Just a year ago I was not sure how this very moment would feel, but one aspect of life that is hard to contain is the passing of time. Together, we have come through some stormy seas but ultimately to our destination. This is perhaps the moment some of you have been patiently anticipating, but being honest I have not. Today marks the end of only a beginning and I feel the same way I did when I shared my first few words with my first group of people. Not nervous, exactly, but knowing, especially now more than ever, the importance of this task, and motivated by a desire to prove myself. Today for me feels nothing like I imagined it would a year ago, but at the end of the day I’m more than thankful, because it’s just another part of the journey that has made me the person I am today. Whether you are wondering why I am giving my goodbyes, whether you know why I am, or frankly just think you know why I am, you all have a special place in my adventure. That said, remember “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes” and I am just lacing up.
This year has been one of the worst experiences of my life, yet the greatest simultaneously. Still trying to unravel the paradox myself, but the one thing I am certain of is that I am grateful for every second of it. From that rush of adrenaline after a successful launch, to the recoil after a harsh blow from reality, the fight was more than worth it. I mean your face becomes synonymous with broken plugs in Leddy and food options or lack thereof in the CAW. At the end of the day, I drew strength from the knowledge that every challenge, from the personal ones I faced alone, to the sometimes very public obstacles we faced as an organization, only encouraged and motivated me to live out my promise of building a resilient, resurgent UWSA. With that in mind, there isn’t one stop on this journey that I would have changed. It has been the honour of my life to serve as your President. Thank you all for allowing me the privilege of being your voice. You have entrusted me in this position of influence, and after the many successes we have accomplished throughout the year, I sincerely hope I have not let you down.
First and foremost, I want to thank the most important woman in my life, typical but true, my mother. As an immigrant mother who has faced far more than her share of adversity in this life, she managed to teach me that my identity is not a source of pity but an oasis of strength and resilience. I owe it solely to her that I humbly relay this message to you all. Frankly, the only person that has an innate desire for you to do better than they ever did. Today, I proudly confess mama, I couldn’t have done it without you. Little did she know the roller coaster I had just signed myself up for a year ago, but how could I expect her to know what I was getting into when I myself could never have foreseen the challenges that laid ahead. My mother didn’t have anyone in her life that made the kind of sacrifices she has made for me- leaving a war-torn country so that her children could have a better future in a country half a world away. For the past 22 years you have not only been my mother, you have also been my best friend, council, special advisor, my Joe Biden, unconditional lover, and backbone. I suspect without even realizing it herself, she has been my unending source of solace when I had nothing else to hold onto. Mama, I can never pay you back or thank you enough for all that you’ve done for me, but I hope I’ve made you proud. I love you and thank you!
On any campus there’s bound to be disagreements, and I know we didn’t always all see eye to eye, but I hope at the end of it you can all say that you’ve had a valuable and fulfilling experience, and I hope that I’ve become someone you can consider a friend. To all the people in my life much love for supporting me throughout the year and quite frankly, putting up with me. To my brothers, my sister, my friends, and my community- I owe you all a debt of gratitude, and I also owe you an apology. As rewarding as this job is, it takes a lot out of you, and I haven’t always been the person I wanted to be this year, or been able to adequately show my appreciation for the many amazing people in my life without whom I wouldn’t have made it this far. So today is my apology relayed with a sense of appreciation to each and every one of you for coming along for the ride.
To the entire student body – Lancers, thank you for giving me the honour and the opportunity of a lifetime to serve this year as the President of your student union. Thank you for all of the amazing memories you gave me that I will cherish for the rest of my life and then your support for a second chance! As mentioned, I don’t know any better than anyone else what tomorrow will bring, but I’ve realized that “a bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is never on the branch but on its own wings.” Ones title should never determine their willingness to extend a hand. I am still here for you all so don’t be strangers! I will continue to be relentless in my pursuit of resilience, resurgence and love.
Coming to write this was no stroll in the park, I struggled thinking of how to bring it to a close, and I realized the struggle laid in the fact that I was hesitant to bring it to an end. I didn’t want our journey together to conclude and I never for once thought I would adopt the wise words of the Six God Drake that “sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” Today is really bittersweet for me. People ask me how I feel about leaving and the truth is, as Shakespeare says, parting is such sweet sorrow. The sweet, quite frankly, reclaiming life: school, the people closest to me, and freedom. The sorrow, the many goodbyes to so many incredible people and to an organization that has changed my life for the rest of time. Best of luck 2017-18 executive team in all of your endeavours – carry that torch proudly!
Farewell for now,
Peace and Love,