When we first found each other, I was afraid. Writing was something I had always loved, but was I good enough for you? Were my words sufficient to be displayed with your name? I didn’t know. But, as it’s said “Write what scares you,” and you were definitely scary for me. So, I trusted you. And, two years later, not only did I squash my fear of you, but I conquered you.
My first year was a bit bumpy. With my first story about ketchup, and my last about the school play, it took a little time to perfect my writing and find my style. I had to face the harsh reality that my writing wasn’t as good as I thought, and that I still had a lot to learn. Before you, I didn’t know how to control myself with exclamation points. I put them anywhere and everywhere, in at least a dozen at a time. But, now I use a respectable amount of exclamation points without a second thought. My grammar was bad, my writing voice was dull, and I needed a lot of help. But, I didn’t stay that way for long. Working for you improved my skills and fine-tuned the talent I knew I had.
Working with you I’ve learned to submit to the criticism of my peers, one excellent journalism teacher, and a crazy newspaper editor. But, they made me better, despite their tearing apart of my work. Not only did they help with my writing skills, but they helped me to be more patient with people and learn to work well with others. I’m not the kind of person who finds it easy to make nice with people, especially with other teenagers. But, having to work closely with a small group of others gave me the experience and the knowledge to know how to properly talk to people. I might have caused a few tears before getting my communication skills polished, but no one can prove anything. However, after two years with you, no more tears were shed by my hand, or faulty communication.
You also taught me leadership. The second year we were together I became editor. I was put in charge of a lot of things where you were concerned, what went on your walls, when it went up, and making sure it was written in the best condition to be good enough for you. I was not only in charge of your many pages, but also in charge of your writers. They came to me when they had an idea and weren’t sure if it would fit with you or not. They came to me with special requests for you. They trusted me, just like I trusted you. And their writing flourished, just like mine did. Trust was key in our endeavor to be better for you.
And, look where all this has left us. With you, an amazing website, that I can only hope will stay just as incredible as I move on and pass you down to someone new. You have become one of my favorite things at Start High School, and it will be hard to say goodbye. But, like all good things in life, our time together has come to an end. So, I must bid you adeiu. I will visit, you can count that. I will criticize you, but that’s only because you’re under new management. But, just know, you will always be in my heart, my writer’s heart.
Being with you has been an adventure. I met some cool people, made a connection in the biz, and wrote about ketchup. But, most importantly, I found myself. I found in you, the person I knew I was. I am a confident girl, a bubbly one, a fighter, a friend, a boss, a writer. You gave me the greatest gift, loving who I am. Two years doesn’t seem long enough – it was fun though too short. Thank you LifeAtStart for being awesome and for two of the greatest years a girl could ask for.
Your best pal – Julianna Ruiz.