To my colleagues,
my dearest co-editor,
and most of all,
– who was certain my perseverance and patience wouldn’t last a year
After a grueling exam season that took the life and joy out of so many of us, I found myself sitting at my desk trying to tap into some artistic vein, as dry as it may be, to make this farewell a moment to remember. The need to mask my statements with verbose carvings and theatrics was too real, but instead, I’ve decided to disappoint so many of you who know me by opting to keep my flair for drama at bay. This farewell must be raw and direct, and coupled with a few anecdotes. I’ve made up my mind.
So settle down with a cup of coffee, because I have some things to say.
My love and respect for this coveted position within the Editorial hails from a complex and emotional viewpoint – complex because I almost missed the chance to be part of this journey and my eventual election was through a chain of very fortunate events; and emotional, because my presence here was designed by friendship, trust, and loyalty.
It was my colleague and co-editor Rtr Vibhath Jayasinghe who was first nominated to handle this position, and he immediately refused, all due to a personal conversation we had while we were novice rotaractors in 2020. I have to say, this was a past event which took a while for me to recall, simply because it happened over a meal at a chain restaurant, and my mind simply halts acknowledging my surroundings when food is present. The chain restaurant shall remain unknown, because it was my idea to be there (which I was certain would be better than what he proposed) and also because it cost us both a fortune (which would not have happened had we followed his idea). However, we were discussing about our future aspirations, and I casually expressed my plan to be the next editor, should the occasion arise, followed by some changes I would like to see within the Editorial as well. And he remembered it so well after months, and immediately declined the offer our past president made, and was adamant that I was a better fit for the post than he is.
And then, I became the Editor. For about four minutes.
Enter our mutual friend, savior, confidante, alarm-clock, calendar, and fierce defender of B99 – Rtr Sithmi Edirisinghe, who proposed the idea of ‘co-editors’ to our Past President Rtr Methmini, which was an immediate hit among all those involved. Unsurprisingly, I was absolutely elated when I realized that I’ll be sharing the platform with a friend I trust, respect, and adore.
And after a year of vigorous ‘rotoracting’, we are finally here – at the end of the road, looking at our own Renaissance, an era brought about with much toil and strain. But an extraordinary era of artistic and creative upheaval, nonetheless.
I shall not sugarcoat things. Yes, this long trek was smooth sailing at times, with bountiful wind directing us towards prestige. But it was also rocky, confusing, and tough on many occasions, which almost led us off track and into chaotic circumstances. But the current success the Editorial has garnered, stems from a strong sense of loyalty and comradeship that sprung from proper and unbarred communication. Despite the stress, pressure and responsibilities associated with the management of Rotaract’s public image, Rtr Vibhath and I managed to maintain internal peace through a constant exchange of ideas, very technical phone calls that went on for several hours, and a shameful amount of tea spilling that usually transpired at the end of said ‘technical’ calls.
And now, to my two very talented belles who have taken over the reins – I assure you that there were moments when convictions grew weak, and the threat of chaos loomed over the Editorial. You must understand that this was, is, and will be, a union of two people with contrasting ideals, contrasting personalities, and contrasting expectations. It took a while for us to find the right momentum, and adjust ourselves to each other’s work ethics, and if you find yourselves struggling to do the same, fear not. You will always find your way there.
To my dearest Avenue Directors, Executive Committee members, Rotaractors from our own batch, and our novice Rotaractors, who have now taken over the Club’s proceedings – thank you so very much for the immense support that you showed throughout an entire year. The Editorial would be a boring, monotonous, and grim place without your vibrant and creative contributions. And thank you for patiently bearing the workload with a smile, many are the times where Rtr Vibhath and I were in awe of your boundless talent and passion.
Also, hats off to our Madam President and Madam Secretary, who did an immaculate job in running this Club, with the love and support of us all.
And finally, Rtr Vibhath Jayasinghe – thank you for this collaboration of a lifetime.
I now know what the late stages of acute OCD look like, and I shall miss it. I apologize for the times I failed to deliver, and for all the times I kept swiping through my Instagram feed while you were on the other end of the call. I shall remember very fondly all the times our very questionable humor kept the tension at bay, and all those times our poor friends were dragged into our eyebrow-raising conversations. No one shall convince me that there’s a better fit for the role of co-editor than you. But above all, thank you for being a wonderful and reliable partner. Know that I’m truly grateful, and privileged, to have shared this platform with a gentleman I respect and look up to, both in academia, and in life. Thank you. For being a friend.
To the first-years who found their way to the Club, and to the second years who shall guide them – do learn from each other, and search for novel aspects of the Club and Blog that you can improve. Properly utilizing creativity and talent, requires repeated experimentation and stepping in previously untrodden paths. So be adventurous.
But most importantly, after all is said and done, after all your efforts have come to pass, and after the final sigh escapes your lips, make sure that you have a wonderful skyline of creativity, love, respect, and selfless service left in the horizon behind you.
A Renaissance of your very own.
– Your sentimental Co-Editor, Rtr Janidu Wijebandara
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