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Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

Reflections on Turning 30 — (May 1997) 30 Years Old.

What does it really mean? Besides the fact that I now move up a box in most forms. Besides the fact that I can remember the early days when McDonald's wrote up their orders on little pads of paper. Back when the Hamburgler was an OLD MAN and not some young punk with Nikes. Back when a MilkShake came in a LARGE container, and not the flimsy ones of today.

What does it really mean?

I guess it depends on the person.

I used to joke that I got married 2 days after my 25th birthday because I figured that after hitting the quarter-century mark, what else was there to do? But, I wanted to get married. The same for all other life decisions since then. But what did I think about when I was still in high school? Where did I see myself? Really? I'll tell you.

Throughout most of High School, I seriously saw myself "10 years from now" being locked up in an insane asylum. I thought the world had nothing to offer and that it was filled with petty and evil people. I had no idea how I would survive "out there" and since I'd walked on the edge of insanity for so many years, I always expected that sooner or later I would slip off that cliff.

Near the end of my High School years, I started thinking that the "no future" option was probably closer to truth. I didn't feel like there was much to live for and look forward to and so I didn't try to do anything more than coast through it. I guess it was all just the regular teenage angst thrown in with a lot of hatred and deep desire to wish things were different.

Well, after certain life experiences (call them what you like: death discovery, soul searching, mind expansion, too many kicks in the head while Slam Dancing, etc) I began to make certain realizations: the world DOESN'T make offers. YOU have to stand up and make demands of the world.

So, that's what I did.

Thanks to my secondary five English teacher (J. Massey) who encouraged me to write and keep writing (making me feel that the things I wrote about were important and that there was someone who *wanted* to read them, as opposed to *having* to read them), I found a magic in words I never realized existed. It kept me sane. It kept me happy. Expanding on that writing, and craving as much as I could get, I started passing stories around to friends and would watch their faces in complete rapture as they read the exploits I presented them.

I was entertaining someone. That's what it was all about. Just like my desire to be a singer when I was younger, and my desire to be an actor as I got older. I was hooked. I dreamt of being able to do this as a living. But, I was also very much aware of the difficulty in it and thus got a degree in computers so I could hold a day job.

All right, so that's history. Tell us about now. What's it like to be 30?

I don't really know. Seriously. As I stated, I never thought much about where I'd be or what I'd have or what I'd have accomplished. Did I ever think I'd be holding the kind of job I have now? No. Did I ever think I'd hold the kind of responsibilities that I have in my current job? No. Did I ever think I'd be married with 2 kids? No. These things sort of happened because they "had" to in that they were natural occurrences.

Ok, so what about Writing? That was something you wished for, right?

Sure. But the important thing is entertainment. Just like when I first created/ wrote/ and published the PVSD Express newsletter at work (creating characters such as The Mysterious Minute-Men in the process), I was doing it for entertainment. And these characters created oh-so-long-ago have grown, expanded, and changed as I brought them over to Comicopia where I sometimes *still* entertain readers. And eventually (as soon as I can work it out), they will again change (slightly) so I can bring them over to another audience as I (with Gabriel Morrissette and Francisco M. Rosa's help, of course) take them to the comic racks.

I've got other projects I'm stoking, and maybe one day those will pan out as well. If not, hey, so what. If so, great! The important thing is: I'm happy.

Any thoughts to what you hope to accomplish in the next decade?

Just the same thing. Add more cement to the friendships I have and have recently made. Keep supporting my family so my kids can grow up in a healthy/friendly environment. Keep writing and creating. Keep my dreams alive in Comicopia. Share my views on happiness and show people how really easy it is to BE happy.

And keep on Entertaining.

(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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