Chris is on Infinite Earths, Episode 18: Brightest Day #0 (2010)

Warning: Very self-indulgent and introspective post incoming.

It’s Wednesday, which is the day I would usually release episodes of Chris is on Infinite Earths, the podcast named after this blog.  In fact, I was actually bellied up to the microphone yesterday fully intending to finally record Episode 36… but I couldn’t.

There was something stopping me… a few things, I guess.  First, it just doesn’t feel right.  I guess maybe not enough time has passed?  I’m very conflicted.  Last year, the Brightest Day episode I’m sharing today was my return to recording following Reggie’s aortic dissection.  Back then, I told myself I would “get back to work” just as soon as I got the word that everything was going to be okay.  This year, that call isn’t going to come.

How do you know when it’s right to… not so much “move on”, but… move forward?  This is all new to me, and it’s really done a number on many aspects of my life.  Pertaining to this hobby in particular: It conjures up questions of why I do this in the first place.  I honestly can’t answer that.  Why do I do this?  Why do I create content and share ideas about comic books?  Is it intrinsically motivated… or, is it just habit and “muscle memory”?

Since Reggie’s passing, I have recorded a handful of shows… and a handful of segments, but it took a lot of effort… a lot of conflict, guilt, and pain.  It didn’t feel natural, it didn’t feel “right”.  I feel like I did it for the wrong reasons.  I did it to “maintain a schedule”, I convinced myself I’d be “letting people down” if I didn’t.  Neither of those reasons sound very intrinsic, do they?

At the end of the day, nobody but me cares about “my schedule”, and as the numbers show, nobody is interested/invested enough in what I do to be “let down” if I don’t deliver.  I’d wager there are very few out there have noticed the absence of my voice on the digital airwaves over the past couple months.

I never wanted to find myself “slipping into a persona” when recording.  I always endeavor to be honest, true, and real when sharing/foisting my voice on listeners.  I never wanted to have to “flip that switch” from conversation-mode to “presentation-mode”… but, I can’t deny that that’s how it’s been the last few times out.  To me, that’s just not how “this” ought to work.

There’s a lesson there.  It goes back to some advice Reggie had tried, many times over the years, to give me.  To focus only on the intrinsic qualities of everything we did.  Make the pursuit itself the goal.  Don’t worry about end-users (and if there are any) or a “community” that doesn’t want anything to do with us.  Don’t worry about anything other than our own enjoyment, pride, and satisfaction.  I’m sure I’m babbling right now… but, I think there’s a point in there somewhere.

Let’s get to Brightest Day for a minute… again, this was the first show I put out following Reggie’s aortic dissection.

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With this return episode of Chris is on Infinite Earths, I kinda just let it flow.  I let my own conversation take me wherever it wanted to go… which would sort of become the hallmark of the program.  I always envisioned the “Chris Show” to be more personal… and provide a bit of insight into both “the process” as well as my life in general.  Not that I’ve lived any sort of mindbogglingly interesting life or anything… but, there can be some poignancy in the mundane… I guess?

This episode was the most personal episode to that point.  I connected the Brightest Day “crossovent” with what was going on in my life around that time… also sort of intersecting it with the overall concept of “change”.  Change isn’t always something within our control… in fact, for someone like me who is terrified of straying from the “norm”… from the “template”, change is very seldom something I would go out of my way to “effect”.

The personal story I shared during this Brightest Day episode concerned my losing my job back in 2008… which, I’m sure I’m not the only person to lose their gig that year… and just how the next couple of years rolled out.  We lost our home, were literally within 10 days of being homeless… nearly lost the cars, we were really in a bad way.  We wouldn’t find any semblance of normalcy and hope until right around the time of Brightest Day.  It was a very difficult, and character-building, time in my life.  Might’ve been the first time I was actually forced to build any!

So, this “new format” for the program, wherein I’d spend sometimes up to an hour sharing some personal stories and anecdotes before hopping into the comic discussion itself, gave me that intrinsic satisfaction.  The pursuit… the activity of “creating” was everything to me.  I didn’t about anything else.

I’ve been writing for around an hour and a half at this point… and, honestly… I’m not sure I’ve even “said” anything.  Maybe I’m just trying to clear out a mental logjam… maybe I’m just trying to work out in my head whether or not there’s still a “place” for me and my voice in this little world…. because at the end of the day, I still want to create, but I want to make sure I’m doing it for the right reason(s).

Anyways, if you made it this far (both of you), I greatly appreciate it.  I’ll try and be less self-indulgent tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Chris is on Infinite Earths, Episode 18: Brightest Day #0 (2010)

  • I don't see as being self indulgent. The sharing of your personal journey with others can be a very good thing. I hope for you, the person sharing of themselves, that there is some mental benefit to just talking abut your story. It can be a way to analyze your own thoughts and your relationships right?

    For me as the listener (or reader as the case may be), I get to experience your story and hopefully find something relatable that makes me feels good about myself, and hopefully empathize with you. Personally I found some of your "Chris-story" episodes to be some of your best work. There were plenty of times I was like, "hey, that's happened to me too" and I would get the feeling like I wasn't the only one who had that experience.

    Here's an example. In one of those podcasts you talked about a time you actually got back to New York and got to visit your friends. But when you got there, and you all had a good time together, you also realized they had all moved on with their lives since you had left. Sure they were glad to see you, you missed each other, but it wasn't necessarily like it was before. I have had a similar experience with the people I grew up with and hearing your tale while I was driving home that day made me think he there's something we have in common, there was a "connection" we shared on each side of the mic and speaker that made me more engaged in who you are as a presenter and made me like the podcast even more.

    Anyway you don't have to publish this comment, I just thought I'd throw in my two cents to say I appreciate the personal stories you decide to share with your readers and listeners and that they are not self indulgent.

  • Charlton Hero

    All good here buddy. Yep..guess what SOME folks do care and miss your work. Take all the time YOU need and dont feel a damn bit bad about it!


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