I’ve been penning my love letter to the Other Press since the end of March, when I realized my year-long term as Editor-in-Chief was slowly coming to an end. This is my last Lettitor, my fond farewell, so I need it to convey all that I feel.
To say the last year has been overwhelming is an understatement. While I’ve adored my time as EIC, steering the Other Press has tested my ability to handle stress like no other experience.
To say the last four years have been amazing is an even bigger understatement.
My romance with the OP began when I was a young thang of 17, at Douglas College’s orientation day. There, Sharon Miki and Jacey Gibb were tabling, likely with a mountain of treats to tempt candy fiends and lasso them into contributing. Our brief conversation piqued my interest enough that I decided to attend the first meeting of the year—and this alone was pretty out of character for me: naturally nervous person that I am, I wouldn’t have normally wandered the labyrinthian halls of Douglas’ first floor, into a pack of strangers. Walking there, I had to break down each step as “just a step” until I finally arrived at the Other Press’ office door.
While everyone in the collective was friendly, I was still out of my depth for a long time. I generally didn’t speak more than a handful of words; I certainly didn’t write an article the first few weeks; and I tended to rush out at the end of meetings, for fear of being horrendously awkward and tongue-tied.
But I kept coming every week, even just to sit there, laugh at jokes, and listen to everyone’s plans for a bright and shiny new issue. (Well, not shiny—this was the pre-gloss era.) When I wrote my first article, I remember picking up several copies, marvelling over seeing my name in print, staring wide-eyed at my article. I was hooked, and I wasn’t turning back.
Each of my milestones at the OP is ingrained in my mind: when newly anointed leader Sharon called to offer me the position of Opinions Editor; sitting in the kitchen with my proud mama and papa after getting Assistant Editor, when I didn’t think I had a chance in hell; having my roommate, Jacey, tell me I had gotten EIC, and calling my darling Cody Klyne to tell him the news.
You never know what will affect your life the most, or how tamping down on your anxiety might prove to be the best decision you’ve ever made. You never know who’ll end up sitting at the EIC desk, blushing and making bad puns.
I was slow to start, but I’ve been running with it since. And while we bonded over the beautiful, unbound pages of this publication, it’s the people behind it all that I adore. They’ve supported me without pause, inspired me, and pushed me to be and do better. It’s impossible for me to mention everyone who’s affected me here—this Lettitor would rapidly become a Feature-length piece of effusive praise—but know that I love you all.
I’ve seen the newspaper go through three redesigns; transition from matte to glossy; and pass through the more than capable hands of Klyne, Miki, and Gibb. Now it’s my turn to leave, handing the seat over to Eric Wilkins. He and I started at the newspaper at the same time, and I can’t imagine the last year of EIC-ship without Wilkins’ cheerful face and effervescence. He’s a highly skilled writer and editor, and a tremendously generous human being. I can’t wait to see him take this position on with the aplomb that I know he will.
I don’t want to write the final lines of this piece, because once I do, I know it will officially, really, be the end. As soon as I finish writing my last Lettitor, I’ll be sealing off my time here, leaving a period where I’d love to put an ellipsis. Moving on is more bittersweet than I thought it would be, but I know the paper’s ready, and I’m ready to see what the next generation will do with the publication.
I hate to say goodbye—in Vonnegut’s words, “It’s the emptiest and yet the fullest of all human messages”—so instead I’ll say,