Goodbye Column: Gabi Moreno
CREDIT: Gabi Moreno
Dear Rowdy Nation,
Maybe it's a mix of writer's block or procrastination or depression, but I never thought I would see this day coming. Well, I did, but I always thought it would be easier and not so bittersweet.
To say the least, this journey with you has been the reason I could tell my kids that I enjoyed my college years. My college experience could be considered a soap opera at this point. Yes, I will be bringing that up again. From my freshman year being amid a pandemic to my lack of social skills and overall motivation that this induced, I did not believe the word “enjoy” would enter a sentence I wrote about college.
In 2020, I came to the University of Florida with my angsty teenage emotions and feeling that I was robbed of the future that I worked so hard for. I wanted to have the big city life and be able to express myself in ways that athleisure and Greek life could not account for. Not to mention, I had a hard time finding ways to love myself and others. Let's just say, I was listening to a lot of Lana Del Rey and Phoebe Bridgers. But, who doesn’t love a good character arc?
Fast forward to my freshman spring where I started my Rowdy experience as Assistant to Editor in Chief alongside my future law firm partner, Juliette Nardo. Volume 5 was the reason I fell in love with Rowdy and the media world. With Ana Esclanate being our mentor and mother, she showed us how this publication can shape not just ourselves, but the community of Gainesville. Sure, the University of Florida is not your typical arts school, but it was our goal to make this publication a safe space for people like us who sought something beyond the SEC school dream.
Furthermore, Rowdy Magazine taught me to trust myself. Something that over the course of my life, I had a hard time coming to terms with. Growing up in a city like Miami with a multicultural background, it was hard for me to build my own individual path as well as not think that everyone would not want to care for my ideas or dreams. There's more where that came from, but essentially this publication showed me the value of my voice. I have learned there are people who also value my opinions and trust my vision. This is the kind of reassurance that I needed especially for my future career in law.
I don’t want to turn this goodbye letter into a therapy session, but to sum it up, I just want to thank you. For whoever reads this and whoever enters the Rowdy cinematic universe, I hope you cherish the lessons you learn and value the impact that you make in this publication and on others.
I might not be the next Editor in Chief of Vogue, but this experience has healed my inner child's hopes and dreams of working in a creative field. I guess this is me letting go of a career path that I always thought I would thrive in, but I am thrilled of making the decision that serves another side of myself. This can be considered a stepping stone in my life where I have learned that my opinions or ideas can go beyond the creative spectrum and that the love I have for people and their ideas is something that I am more passionate about.
The same way Rowdy Magazine’s staff and audience trusted me is the same feeling that I want to give to others. I may not be saving a life, but I hope I can save a person’s confidence, aspirations, and make others believe in themselves. I guess I will be looking for other mini Gabis out there who did not know that their little brain is something more and something worth getting to know.
Anyways, thank you Rowdy for introducing me to my lifelong friends and for taking a chance on me. I won’t let you down and will always root for you.
Also, if anyone ever needs a media lawyer, my slack account will stay up and running!