Dear members of the Sonic News Network,
It has been quite some time since the last time I addressed the community in a manner such as this. As I look back on the last five (nearly six!) years that I have spent on this website, I cannot help but feel a lingering sense of nostalgia and pride. I first joined the Sonic News Network at the young age of twelve, and back then I thought I had it all figured out. Unbeknownst to me was the longest journey and commitment I have embarked on in my eighteen years of living. In many ways, I grew up with the Sonic News Network. I spent the entirety of my teenage years with the website, and for the vast majority of those days I checked the Recent Wiki Activity at least once.
Now, I stand before you over 24,000 revisions later as a changed man. At the surface level, I'm no longer much of a Sonic fan at all. I never really was one in the first place, at least not to the extent that many other users here are. These days, I don't play many video games at all. Beyond that, however, in large part thanks to the Sonic News Network, I have a greater appreciation for those around me. Through this website in the smallest corner of the Internet, I have found some of the best friends and best people I will ever meet. I will forever be grateful for that.
I have also had the privilege of conversing with people from all walks of life... Those who live halfway around the world, those many years older (and wiser!) than I, those who never let their hardships in life get the best of them, and many many more diverse individuals. Looking back, I think that if I had to choose one thing to be grateful to the Sonic News Network for, that would be it. To me, it goes way beyond being just a silly little fansite about a video game. Thanks to the many great personalities that I have had the pleasure of coming in contact with, I have been further inspired to reach out in my own life and find great people right in front of my eyes. It's been a true blessing in disguise.
In case you have not put two and two together yet, this is indeed my official (and final, lol!) departure from the Sonic News Network. I do not leave out of malice, or because I feel that I have lost my place. I do not leave because I feel as if I have outgrown the website, and I do not leave with regrets. I am proud of what I have done here. For most of my career on this wiki, I was an administrator. For over year, I also served as a bureaucrat. I introduced many of the policies and infrastructure that exist on the site today, and will probably continue to exist for the foreseeable future. I'm proud of that. I'm happy I was able to make meaningful contributions to the wiki.
Oftentimes, I did not particularly get along with the community here. I have often found myself at the center of much controversy with the community, but I do not look upon those situations with bitterness or regret. I think in many ways, the community pushed me to grow as a person. In turn, I would like to think that I have also pushed the community to grow. For me, it has been a productive and always interesting relationship. In the end, I think that I can look back on the times situations on here became dramatic with a nostalgic smile and a joyful laugh. It's been great.
Ultimately, the reason that I am leaving is because I feel as if I have accomplished everything I felt like I needed to do. I also think that I have said everything that I have needed to say. It is time for me to look towards a bigger and brighter future for myself and those that I love. As I am typing this overly-long blog post out, I have a stupid grin on my face that I cannot seem to wipe off. That's love. I love this website, and I love this community. I've been truly blessed to meet the people that I did here, so much so that I cannot help but think that fate somehow arranged all this. I've done everything I set out to do and more. I could not be more happy with the work, effort, and love that I put into this wiki. That said, it is time that I move on. I'm a rather ambitious person, and there is much in my life that needs attention. I have personal needs that need to be attended to, and it's time that I leave the Sonic News Network behind as a treasured memory.
That being said, what would an overblown and needlessly long farewell blog be without some much-deserved shoutouts?
There's no conceivable way in which I can possibly shoutout every single user who has done something for me in my time here. I'll reserve the longer bits to six of my best friends:
- ShadowDragon135, better known as JaketheHedgehog - What is there to say that I haven't already told you in the six years that I have known you? From the small and carefree days writing fanfictions and hanging out on Xat to present day fellow anime lovers, you have been there for me through it all. I think that I can safely say that you are a big part of who I am today. Thank you for all that you have done for me. I know that we'll be great friends for many years to come.
- Eycestar, also known as DarkFuture - "Oh gawd xD". I think between the two of us, that single cringey line was said about a million times throughout the course of 2011. Five years later, there still exists a very real bond between the two of us. One that neither time nor lack of communication can tear apart. We have always had a mutual admiration and love for one another, and we always will. Thanks for putting up with me at my worst, I'm always a message away.
- ~Flare, also known as Fly the Fox - You are probably one of the single best friends that I have ever had. It's a bit crazy just how much we relate to one another, and the laughs and smiles have never stopped between the two of us. I know that you probably wouldn't want me to get all sappy on you, so I'll keep it short. Thanks for always being you, best friend. I cannot wait for what the future holds for the two of us.
- FreeSmudger, also known as... FreeSmudger - I still remember all the matches we had on Super Smash Bros. Brawl and how angry we got at each other. You would frustrate me with your great King DeDeDe play and your dumb Wolf pocket pick on Mario Bros., and I would get you back by playing Pikachu on Spear Pillar. Looking back, those were truly carefree days and ones that I've always kept close to my heart. I'm always here for you if you need to talk.
- GraveEclipse567, also known as SpyroSonic2000 - I remember that my initial impression of you was very very poor, but you grew on me quickly and after I nominated you for administrator, our relationship blossomed into what it is today. Thanks for making me smile with everything you say and being a role model and leader in my life. I admire you endlessly, thanks for everything you do and for just being you.
- Journalistic, also known by his better alias SonicTheHedgehogDude - Bantering with you is always a blast. I'm so glad that we have gotten to know each better these past couple of years and I am so thankful that you have been a part of my life. One day we will indeed make Ryan and Kyle an actual television show... it's just a matter of time. I'm sure that we'll be great friends for many years to come. Thanks for being one of my best friends.
To the many others that I simply don't have time to write out a small paragraph for, because I love you all equally, here's a quick shoutout: Katrins, Syber the Hedgehog, Bionicleboy3000, Genesjs, Supermorff, Sonicrox14, Kagimizu, MetalMickey272, Slug-Drones, Krazy Company, Sesn, PKMNthehedgehog, Hedgehogsonic11, Time Biter, The Shadow of Darkness, ModrenSonic, Ohmygod123, Uxiea, HyperHearts58, JokerJay779, Wkmeads1, Willaca, Mariosonic15, AstralLight, BlueSpeeder, GeekyEverAfter, Ultrasonic9000, XxBlackFelineDarkxX, RTA fan, Uhohspaghhetiohs, Mystic Monkey, Toxice, Murphyshane, Sacorguy79, Shadowunleashed13, NintendoJam, Glitchguy, Knowall, and many others that I am surely forgetting. Thank you all for what you have done for me. Much love.
Godspeed, my comrades. Vienna waits for you. --17:53, November 28, 2016 (UTC)