I am unsure how to start this piece.
Usually, I would begin with a catchy two-to-three sentences discussing the article's premise (as I had been formally trained to do), but right now, I doubt that three sentences could capture what I experienced in the past four years.
I applied to the Milton Community (now inactive) back in 2016 but was transferred to Alpharetta just a few months later. From there, I grew from a Content Creator to a Contributing Editor, later to a Community Manager, and finally to the Editor in Chief. In that time, though, I made so many memories with the people I met on this platform, and I cannot thank any of them enough.
So before I get into the nitty-gritty, I have to mention the many people who shaped my time on here.
Marium Zafar has been my mentor from the moment she first interviewed me to join the Alpharetta community, a guiding pillar of light who has shown me what it means to truly lead fearlessly. In the darker days when I feared I was a failure of an Editor in Chief, I always thought back to how she handled the team in a manner that seemed effortless. She has been my inspiration.
I've made new friends in my time, too, and these are honorable mentions whose influence in my life is more than words can describe. Maitri Patel and Shanru Xu, two absolutely talented and flawless women, had been by my side for as long as I can remember. The three of us went through years of training, editing, collaborating, and so much more. To this day, we keep in touch, and it amazes me how three completely different people like us could have come together to form an unstoppable team of co-editors.
Most of all, I have to thank the creators in the team who have either come and gone or who have been here since day one. Hundreds of faces have seen the inner workings of the Alpharetta Community, and I have had the honor to work with every single one of them. No matter how long it's been since they were writers for Alpharetta, I hope they know that their time here has impacted the team tremendously.
Finally, I have to quickly acknowledge Sera Biju, the person I have asked to take my place as the new Editor in Chief of the Alpharetta team. She has heard this from me many times already, but I have no doubt in my mind that she will conquer in her position due to her enviable determination and creativity.
And now, I should thank Odyssey itself for the crazy journey I've been through, but how do I this in a few paragraphs? Anything I say at this point falls short of the endless amount of gratitude I have for the opportunities this company has given me. I've had the ability to interview a famous artist, document cultural struggles in beauty and in the workplace, highlight a brand's cultural appropriation, and bring to light the best memories I've made this far in life.
I didn't mean to apply to Odyssey four years ago as part of some grand scheme I had been planning for years. I happened to stumble upon it after a friend brought it up, but look at where we are now. I'm not one to be fatalistic, but in this situation, maybe writing for Odyssey was meant to be.
Thank you to everyone on the platform, especially in HQ, who made the last four years absolutely unforgettable. Every bit of spell-checking, content editing, and communication has paid off in the end. Now, I am genuinely unsure how to end this piece - and, likewise, this chapter in my life.
If you are thinking about becoming a creator for Odyssey, click here to apply as an independent writer or as a community member. Trust me; you won't regret it.