It's crazy to think that I finally finished the book you started. Four years later and it's done, with the acknowledgements and everything. You even dedicated it to some pretty awesome people.
I have to say that you were crazy, just like everyone said you were when you started that book. What 15 year old starts a book? Oh, right. You did. But being crazy isn't a bad thing because you were just crazy enough that you were able to finish it and not many people can say they finished a book and that's something you should be proud of every day for the rest of your life. Writing a book is no small feat, even though you brush it off like it's nothing now because you don't really like the attention.
I am going to be honest with you. While there are times where you think writing that book was the worst decision of you life, I assure you that it was the best thing you could have ever done. This book gave you a sense of purpose. You had to finish it. There are so many pieces of you hidden within the passages and the characters, it isn't even funny. I look back at it now and I can see how much I have changed.
We are not the same people, not even close. It's been a long four years and we have changed a lot, but I've become a better writer and a better person. It's weird for me to look back and think about you because I'm not sure I would recognize you as myself anymore.
While the past four years haven't been easy, you've handled them well and you've written like your life depended on it. That book used to be the only constant in your life, but now you have people who support you everyday and you know that you aren't alone and that you never really were, even in those moments when it felt like the only thing you had was your book.
This book has brought so many people into your life that you never could have expected to meet and that's the best part about it. This book led you to want to be a writing major, which led you to Wisconsin and Stritch and that's where you found people who have become your family and they fill up the acknowledgements and two of them are your best friends as well as your dedicatees.
I want to say this though. I feel like you hated me when you started that book because you just had to make it as complicated as possible, didn't you? I swear, trying to tie everything up was harder than anything else. There was so much going on and it took me a while, but I'm happy with how it ended up.
When I finished the rough draft last year, I was ecstatic. However, even though I am happy about finishing "Taking a Chance" in it's entirety, I'm more happy about the fact that I am closing the chapter on this book, but also on who I used to be. I'm so different and while I'm still writing the same life story, it's time to start the next chapter. So I'm closing the chapter on you as well.
You did it, kid. Never doubt yourself because if you can do this, you can do anything you set your mind to.