Chris Mertan: Associate Hiatus Editor 2007-08

(Will Parson/Guardian)

There are countless farewells that go out to people whenever
you finish one leg of a journey and then take one of the many forks in the
road. For me, the people I’d wish to say thanks and goodbye know who they are,
but goodbye isn’t even the right word. There are people you will stay in
contact with and people who will disappear into the fabric of life. I hope to
stay in contact with these people I’d say farewell to; in which case,
farewell’s completely inappropriate since it implies some finality to this
whole adventure. Maybe a simple “later” would do better — as in: we’ll continue
this conversation later, this meal later, this trip later. “Later” loops around
in infinity. “Goodbye” settles scores.

I’d measure my time at college as a bust. UCSD beat me up in
a few ways that have left me changed, even if I see it only minutely. There’s
better scope and better foresight now, but considerable doubt combating my
idealism. I’ve been up and down trying to share my love of film with people, whether
in person or in articles, and most of the time I’ve halted myself from saying I
want to be a filmmaker. I love creating stories. I love moving images and how
people respond to them. These words become difficult to say when the response
is apathetic cynicism like “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” They’re
an endlessly idealistic words, but they’re also shrouded in a personal doubt
that says, “no, not today, junior.” Because there are a million other people
out there with similar dreams in countless fields, and are all of them going to
do it? Probably not, and that’s when it starts getting a little scary. That’s
where you start to battle yourself, to try and overcome the negative while
pressing on, and never giving the excuse of “someday.” Because the actual
someday may never come; all that we have is now. Now is the time to stop saying
the words and work to make it real. At the end of the day, what’s real counts,

This “farewell” column isn’t designed to be some Debbie
Downer series of musings. In fact, through a lot of the good, mediocre and
all-around crap that we all endure, there’s a sense that this stuff, this
doubt, has to happen in order for us to go from point A to point B. In that
sense, I, along with you and that person sitting across from you on the
shuttle, need UCSD as our developmental background. So, while you may hate it,
you at least have to appreciate it a little. Take it all in, all of UCSD, and
search for your balance. And to paraphrase the words of Warren Beatty’s senator
in “Bulworth,” have a drink and live your life.