GOODBYE, GOOD LUCK, GODSPEED, GLAD TO HAVE MET YOU, GOOD RIDDANCE, GRATIFYING, GOOGLE, GRAND CANYON, G..IRLS BE AMBITIOUS? Good song, that one. *headbangs* GOODBYEEEEE!!!!, ...And then one day I downloaded some songs that I'd never heard before. They were in the language I was studying so fervently: Japanese. I put those songs onto a CD. And then I listened to that CD. And then my life changed.

Six songs by L'Arc~En~Ciel, Gackt and Miyavi, two each, turned my life down a track I never would have imagined of finding. This discovery suddenly exploded into first, a hobby. And then, a music preference. And now? Now it's almost a way of life. My preferences are still expanding, my horizon still broadening; but I am proud to say that since I first started my online-journalling days, I have changed a lot. Even at the birth of HTTP://SHUIN.PITAS.COM, I was still being hand-fed by the media and the Western music industry, constantly trying to fit in with the girls around me, without a clue of what I wanted to do, be, or where I wanted to go. That's how I met you all. That's how my blog started. From THAT life.

A couple of short years later, and I suddenly come to realize I barely know you guys anymore. I remember when I first met Sleeper, of; and she was completely obsessed with Gackt. I'd heard of the guy, sure, but never heard his music or seen much of him. Never mind the rest of the Jrock world - of that, I knew next to nothing. And now? Now I have 60 Gackt songs, and more than 10 favourite Jrock artists, and I've only just begun to experience the world of Japanese rock. Only JUST. It occurred to me that in between the meaningless rambles in my blog and the incessantly changing layouts, I, as a person, was changing just as rapidly. And so I outgrew the blog I thought I'd always leave up there somewhere. Oh sure, I live in LiveJournal now, so the journal-thing isn't dead by far. But y'know, once of a day, it used to be all the newest movies and actors, the newest clothing, HTML and blogs, the artists on our equivalent of MTV, and the boys at school. Like some sort of twisted geeky teenybopper. Back then I couldn't help but regret losing friends from Diaryland; I didn't understand why they'd just leave and not keep in contact. Like Silverlocket. I still remember you. And Bunny - I can't bring myself to delete you from my MSN contacts list, simply because you've been there (and on my old AIM list) for so long. I can't help but keep attached to the people I've known online for a long time. And Kuhaz, and Miemiyu, and way back in the day, Cait and Jill, and god, I remember the first person to introduce me to Instant Messenger - back when I was on AOL. Patrick. From NYC, or so you claimed. Back when I was - what, 11?

But y'know, I don't have time or patience for my blog anymore. And I suppose that letting go of that blog will propel me emotionally further into the future I can't wait to live out.
So it went from the Spice Girls to the Backstreet Boys to everything on the radio; to Linkin Park and Silverchair; to Miyavi, Dir en grey, and pretty much anything by a Japanese rock star. And that's in the space of, say, 7 years. 6, actually. So now where? Now I have plans. Places I want to go and see. Dreams I'm pinning everything on which I'll do my damndest to achieve. And I think I consider letting Adros slide gloomily back into the swamp of the worldwide Internet as a way of letting go of all those embarrassing teenybopper years. As a way of moving on? Maybe. There have only been a few small consistencies throughout my transition from 12-16 years old - and you know, written like that, it doesn't look like a very long time. And it didn't feel like it. But so much has happened, and this year has already been the best of my life (except for the portion of the one when I was 9, when I went to Hong Kong) - and I wouldn't change anything for the world. The rest of this year holds opportunities that are like gold to me. I have the chance to go to Japan more than once this year alone, which has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time. My studies are slowly beginning to form a pathway to a future I'm hoping will be a good one; and the relationships I've had so far, though few, have shaped me, given me resolve, and shown me just how much of a determined, stubborn mule I can be when it comes to my ambitions.

So here's to you guys. The Link Exchangers. Oh sure, I know less than one eighth about your real lives, but what I was allowed to share in -- thank you. To you guys whom I only knew by your internet aliases - thank you for liking my layouts. ^___^ And to the two people who I first met as a crazy American girl with bright hair, and a Californian boy who ticked me off concerning Lord of the Rings: I owe you guys so much. I probably will do for a very long time.

So here's to silly old Rachel who could never think of a good Internet nickname (or even an original URL), and went around being known as either just Rachel or Thanks guys, it was fun. But nobody likes seeing a hiatus that lasts 1000 years, do they? No. So here's a goodbye note (letter/essay...whatever) that will stay up there just as long. Um. Yeah. Bye! And go listen to some J-rock - you won't be disappointed! XD

This has been Rachel of RYDE @ LJ; thanks to Pitas for letting me make so many weird layouts without being restricted to a template.