There are very few people I would dedicate an entire blog post to, but Melina is one of them.
This girl-hold on- *sobs wretchedly*... thank you, now *dabs at stray tears with a hankie* what was I saying?
Melina has recently announced that she is taking a Vacation from Reading Vacation. The permanent kind.
This is an open letter to Melina, however, I know that others will read it, so, for those who don't know, my name is Gabrielle Carolina, I am a college student, a writer, a blogger and a vlogger.
I'm young, but I'm the sort of young where I'm about to be old...er. I'm at the age where people stop talking about the wonderful young woman you're about to be, and start talking about the wonderful young woman you are. (At least, I hope I'll still be called young for a long, long time.
Please, God!) There are things afoot for me. Everything is about to change, and I owe so, so, so, so, so much of that to The Mod Podge Bookshelf.
Melina, however, began her blog at ten.
This still stuns me. She's been blogging for a couple of years now. She's going to be 13, soon, and she deserves to be fully invested in the life she's got coming to her, as well.
I need my blog *right now* to fully seize the life ahead of me, and she needs to lay hers down to fully participate in hers.
"To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven...," and all of that.
I understand why this must be, but I am still crying, because here comes the sappy, squishy, heartstrings, and violin's part of this post.
Melina, I love you.
You have encouraged me, and, ironically, made me feel like I was your age again, and finally accepted by my peers, even though I haven't been a tween in nearly a decade! It just shows you, those things that happen to you when you're young can have a profound impact, especially those things that are hard to bear.
So I'm glad you've walked away
(Side note: I was about your age when this song dropped and it has never gotten old. It grows with me, I hope it grows with you, as well.)
I know your dreams, your plans, your goals, and I can tell you, baby, that they will change, ebb, flow and fluctuate.
Maybe one day Reading Vacation 2.0 will help you claim and achieve those dreams, like mine is helping me, or maybe you're about to discover a new dream that is big, and wild, and you'll find another place you belong, like the one you will always, always, have with all of us.
I'll let you in on a secret- I was a little older than you when I quit my own job. I was a professional actress, and I walked away, and not looking back was harder than I thought it would be. Even though it was my choice, I felt like I was missing a big chunk of myself for a long while... and then I started writing. ; )
I am so proud of you. Just being with you for a single weekend, I can see what a special and wonderful young woman you are about to be. (As if I didn't already know all of that just by reading your blog devoutly and tweeting with you fiendishly.)
I only wish I could hug you right now; I know, I'm being an over-dramatic big sis, but that's what I am. I'm proud of you. These are happy tears for you, and for how much of me I see in you, and how that gives me hope inside brighter than anything.
You're going to do great things; it makes me feel like maybe I will, too.
I love you and I can honestly speak for the entire 'sphere when I say, enjoy your Vacation!
Blessings in all things,
P.S. Here's an interview Steph Su did with Melina over a year ago. Some things have changed, and others have stayed the same, but in Melina's own words on the future, "Anything can happen..."