I also said good-bye to mentors that have, just by being the wonderful people they are, truly changed my life. They’ve helped me believe that my dreams are possible, a dangerous and wondrous gift to bequeath to anyone. I only hope to become deserving of such a blessing.
Even knowing that certain situations and circumstances come with definitive expiration dates, it is still sometimes difficult to take full advantage of them when they are happening. Why is that? I don’t know. All I know is, I find myself saying good-bye to truly amazing people that I hardly took the chance to know, and now the chance has passed. I find myself wishing I’d done things differently, and rather melancholy that I did not.
Yet, in the midst of all these endings, I can't help but remember that hidden in each “last” is the opportunity for a “first.” This journey has ended, but at the nexus of multiple new paths rather than a terminus. I can’t help but feel that the only way to choose the wrong path would be to stop where I stand and choose none at all.
Thank you to all of the mentors, fellows, and friends who have guided me to this spot, well-armed with compasses, lanterns, maps, and talismans – all provided to guide, aid, and protect me along my new journey down whichever road I take. To those I leave here, I wish you nothing but the most fantastic of adventures along your own roads, and hope that we someday meet again. To those who continue on with me, we are well met, and may we share the road for many years to come.
To all of my fellow Stonecoasters, coming and going -- use your time well, congratulations, and, most of all, thank you.