I hope some of you find comfort in this. It's what I needed ten years ago. Today is a special day for two reasons. Firstly, my brother would have had his 32nd birthday today, if he were still alive. And secondly, it's my final day in England, before I leave to start a new life with Tegan. That the two should fall on the same day is something I take as a sign - one of many that has marked my way. I turned 30 this year and it feels as if my departure tomorrow will be the end of a great chapter - the end of my 20s and all the pain, confusion and searching of those years. I want you all to know, when at times you forget, that there is always a chance for happy endings. I have found true love. I have found a girl who fulfills me in every way. Ten years ago I was barely able to speak to women, and now I have Tegan as my wife (and any of you know her will know how amazing she is). I have not settled. I have not sold out. I have not tricked her. I have earned her through all the years of my solitude. Because in every moment, when I sat alone, unemployed, depressed and impoverished at the edge of the world, I was learning. Things were teaching me: every conversation, ever passerby, every story and TV show. It was preparing me to cherish the life that I was offered through Tegan. I sit in my childhood bedroom now, back home with the parents, with my life packed inside two suitcases. Around the corner from the house is the road where my brother was run down. This is a village that has been in my life for 28 years. I have walked its streets in my darkest moments, pondering suicide, praying to God, rehearsing the things I never had the courage to say. So many whispered words - begging fate to smile on me. And now, after all that, I sit here at total peace with my parents. Sure, they still annoy the hell out of me, even as an adult, but I have come to accept their flaws and know it is not my part to change them, nor their part to undergo great revelations. Rather, it was their part to teach me that love is unconditional, and that there will always be hope for this planet as long as love remains unconditional. I started this last decade of my life in a University where no one knew my name. I didn't speak to anyone, and only went out to run between the dorms and the lecture halls. The rest of that time I spent in my insect-ridden room, socially paralyzed and writing poetry on the walls. Truly emo stuff. When I finally got out of there, with my exams in tatters, I joined the British Army. I was tossed and tormented around for 3 years before finally getting the courage to tell my Sergeant Major to shove it. Then I ran away, even further. Left behind the place where my brother had died and my parents had nested with their grief - away to Cornwall, at the other side of England, where I spent two years looking after violent autistics and disabled people. Helping those who were just confused and angry as me. I don't know if I was punishing myself or acting on the ruin of my self-esteem, or if I was just trying to be the mentor that I wanted someone else to be for me. And then a breakthrough. I joined Iwaku and I started a writing course. And with those two acts I realised the simple and revolutionary truth - that there are other people in this world just like me. There were people who struggled, who felt things, who over-analysed and obsessed, and who wanted something more than ordinary. My confidence hit a peak and the next seven years were a time of spiritual, emotional and intellectual awakening. I will miss Cornwall so very, very much. It is one of the most beautiful places in all the world and I feel honoured to have had that time there, with the best friend I have ever known, and a people who rejoiced in weirdness. I didn't come to Iwaku looking for someone. And anyone who remembers those days, a few years ago, when Tegan first joined, will know how strongly I resisted, how we argued and clashed, and how, deep down, the attraction was instantaneous. I never would have imagined that I would meet a girl like her and find the compulsion to cross the globe to be with her. To admit that I was into her, to suggest a meeting, to force my way into her life, to propose to her at the end of only two weeks - none of these scared me. They all made sense. I was driven by an energy that made everything seem right. I want you all to know that it exists - it truly exists: a power that will push you with total clarity along an extraordinary path. In Cornwall I found everything that I needed to be with Tegan. I found a job that gave me the money to fly out there. I found a friend who would be minister at our marriage, a friend who was a wedding photographer, an aunt who designed wedding dresses, a friend who had a band, a friend who could sing, a friend who made wedding journals, a friend who was a wedding decorator. Every part of my life in Cornwall came together to make a perfect wedding - a wedding that truly reflected what I had become and what I believed in. I had a Pagan wedding with Tegan and felt the power of the earth and the elements beneath my feet. My teen years were a time of darkness, my twenties a time of turbulence. Now the new chatper begins and I truly have no idea what I will become. I jump to America with only Tegan to catch me and Diana a few hours away. I have left behind so very much - family who I may never see again, friends who helped me through rough times, places I have adored, memories and connections. But that is the very essence of life - starting over, starting anew, treading into the unknown. It hurts. God, how it hurts. But that is the pulse of living. On Iwaku I have found incredible people. Sakura, perhaps the nicest person I have ever known, who defies all the hatred that the Western World harbours for the Muslim people. Jack Shade, who over the years I have seen become a better man and a better writer than myself. Coffeecake, Paorou and Rory, who have followed me on intellectual flights of fancy rivaling any University professor. Kitti and TK, who have seen past my fronts and supported my excesses. Warmaster, October, Torsty, Jumi, Grumpy and Darkness, who have been the only macho male company I have ever been able to handle. Jinx, who was the first person to make me laugh out loud when he stole my potatoes in our initial Cbox encounter. And Diana, who has had so many similar experiences to me and shares my love and rage for Iwaku. And Tegan - the best member to ever call me on my shit. My flagship roleplay, Dark Reign, is now only a few scenes from completion, and with it a mythos of seven years will come to an end. That Mythos has followed my progress and the progress of my friends on Iwaku - the ones we have lost and found over the years. That we have built such a saga is testament to the strength of the bonds we have forged, but also to the power you have given me. Being amongst you, in your creative surges and your dark spirals, following your lives and jostling with you across the forum, has energised me. It has been no substitute, but indeed the best of lives. And I hope the next generation will feel as we older members have felt. So this is what I want to say to you - to all of you who are in bad places right now, or unsure of the way forward, or trapped by other people and situations. To all of you who are crushed by your parents, misunderstood by your peers, unacknowledged or damaged... It can get better. It might not, but it can. There is nothing to be gained or safeguarded in pessimism. There is no point in despair. Because Life will always, always, have the capacity to surprise. In a single moment it can throw something at you that derails all that has gone before and opens brand new paths. It killed my brother. It discharged me from the Army. It sent me to Cornwall. It brought an advert to my mailbox for a place called Iwaku. And it threw me into collision with a sexy, empowered, intelligent and beautiful woman who embraced every fault and failing that I thought had doomed me. 2012 has proven itself the Year of Great Change. With the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics I've seen my country at its brightest and said goodbye to each part that I have loved. My adolescence has ended, and I am closing the page on a whole chapter of pain and confusion. It has driven me but it has not defined me. I have the chance to become something else, in the New World, with the woman I love. If there is nothing else you take from me - if there is no other gift I can force into your hands, then please, take this one and only sentence. The one thing I wish to God someone had told me all those years ago, and which I will say to every one of you now... Every plot can be twisted. You are not trapped in your roles. The deepest wounds can be healed. Thank you all for being with me through these years. I will see you all again, when I log in on American soil. Goodbye for now. Greg.