this: “I never thought I was going to become EIC. Then I became EIC. Now we’re on to great things!” My three loyal followers (Mom, Dad, Regina) will know that my first soapbox, last year, followed that formula. The second time around, it’s a little different; here’s the tl;dr version: “I started this year as EIC. I never thought I was going to come back. I did and now we’re on to great things. And I really I hope I’m not wrong like I was last year.”
This year has changed me. For example, it made me go from someone who never drinks to someone who still never drinks, but now desperately wants to become an alcoholic so I can black out the entirety of September to June. Then I won’t remember having to defend myself from a coworker-roommate who threatened legal action, or my feeble attempts at leading 20-year-olds out of a debt greater than Obama’s salary.
In short, sometime in fall, I swore that as soon as the year ended, I’d hightail it out, scream, “I’m a free bitch, baby!” and never look back.
But here I am again, because we’ve sandpapered away the rough edges, and because signing my life away for another year is the biggest declaration of confidence I could give to this paper’s success — and after fighting the law (er, late fees) and winning, the optimism I have overpowers everything else.
But that’s the future, and the only part of the soapbox anyone cares about are the shout-outs for the people here today. So, thank you to Emily, who’s a better version of me, someone with far-reaching perspective instead of glib words, attention to detail instead of brute efficiency and genuine sympathy instead of diplomatic silence. Next, with no one but Hayley and Trevor could I have gained more support than I thought possible, karaoke videos recorded in Florence and 10 pounds from weekly 2-a.m. Rigoberto’s runs. Regina, “long ban” and Shrek the Ogre have injected more delight into my life than I can say. Eight hugs for Neda, for her impeccable taste in music and for having what might be the biggest heart of anyone on staff. And I can’t forget Liam, as much as we argue about the front page photo, your arguments make the paper better.
Finally, to those outside the office: Arina — friend of 1500 pages of Russian lit and six-hour cupcake marathons, I am so glad I know you, and we’ll be ridin’ dirty to Ralphs for a long time yet.
And for those staying behind: Our team will be the one to save the paper — and this isn’t a lie like last time because now I have the experience (and trauma) from plenty of hirings and firings to prove it. From Arielle’s gelato connections to Margaret’s U-hauling prowess, Laira’s money-owing skills, Mina’s flossing tactics, Ren’s weird faces, Andrew’s questionable celebrations and Becky’s bust-drawing (both kinds) finesse, no ragtag group of journalists is better to plow through the shit we’ve been left with and come up smelling like roses.