out of your life for a reason. This video was published over a year ago, but tonight was the time for me to watch this.
"I’m really sorry that I lost track of it, I really am. I don’t know why I only just realized it now… I’m gonna change. I’m gonna make it better, okay? And that’s a promise, and I don’t go back on my promises. I’m not gonna forget again. I’m still learning here."
This. Every word, every heartfelt pause and sincerity in each syllable. And while this promise from Markiplier was to his fans, my interpretation of this is to myself.
Everyone is striving for a better tomorrow. But, you know, people get comfortable. And people take shit for granted. I’ve been comfortable at my jobs, even though it’s not entirely what I’d like to be doing. There are a lot of things I would like to change, or projects I’d like to finish, or a friend in Royal Oak and I’d to visit, but I keep lying to myself and finding other useless things to occupy my time. And while everything I do is creative and productive, there are other weights on my shoulders that I’ve left for a very, very long time.
Somewhere, I lost my way. I don’t think it was long ago, maybe only a few months, but I’m in the dark far off my ideal path. How I got here, I’m not sure. All I know is that it’s not too late to fix this, and I have amazing friends who I can hear calling me back to the path.
How many times have I posted a “I’m back for real this time!” claim to this site just to try to convince myself I was actually going to do something that time around? And the next day I’ve vanished again. Yes, reviews and journalistic pieces take time to write, but it takes five minutes to post my photo set from the weekend, or a coding problem I’ve faced. I keep letting myself slip and make excuses.
So no more damn excuses. I’m not going to forget this time. I promise. I’m going to make this better. I have to make this better, for my own sanity. My own happiness.
I have amazing friends and two amazing jobs that have turned into stepping stones for my career. I have worked hard to develop my design style and photography technique. I can’t stop working hard just because I’m now good at what I do. I can always be better. I’m happy, but I can’t imagine how much happier I can be if I really go for what’s in my heart.
Obviously, Markiplier’s life is very different from mine. But the take-away here can be applied to anyone’s situation if they are ready to hear it and accept it. Maybe I wasn’t ready yesterday, but today, I am.
So thank you, Mark. You might never read this, but right now, you are changing my life. And thank you to everyone who has, does, and continues to believe in me each day I try to improve myself. I have climbed mountains, but I still have much more to scale.
So, Joe- I take the chair with Markiplier. And after hugging him with great gratitude and appreciation, I stand back up, because there’s no more time to sit.
I have relit my torch.