I have a lot of routines. Starting from the very way I get up out of bed in the morning, there are certain things I do that I've done my whole life, and probably will continue to do for a long time. Some of these things are habits I'd like to break, but others are lifestyle habits that I'm thankful I have; for example, showing gratitude.
Gratitude is an exercise that follows us throughout our entire lives. As children, we were constantly reminded to "say thank you" and, after receiving a gift, wrote thank-you notes to our friends and relatives that., in my case, read something along the lines of "dear (insert loved one's name here), thank you for the money/clothing/gift card /etc., I really like it. I used it to buy a Barbie/keep myself warm/buy more Barbies. Thanks again, Adrian."
However, to anyone reading this that happens to recognize the Barbie-obsessed 7-year-old Adrian thank-you notes, please know that it was not just a disingenuous format designed to get through the niceties and start playing with my new toys. OK, it may have been a little bit (give me a break, I was 7!), but in actuality, I truly did appreciate everything-- even if I couldn't put it into eloquent wording yet!
Today, I still continue to take time to show my gratitude, but don't worry, these days I make certain that my thank-you cards and letters, phone calls, etc., are among some of the longest and most genuine words that I say. Today is no exception.
For my last and final column as the "On the Go" writer for the Teen Talk section, I could not decide on one singular topic that could encompass everything I wanted to say, so I decided not to say any of it. Instead, I wanted to dedicate this space not to myself, but to thanking the individuals that have helped me with this job for the past three years.
First and foremost, I would like to thank The Daily Star newspaper and the Lifestyles editor, Denielle Ziemba, for giving me this opportunity. I have often remarked how proud I am that I can say that my very first official paid job was in a position I would love to hold again in the future -- as a columnist.
It was in this role that I found a lot of joy in writing, and found some of my own "styles" of writing along the way. Without this job, and the experience it has given me, I would probably not have gotten the opportunities I have now, including attending my dream school. A big thanks to Denielle for being so consistently patient and understanding with me, I can only hope to have editors this kind in the future!
A huge amount of thanks has to go out to the readers of this column. Even the ones who glaze over it on their way to "Peanuts" on an occasional Saturday morning, I appreciate you taking the time to take in even the tiniest bit of what I had to say. For those who took the time to read every single article each week, thank you. From everyone at church who took the time to talk to me about the column, to Mrs. Mahon at dance, and Sara, "my biggest fan," it really does mean so much to me to hear your kind words.
For those like Dr. Kellerhouse, Dr. Pietraface, and anyone who has clipped out my articles for me in the past, you have helped me tremendously to create a portfolio that I am so proud of.
Lastly, I would like to thank my family: the rough-draft editors, the deadline-reminders, and the constant supporters. Thanks for everything, but most importantly, thanks for teaching me the importance of saying thank you.
Dear readers, thanks for letting me be a part of your weekend for the past three years. I really liked it.
Adrian Adamo, a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a rising sophomore at Emerson College in Boston. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk. The Daily Star is seeking a teen writer to take over the "On the Go" column. To be considered for the position, please email a sample column to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call Lifestyle Editor Denielle Ziemba at 432-1000, ext. 259 or email her at the above address.