Sarah, Tianna, Luke, Bel, Jess, Alex, and Mel: You’ve traveled far to join us here in Florida. You’ve given us three months of your time. As you head back home, I want to share some of my hopes for you.
I hope that you have learned the importance of balance. Balance between recognizing the sacredness of your story and understanding when you need to be vulnerable. Balance between selfishness and selflessness. Balance between knowing when to talk and knowing when to listen. Balance between the heavy and the light.
I hope you have found confidence. You all have such unique skill and gifts, and you are all such joys to be around. I hope you begin to catch yourselves when you start to apologize unnecessarily. I hope you remember to never apologize for existing.
I hope you know how much of an impact you’ve had on the TWLOHA team, on our supporters, and on each other. You have worked hard and responded to endless emails. You got to know supporters at Warped Tour and #SupCon16. You sent mail, packed merch, encouraged supporters throwing benefits, called resources, and worked alongside our team with energy and smiles. We couldn’t do what we do without you being a part of our team.
I hope you know I am proud of all of you.
Sarah, I am proud of you for your strength and honesty even, and especially, when things aren’t easy.
Tianna, I am proud of you for your ability to care for others and because you’re learning better ways to care for yourself.
Luke, I am proud of you for the joy you find in your passions and connecting with other people.
Bel, I am proud of you for your ability to have hard conversations (because you know it will make things better in the long run).
Jess, I am proud of you for your curiosity and the way you make people feel important.
Alex, I am proud of you for pushing out of your comfort zone in the name of community and because you deeply care about other people.
Mel, I am proud of you for your go-with-the-flow nature and positive vibes.
As a group, I am proud of you for building a community. It wasn’t always easy, but the results are beautiful.
I hope you let these past three months change you. I hope you take all of these memories, lessons, and moments with you to the next chapters of your story. And I hope you know you have changed others with your grace, kindness, and love.
I hope you know you forever have a place in the story of TWLOHA.