I’m writing this the last night in the burrow. After a day of emotions, happy and sad. A day of goodbye’s and see you later’s.
By the time you see this it will have been a couple weeks since this day. Since my last day as an intern with To Write Love On Her Arms. Right now, it doesn’t feel real. It feels like I’m still going back on Monday. It feels like I’ll fall back into writing thank you cards and answering info messages.
By the time you read this it hopefully will have set in completely, I will be getting into a new routine, and beginning to write the next chapter.
At this point there are limited words to describe how I’m feeling, to describe what I experienced. I don’t know if I will ever be able to describe what I experienced here to people who weren’t here with me. No one will understand and I’m fine with that. This experience was ours. It was wholly ours and no one can take that from us. That’s the beauty of it all.
I’m so thankful to have been 1 of the 7 interns that took over a small beach town in Florida to work for free for 3.5 months with a mental health nonprofit. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to live and work with a beautifully dysfunctional community. This is what I needed. At least this is what I’ve been told. And that’s what I’ve been beginning to believe.
I was here for a reason. I sat at the intern table every morning for 3.5 months for a reason. We were together for a reason. We may never know exactly why we were chosen for this opportunity but it was for a reason we all hopefully discovered during our time here. I know I have. That’s something I will never share online but I will keep with me in everything we do.
I’ve said my goodbyes a couple weeks ago by the time you read this but my initial goodbyes are never good enough, for a writer especially. So I need to take some time to say goodbye to everyone…
To my roommates… thank you for putting up with living with me for 3.5 months. Thank you for being there when I needed you the most. Thank you for respecting my 98% introverted-ness. Thank you for joining me on this journey.
- To Maggie… Thank you for being the most amazing roommate I’ve ever had. Thank you for never getting on my nerves. Thank you for putting up with my hysterical laughter late at night due to New Girl binges. Thank you for working with me on Team Ca$h Money. Thank you for never getting annoying with me. Thank you for sharing your life with me. Thank you for your strength and wisdom. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for teaching me it’s okay to not be okay. I wish you the best of luck on this next chapter of your life.
- To Caitlin… Thank you for bringing your secret savagery to the house. Thank you for always being honest and courageous with your story. Thank you for being so comfortable and confident in your fa. Thank you for your one liners. Thank you for loving Jon Foreman. Thank you for putting up with my vulgarity and annoyingness. Thank you for your love. You will do amazing things. Always.
- To Brian… Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your humor. Thank you for your football knowledge. Thank you for making us smile. Thank you for running with us to Space Mountain. Thank you for taking a chance on us. You will do amazing things Brian. Keep going. Keep dreaming. You can do it.
- To Courtney… Thank you for your ridiculousness. Thank you for your passion in combining words. Thank you for loving “chilk” more than anything in the world. Thank you for being 1/3rd of the Young Heathens. Thank you for dressing up like Annie Jo for staff look alike day. Thank you for your passion. Thank you for changing lives. You will do amazing things some day. Never give up on your dreams. Keep changing lives.
- To Coco…. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for your strength and courage. Thank you for always reminding me that I am more than enough. Thank you for feeling so fiercely. Thank you for being 1/3rd of the Young Heathens. Thank you for spending the last night with me. Thank you for laughing and speaking the truth always. You are going to do great things. I believe in your passion for all things art and can’t wait to see your name in lights. Keep writing your story.
- To Harry…. Thank you for bringing a smile to everyone’s face literally always. Thank you for yelling at your computer. Thank you for your beautiful words. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for hitting on the Starbucks barista that led to something more. Thank you for introducing us to Beans. Thank you for coming to a different country to spend a season of your life in. I wish you the best of luck on Warped Tour.
To the TWLOHA staff… Thank you for treating me like way more than an intern. Thank you for bringing me into your community with such open arms. Thank you for furthering my professional skills and personal skills. Thank you for supporting me and loving me. Thank you for the opportunity.
- To Bex… Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for entrusting me in becoming a part of TWLOHA’s story. Thank you for wearing the many many hats that made this intern program run. Thank you for becoming my mom for 3.5 months. Thank you for loving all things pop culture fiercely. Never change girl. You are changing lives. You are shaping young people into successful professionals and beautiful individuals. You are doing beautiful work. Thank you.
- To Kat… Thank you for being the raddest boss lady I have ever been blessed to have. Thank you for having sing alongs in your office when you thought we couldn’t hear. Thank you for entrusting us with so many things. Thank you for teaching me so many valuable skill I will use in so many future positions. Thank you for being as passionate about Wisconsin as me. Kat, words can’t describe how thankful I am to have gotten to know you. You are truly amazing.
- To Lindsay… Thank you for being so driven and amazing. Thank you for keeping the machine that is TWLOHA running. Thank you for taking on so much. Thank you for being quietly inspiring. Thank you for having the most beautiful child in the world. Thank you for your love and respect. Thank you for teaching me the in’s and out’s of nonprofit finances. Lindsay, I will never forget what you have provided me with. I am forever grateful.
- To Annie Jo… There are no words. Thank you for passionately barking at every single person who walked through the door. Thank you for hiding under the table every time you knew you were going outside. Thank you for playing with me and letting me pick you up that one day. Thank you for coming all the way from Puerto Rico to be the most beautiful office dog I have ever met.
- To Jamie… Thank you for posting a story on Myspace 11 years ago. Thank you for reminding people that their stories are important. Thank you for inspiring millions. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to get to know us. Thank you for allowing us to be here. You’ve changed so many lives, including my own. I don’t know where I would be without TWLOHA and I am so thankful for all you’ve done and continue to do. I’ll see you soon.
I’ve been so blessed to have learned so many things from my time here. All these things I will take with me forever. I will never forget my time with TWLOHA and I hope to be back. Out of all the things I learned there was one that stuck out to me a bit more… I want everyone to learn what I learned. Whether that be through a life changing out of the box experience or an ordinary interaction with a friend or through reading this blog post… I hope you always remember that your story is important, you are the author of your story and you deserve to write the story anyway you want. Remember that hope lies in so many places, even when you least expect it. Remember that your life is so so important. Remember to never give up. Ever.
And remember that hope is real, help is real, recovery is possible.
*I intern at TWLOHA. Everything here, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do no necessarily reflect the views of TWLOHA.*