“Mama said, ‘Fulfill the prophecy, be something greater, go make a legacy.’

Mama said, ‘Burn your biographies, rewrite your history, light up your wildest dreams.’ Mama said, ‘Don't give up, it's a little complicated. All tied up, no more love and I'd hate to see you waiting.’ Had to have high, high hopes for a living, shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing. Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision. Didn't know how but I always had a feeling, I was gonna be that one in a million. Always had high, high hopes.” – Lyrics from “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco

Originally, I wrote this article in December 2018, but I found out that it wouldn’t be published until Spring 2019. But I suppose most legacies don’t always follow a set timeline. While this isn’t necessarily how I had things planned, it’s almost like a blast from the past: closure for me now but from the past for you reading this at the moment. I guess, in a lot of ways, that’s how legacies work though.

I had forgotten how fast time moves for us humans. It felt like 2018 went by in a blur for me, and it culminated into my graduating from university, with a degree I had worked six years for and with enough pride in my bones to cause me to stand taller. It’s weird to think that this chapter is now over. It was… an adventure. A lot of downs and quite a few ups as well.

Overall, it feels pretty surreal. The time is ticking down, and I’ve got a final paper to write and a last exam and some leftover coursework to do. It’s so strange for me to think how this is it. This is the end of the line for at least another four years when I decide I’m ready to go back for my master’s degree, in what I think might one day be art therapy.

But I’m not coming back in January, even if my words are. It’s funny how things work out. Maybe I’ll stop by school now and then for some event or other, but my time of walking those halls are now over. And I hope that something is different, even if just slightly, from my time of being there. I hope that I’ve left some kind of footprint from my travels at the University of Massachusetts Boston. I hope that although this is the end for now, it’s only for a little while. I hope that everything I’ve said over the last two and a half years meant something to someone. In some ways, I know that it did. And I hope that it can continue to shine even if I’m not physically there anymore to aid it.

I hope that my readers will find peace, stability, and compassion, just as I did. I hope that my readers knew how much they mattered, even if they were mostly just faceless people to me. I think I’d like to think that they were somebody’s someone, who although I didn’t know personally, knew me more personally, maybe than what’s helpful even.

I hope that they do well in life, that even if life gives them one of its notorious poop sticks, it also gives them love, happiness, and the pleasure of being alive. Some days those happy feelings will fade and the darkness will seem to be all encompassing, but I’m telling you now, it’s got to get better than that. It does get better than that. And it’s so, so great when it does. So please, keep surviving. Keep living even when you don’t want to because it will get better, and recovery will always be there waiting for you (it will take persistent hard work though!).

A lot of what I want to say will fall under my article “A Commentary on My Article Evolution” and maybe the idea that I always have more to say matters, too. My plans upon graduating now involve becoming involved in peer support work, involving myself more with NAMI’s IOOV and peer-to-peer programs, doing paid writing for mental health, and eventually becoming a certified peer specialist—along with writing books and keeping up my social media.

So, although the journey has come to an end within this newspaper for me, I will still be writing, surviving, and expanding elsewhere. I hope that the ‘Health & Wellness’ section can live on without me, and I’ve seen some excellent writers so far who may take up where I left off. There’s strength and a certain amount of courage to write so publicly about your life; to share the journey is a blessing and a beacon for others who may be struggling, because it says, ‘Hey, I’ve been where you are and you can get to this stable place, too.’ And that, above all, is what really matters.

Stay safe, friends.

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