Everything happens for a reason, right?
I went to VidCon with the mindset that I wouldn’t be able to meet Mark. In order to gain access to Mark’s signing, you needed to enter a lottery and get a wristband. I didn’t get one. This was fine until an opportunity presented itself, then promptly exited stage left.
I was upset and disappointed but I took some advice from bristlee1 and sucked it up. (Those weren’t her exact words, but you get the idea.) It was either embrace the truly fun time I was having with she and xypt or stay angry and let the whole trip go to waste over one incident. That’s easier said than done and even by the last day, I was still sore over it, until I realized what going to his last panel meant:
I was going to see Mark in person for the first time. I was going to sit in the same room and hear his voice from a place other than behind a computer or television screen. This probably sounds absurd, but he was finally going to be real to me, not just an .mp4 or .mp3 or .png.
I know Mark is just a “normal guy” and should be treated as such, but three years of packing emotion into the idea of a person changes their personal meaning. While I know I’d never treat him as anything other than human and like a normal softbro dude, he stopped being just that to me when he was the only reason I didn’t hurt myself or worse. The dude’s been there for every stage: Saving my life, helping me save my own, and helping me completely reclaim it. All I’ve ever wanted to say is thank you, y’know?
At the end of the panel, the moderator moved to have the audience ask questions via Twitter. Mark grabbed the microphone and told everyone to use #PEEHYPE. I already had my phone out and typed up the tweets above. He took his phone out not a second later, smiled while he read submissions, and took back the microphone when he was ready. All he said was, “I just have one. Brianna Thompson says to do the leg thing.”
Not only did he read my tweets and refer to them by name, but I’m just going to sit here and believe he saw the both of them.
I got to say thank you.
I finally got to say thank you.
Photo credit entirely goes to the amazing bristlee1.