I Couldn't Have Done It Alone
You raised me, sheltered me, loved me and guided me when I wasn’t quite sure who I was or where I was going.
At eleven years old I packed my little satchel with everything that mattered to me—every item of stationary imaginable, and notebooks I thought would define the girl I would become. I put on my biggest smile and opened the door.
I was tiny, the staircases were chaotic, and the faces and voices of other students terrifying, but I trusted that you would keep me safe. That this was exactly where I was meant to be. So I said goodbye to the little primary school I’d always known and stepped bravely into your embrace.
You gave me confidence. You gave me ambition. You gave me subjects I grew to love and memories that filled the spaces around me. You gave me happiness. You gave me lessons. You gave me friends that would teach me how to be strong and teachers that would inspire me endlessly.
As I grew, you gave me classes to dominate, rooms to fill with my words, and walls to display things on. I found a patch of sunny grass and created a hiding place. I wandered along backroads and discovered my own paths.
You gave me people I could love, people I could trust, people I could share my dreams with.
Your small classrooms gave me security, gave me strength. I learned how to speak confidently, how to make a difference, how to grab opportunities and carry them through.
I became a girl I was proud of. And it’s because you carried me, until I learned to carry myself.
So, if I have anything to say it's thank you. Thank you for being the change I wanted, the push I needed, the friends and the love and the security and the challenges that allowed me to grow, to believe in myself, to walk away from here with a bittersweet taste in my mouth—pride and fear, the end and the beginning.
Moving on, letting go.
Thank you for being a place that was mine, spaces and classes and buildings and atmospheres that felt familiar and safe. Thank you, most of all for being a place I was thankful to return to day after day.
Thank you, throughout six years of my life, for being home.