By Amanda Tonoli
This is it — it’s the end. Or is it the beginning? I’d love to insert some cheesy quote about turning the page in this book or something about a chapter, but that’s too cliche.
I feel like goodbyes should be thank you’s, for without all of those who have helped me get to this point of departure, I would’ve never gotten here.
For my Jamily,
Frank: I don’t think you’re truly feeling sorrowful enough about this departure … your office shenanigans are too much. I’m glad I stopped hating you even though you still might need that muzzle.
Cassy: You dropped the cake and sobbed for 15 minutes — that’s when I knew we would be best friends because who else would get us? Beyond being my best friend, you helped shape me into a better writer, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.
Justin: We bond over our mutual hate for others. That’s friendship.
Liam: You compile lists of phrases that I say and relentlessly call me basic. There’s nothing more we enjoy than irritating each other. Our friendship is a recipe for disaster, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mark Sweetwood: You’re probably going to tear this column up just like the rest of them. I think with your help I learned the most. The yelling, the scolding and the talks about my punctuality have sunk in … for the most part anyways. I am a way stronger writer now than from when I couldn’t “string two sentences together.” So I should probably say thanks — someday.
Dave Davis: Thanks for all of your guidance and encouragement along the way. You are one of the most understanding and compassionate individuals that I have learned from. Your real world knowledge from experience helps gain perspective on not only journalism as a career, but also life after school.
Stacey and Gwen: You guys always put up with our shenanigans — you poor souls. Thanks for always saving our sorry selves with The YO. You guys are the real MVPs.
Anthony: You left me out. Have you checked your car lately?
Lexi: You post-it noted my desk and I’ll never forgive you for it.
Steve: You would be the one to go to Florida, you lucky dog. I don’t think any of us could be more proud as we say goodbye when as you take off to what we all want: to get the hell out of Ohio. Stay out of trouble, for once.
Gabs: You’re crazy weird, a ton of fun, everything I’m not and a lot of what I strive to be. You are unashamedly yourself and there is no more admirable quality in a person.
Jordan: I took the desk closest to Rachael at our first meeting to banish you off to the middle of nowhere in the copy corner — if that’s not indicative as to what kind of friendship we have, I’m not sure what is. You’re basically my Jambar sister. I’ll subtweet you later.
Graig: Although I loathe you with every fiber of my being, I do look forward to causing more chaos with you in the future. No newsroom is ready for us.
MB: I learned some of my most important lessons in our three years together — journalism is about being brave, press law should be my bible and the First Amendment is almost as exciting as TED talks.
Alyssa: We found our friendship crying over our lives, but I’m so glad to have someone like you who understands our sad life struggles!
Bully: Now you can’t comment on my Cheetos anymore. Jerk.
This sob-fest is nearly finished. I saved the most important thank you for last — hold your breath because it’s about to get sappy.
My readers: Writing this column has been personally fulfilling and I cannot express my thanks for those of you who took the time out of your day to indulge in some Tonoli Talk. Without you, this year wouldn’t have been half as fulfilling.