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This Summer

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This Summer

Post by Minister Viridian on Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:16 am

Hi! This isn't much of an announcement, actually. So I'm not going to be like, super professional. I just want to say some things.

I know most of you pretty well from back when I was just Stephanie and not Stephanie and Minister Viridian. So I don't feel uncomfortable sharing details about my own life with any of you.

When I started on this site, I was a junior in high school. I did online academics while attending an art school. High school was very stressful for me (I was never a school person) and Charm and Grace was the perfect place for me to get that out. It allowed me to escape into a world of my own design. I put a lot of thought into my characters and I feel like this whole site has molded me into the person I am today. I'm not the best writer, obviously, but I tried.

Quite a few things happened that forced me to be the lead admin. Minister Asgard, Minister Gallifrey, Minister Loki, and Minister Sherlock went away to college. They weren't all completely inactive, but they didn't help me much (and that's not a call-out or anything, they were literally in college and unable to help). I was just a senior in high school, trying to make new opportunities for myself. I had so much energy and I was ready to be an adult, as all eighteen-year-olds are in the United States (for the most part).

I quickly found out that eighteen and adult are not synonymous so, yeah.

And with them leaving, it drove users off the site. I don't know if you remember, but Katie left, Allorah left, Autumn left, Erin left, Minnie left and Megan left. I even tried to leave at one point, but I came back.

Eventually, I was writing with myself and running a dead website. I was trying to breathe life into something that wasn't giving me the same satisfaction that it once had. And I had other responsibilities, like paying rent, taking care of myself and so on. The site was causing me more trouble than it originally had, and at that point, it had become a source of extreme stress and hurt for me.

So I closed the site down for a bit last year.  I took two months off from the site so I could work my summer job as an amusement park operator. I spent that time really investing in myself and trying to be a better me. I reopened the site in August with fresh ideas and more enthusiasm. A few people came back and that made me really happy. I got messages that were really positive. I started working on things to improve our site with new admins and while we were still small, I liked the intimacy of our little group.

I think we started back up with three users. But they were good contributors. I was lucky enough to have some of my friends to come in and support me, and that got us up to six. I contacted some former users by email and got some replies. Most said they were busy with school and couldn't come back, but they wished me luck.

The site got slow again in December. I had left the site for a little while to join the military. I went to Basic Military Training for the US Navy on December 1, 2015, contracted in to be a Damage Controlman. I was hoping to get job skills to be what I really wanted to be (a maintenance worker of some sort) so I didn't have to go to college (which is the reason why many people go in), but obviously, it didn't work out. I returned in February after a medical discharge and I wasn't surprised to see little activity. I was hoping it wouldn't die while I was gone, and it didn't. I came back and we picked up where we left off. We actually got more users.

But the site's activity died this summer. And I'm not unhappy about it for once.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know that we all lead very busy lives. I know that some of you are in high school. Some of you are in college, or getting ready to go to college. Quite a few of us are in the job force or volunteering or doing a combination of those things. I realize I had very unrealistic expectations, especially considering I had to close the site because I couldn't keep up with work and writing/running the site.

So this term, I'm going to give you all a freebie. I'm going to promote every single one of the students, even though none of them posted (that I'm aware of). I didn't even post, so this is for me as much as it is for you. If your summers have been even the tiniest bit hard, you deserve a break. I quit my job this summer and had to go on a job hunt, so I feel the bad/busy summer pain. We all need rest and relaxation sometimes. I have a new understanding of that concept.

That being said, I'm going to make every student, except first years, posting requirement one post per term as the minimum. If you want to do more, go for it, but I don't want anyone to stress about whether or not their student is going to pass. And if you can't make the minimum requirement because you're really busy, you can always message me and we'll work something out.

I'm going to change some rules at some point, too, but I'm not sure which. I'll decide by August 6, 2016 and let you all know. They probably won't be major, but there might be some to make things easier for me to run this site by myself, if that's what has to happen.

And just to offer some encouragement: If you're feeling overwhelmed, unloved or unlovable, unappreciated, depressed, frightened, helpless, or you're just barely hanging on at this point, please remember that this is not the end. Please don't give up. You never know what's around the corner for you. You never know what opportunities you will get. You have so much to offer the world and someone needs your influence or guidance or compassion or friendship or love or anything. One foot in front of the other. You will make it.

And I hope that Charm and Grace will always be a safe place for you, like it was for me. I hope that it can be a place where you can express yourself without judgement. And if there is some way I can accommodate you, please let me know. I care about you, person reading this post.

I hope that didn't seem like 1,000+ words of pure rambling. That being said, it's one o'clock in the morning and I absolutely have to go to sleep after I update all the site's social media accounts and send this link to you all in a PM. So goodnight for now. I hope to see and talk to you all very soon.

-Stephanie

P.S. If you have ideas on how to change the site, please message me. I promise that I'm not going to bite your head off, even if it's criticism. Be polite, though. I'm fragile. Instead of saying, "You're mean," perhaps say, "I feel like sometimes you come across as mean and here are ways you can improve my impression of you." I send my thanks in advance.
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Minister Viridian
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