Dear everyone who has supported me along the way,

As sad as it is to say, this is my last Odyssey article for awhile. I am truly grateful for the people who have watched me grow along the way, but I have decided to take a hiatus.

This summer, I will re-evaulate my life, my relationships, and where I stand as a writer. In the fall, if things work out the way that they are supposed to, I will come back, and I will come back stronger than before.

The reason for this hiatus is not only because of a rift in my life, but with Southern Miss. A few months back, I wrote an article, "35 Questions I Have For Southern Miss." It was then that I realized that my articles are a representation of my university. While originally intended to be a lighthearted piece, it polarized people. I did not mean for that to happen, but it did. It showed the effects of my writing and how it can have different meanings to different people.

I know that we all have different opinions, and I tend to joke about other people's opinions. Maybe it is my maturity level that seeps through, but I never mean to hurt people when I joke. I'll take a note from Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler and Joan Rivers in not apologizing, but I do mean no harm in the occasional terrible joke.

Drama in college should be limited to the walls of the theatre department. I was not prepared for the drama to come out of the past few weeks. It's petty, it's immature, and it makes those involved look like hypocrites. In a community where people pride themselves on being "petty queens," where does the drama stop? The simple fact is that I know I have hurt people in the past, and it eats me up inside. The constant "you are (insert here) because (insert here)" has got to stop. If not for my sake, for the sake of holding communities together.

Writing has always been my salvation. In the past few months, I did not feel like I was able to express my opinions because I was worried about what others might think. This is where my hiatus project comes into play. I have decided to create a blog where I can get a fresh start and hopefully reinvent myself. Establishing myself not as a person, but as a brand, is essential for me to move forward in my personal aspirations.

I have written before that I am a complicated person. I know that I can be hard to handle and deal with. I want to take this summer to figure myself out. Hopefully, as stated before, I can come back in the fall a stronger, better writer with a whole new fire ignited under my buttocks.

Thank you to everyone who has read, shared, and supported me along the way. The support and shares mean the world. I love you all.

Thanks for being the best,

Emily Rasch