There's some stuff I've gotta say as our beloved forum's glorious time draws to a close, and if it makes you roll your eyes, I don't care. I'm gonna say it. I always hoped I'd never have to, but the time has come. Because here we are at the end of it all. We’ve reached the end of the road, and it was one heck of a ride.
I can scarcely believe it. Five years ago I came here, and a few of you came here even before that, and in that time an unfathomable amount of events have taken place. There were cyberbullies and trolls, wars and smaller but no less painful conflicts. The forums were hacked. The chat was taken down. Feelings were hurt, and hearts broken. But the impact of all the negative events pales in comparison to the impact of the good times written in this forum’s history books. This was a place where you could be accepted and loved no matter who you were, and that remained true for this forum throughout its glorious six years. There were countless times of laughter, posts about fluffeh and skits and OCs and a host of other positive things. You knew you could rely on people to be there for you, to laugh with you, to give you a shoulder to cry on, to give you that spark of motivation you needed. You could be as crazy as you wanted and no one would judge, and it was just . . . this was just an amazing place.
Painful as it is, it remains that even the greatest of things must come to an end. Kingdoms rise to fall. Life is born to die. The end is inevitable. But it is the greatness between the beginning and the end that shakes history, the greatness that turns peasants to warriors and kingdoms to empires. The forums themselves may not have launched the first manned mission to Mars, nor have they negotiated world peace, nor have they done anything that stands alone as an incredible achievement . . . but the forums are the reason all of us met. The forums are the reason we were here to inspire each other, to be there for each other. The forums are the reason there will be people to shake history. Because by being here in that time of greatness, we learned compassion, understanding, hope, and persistence, traits that people who change things for the better cannot be without.
That’s what I want you to realize: it may be over, but you’ve learned so much. Look in the mirror. Yes, your posture is bad because of all the time you spent hunched over that laptop, browsing these forums – fix that! Stand up straight! Anyway, look past your appearance. What do you see? I’ll tell you what I see – I see someone who can change the world. I see a capable, confident, strong, unbreakable person, and if you don’t see it, you have to learn to see it. The only person who can change the way you think is you; choose to see the warrior in the mirror. Not someone who’s unwanted, fragile, or broken. You see a warrior in that mirror.
So as we go our separate ways, remember all that you've learned here. Remember all the times you've laughed, all the friends you made, all the wonderful stories you wrote. Remember everything, and never let it go. Because though change is inevitable, though all great things come to an end someday, it remains that those things happened, and nothing can take that away from you. Barring lobotomy, but that's beside the point. They can delete all the sites they want, but your memories will stay. They always will.
Whether you move to Home Base or not, take what you've learned from your time here and go do something. Go finish that story you keep promising yourself that you'll write. Go run that race you've always wanted to run. Go design that game you've always wanted to design. Because you have the power to do all of those things and so much more. Realize that. You may not be a Super Saiyan, but you're more than strong enough to reach your dreams. You're more than powerful enough to do all of the things you've always wanted to do. Realize that. Realize that and go chase your dreams, because no one's going to catch them for you.
This was a special community, and we empowered each other greatly. Through all the good times, we kept each other sane, kept the demons at bay, and were there for each other. Now you've gotta take that strength and apply it to life. Because you are powerful, you are a warrior, and whatever it is that you have to do, you got this.
Maybe it sounds weird to the rest of you that I'm jumping back and forth between motivational speaking and remembering what these forums were. But they tie together, at least for me, the forums and being strong, because the forums are the whole reason I was ever able to do anything. I'm not going to give you the history of my life here, but when I joined back in 2014, I was more fragile than shattered glass. But now I'm stronger than I ever believed I could be, and sure, I've been through heck in the last two years, but I'm still trying to be the best I can be. In 2014, I would've given up on everything and gone back to sitting around, hating everything about myself. But now, because of everything I've learned here, because of how much stronger I became because of this place, I'm over here writing a novel. Drawing manga. Getting myself together and going back to taekwondo. If it hadn't been for this community, I wouldn't be doing that. I wouldn't have the courage to do any of those things.
So if I can be strong, you can too. Take what you've learned. Let your memories empower you. Don't give up on what you love.
And don't forget these forums.
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- Lahash -
Also known as Samurai
Est. January 2014
Author of the Path of Legends series - coming 2020!
"Fear not in this Time of Chaos, this War of Darkness. For on the horizon, there shines a light, a light brighter than any before . . ."