Wow. Where do I even begin? I have so many memories that have come rushing back into my head the past few weeks. I have new friends that I have made, and old ones that I have reconnected with. There are thousands of words that I would like to say, but I cannot figure out how.
For those who don’t know me, I am Lilly Arima, formerly Lilly Knight. I joined this server on September 26, 2016. Nearly three and a half years ago. When I joined, I was a small eleven-year-old who had zero hobbies and interests, zero real-life friends, and zero self-confidence. Knockturn became my home, my safe haven, a place with people that I trusted more than my own family. Like many kids, I had my phases of growing up and being an immature brat. I have a lot of regrets about how I acted back then. It is painful to read my old posts, my old comments on the server, my old messages in discord. I was terrible to almost everybody I met and ended up being a pretty big troll for a few months. I have such respect for this server and the staff because instead of banning me or ignoring me, they showed me kindness. I made so many friends on this server, one of which I still talk to almost every single day. While I really hate the way I used to be, and sometimes the way I am, I am learning that we must overcome our past and use it to be better for the future.
Today, nearly three and a half years since I joined, I finished my first goal when I joined this server. That goal was to graduate. I cannot describe how much effort this took, and I didn’t even have to attend any of the classes. All I had to do was kill 2,500 lost cats within the span of 11 days, which honestly is pretty easy. Still, it took a lot of perseverance and focusing on my goal to be able to do this. Thank you so much to everybody who encouraged me to finish and accomplish what I wanted. Thank you to everyone who also helped me collect XP, including Will Booth, Harry King, Smile King, Cris Malfoy, and others who just sat and chatted with me while I killed cats.
Today also marks the day of my fifteenth birthday. I know, fifteen is still pretty young. But I am able to look back at how I was as an eleven-year-old, and I see so much growth and change. While some of my personality traits are the same, I also have seen many of my negative traits be replaced with positive traits. I have been able to grow into somebody who shows compassion, who understands people, who want to help others. I have learned more about myself and the goals and dreams I have for the future. I have had so many huge changes in my time of being a player on this server, including starting dual enrollment, joining Civil Air Patrol, moving to a new house, and helping my older brother move out.
Knockturn has given me more than any of you could ever be able to understand. This server has given me a place where I can feel free to be myself and grow. This server has given me friends. This server has given me confidence, the ability to talk to others, and skills that I have brought to my real life. As said, when I first joined, I had zero self-confidence or self-esteem. I was very depressed and suicidal, which I know most teenagers say, but I did consider ending my life a few times. When I felt that way, I was able to log into Knockturn and be greeted with people who appreciated me for who I was and would let me talk about my problems if I wanted to. While I still wonder, almost every single day, if I really was good enough, if I hurt people, if I was and am a good person, I am able to confidently say that all of you have made a difference in my life.
To the staff. Thank you so much for not ignoring me or deciding to ban me back when I first joined. Thank you for always being patient and kind and understanding I was a child, as compared to other servers, who never cared about somebody’s age impacting their maturity. Thank you for giving me a chance to be Helper and Professor Assistant and be part of something bigger than myself. Thank you for being amazing friends. Thank you for creating this server, helping it run, and dealing with all of the annoying players on a daily basis.
To the players. Thank you for logging in and making sure Knockturn can stay a thing. Thank you for talking to me in Global, Housechat, message, Discord, and everywhere else. Thank you for for being amazing. To my friends, thank you for helping me grow and discover who I am. Even to those I used to dislike, thank you for teaching me patience and that I can’t always have everything my way.
I don’t want to list specific names because I don’t want to forget anyone. All of you are important. All of my friends, those who are still here and those who have since moved on, all of the staff, all of the players, each and every one of you is important. I struggle every day to remind myself that I am important and needed, and I am sure a lot of you feel the same way. But, just know, you are important, you are needed, and you are loved.
Now, here we are. Three and a half years of my life have been spent on this server. I am now a fifteen-year-old, and I am now a graduate of Hogwarts. There are so many more changes coming up in my life. While I used to fear change, I now embrace it, and I cannot wait to discover more about who I am and what life has in store. I hope I can continue playing and continue making new friends on this server.
I love this server and its community more than I could ever describe. You have all helped me so much. Thank you. Thank you for being you.
Dear Whoever Reads This,
Today is going to be an amazing day, and here’s why. Because today, you’re you. And that’s enough.