Or, thoughts from an overtired Fluffybutt.
I remember when I was 15 and a sophmore in high school, I got dumped. Bad. By the guy who ended up being my best guy friend years later. We had dated a whole three months, which was my longest relationship to date. I even told him I loved him, and he dumped me. At a bus stop. That asshole.
It was December of 2006 when the infamous bus stop breakup occurred. I was in a senior's Chemistry class (because I was an awesome 15 year old) with a bunch of cool, intelligent 17 year olds. I was sitting at my desk and crying, when my classmate who sat in front of me turned to me. She was an outspoken, brilliant, funny Jamaican high school senior who I got along with well, even though we didn't speak much. She turned to me and put her hand on mine and said "honey, whatever it is, it's something that everyone else has gone through. They all got through it just fine, and you will, too."
Fast forward a few years. I got into journalism at 17 for one main reason. I believed, and still do, that everyone has a story to tell. I wanted to be the person to share these stories with the rest of the world for those who weren't being heard. Noble cause, huh? Years later I realized that journalism is...not quite what I expected it to be and decided to shift gears, but I still believe that we all have a story to share, we just need to find someone to listen to it.
I've been on GT for a while, under a different handle prior to the Kinja switch. I knew I loved it here and I knew why for the most part. But it wasn't until a long conversation with best guy friend (AKA dude who dumped me at a bus stop) tonight about ourselves and life that it dawned on me why exactly I love this place so, so much.
It's because GT is a combination of my two stories above. It's a place that we are all able to share our stories and be heard. It's a place for us to go to remind us that we are not alone, and whatever we're going through others have been through and lived to tell the tale. It's somewhere that we can share our most embarrassing, silly, personal or difficult things and not be judged but be loved and accepted. It's what so many of us, myself included, lack - a place for us to speak, and to listen. To be told it will all be ok, and we're here to help you. To be honest but kind, and welcomed. To give advice or just sit in silence and be there for one another.
GT's not perfect, because nothing can be. The drama llama makes his appearance from time to time and many people on here may not always get along or agree. But at the end of the day, for me at least, GT is the family I chose. It was what I was missing this whole time.
I love you all, and I love this place, and I am grateful every day that I found it.
Goodnight GT-ers. Stay squalid ;)