I

can’t believe Rachel Ahuva’s journey in these pages has come to an end. It feels like just yesterday that I sat down in front of an empty screen and tried to remember what it felt like to be a teen. It wasn’t that long ago, true, but it’s a lot like camping: You look back on it with fond and fun memories, forgetting that while you were in it, there were mosquitoes and no running water and you slept on the ground and you were pretty sure it would never end.

I hadn’t written a serial for teens before and I was extremely apprehensive (translation: terrified).

And that terror would have accompanied me week after week, if not for you, dear readers. Your constant feedback, support, enthusiasm, and energy via letters, e-mails, and calls was unbelievable.

It imbued me with the confidence I needed, and slowly the worlds of Brownsfeld and Stonesworth sprang to life in vivid Technicolor.

And now it’s over, after 60 angst- and emotion-filled weeks.

So, before I sign off for now, I just wanted to tell you all one thing:

Rachel Ahuva is okay.

No, seriously!

She is happily married to a great guy, has maybe four or five kids, and is working hard at a job that is both productive and enjoyable (hey, why not?).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that life doesn’t end with high school. Mistakes made during those four years only have as much impact as you allow them to.

Life goes on, opportunities present themselves, and you can be whatever you want to be, no matter what your status was during those four years.

I was painfully shy in front of crowds in high school, and now I’m the one people turn to for presentations because I’m “good at public speaking.” Still surprises me every time.

So, if the years of high school feel like they’re taking a lifetime, try to keep that in mind: Every situation eventually ends, and it doesn’t control or predict what comes after.

And thanks again for reading.

May you all only know brachah and hatzlachah.

Bye for now, girlies.

Ariella

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 764)