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Editor’s Letter

December 2012: Faith

I haven’t put a ton of thought into an editor’s letter in a while. I haven’t been writing on this site much, either. Lately I’ve felt so utterly overwhelmed by the absolute horror that is EVER TALKING, EVER, that I’ve retreated in as many areas of life as possible without neglecting the ole Rooks completely. I wish I could say I’ve also resisted becoming a bad friend, but I have been so positive that everybody is so absolutely DISGUSTED by every stupid thing I have said or done in the past, and every stupid thing I am bound to say or do in the future, that I saved them all the inconvenience of having to bear any more time with the clump of cells that is my being and stopped talking to most of them in general. I also wish I could say I’ve avoided becoming a lazy student, but the idea of sitting in a room full of other people has recently struck me as PROFOUNDLY absurd, and I keep getting distracted from the education part of school by noticing how creepy people can look when they’re smiling, and how sad other people can look when they seem to feel they’re missing out.

This is a pretty good problem to have, because really the thing I am afraid of (being alive) is something the vast majority of people manage, day after day. Many of them are even happy. Many of them have more reason to be sad than I do. And really, when you put it in perspective, when you consider that I am just one of billions of people on earth and how tiny we all are and what a brief moment in time this is and how one day the universe will explode or implode or something—WAIT HOLY SHIT THAT MEANS THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THAT I GET HOW DO I MAKE THE BEST OF IT WITHOUT BEING A BAD PERSON? And then, wait, how does it work out that I think life is the worst, but I also don’t want it to go away? AND THEN, why don’t I have a more sophisticated analogy for this than how I felt when I finished the one and only season of E!’s Pretty Wild?

See? A really pretty good problem. The things we get into with our own brains tend to be. But if a problem is great enough to keep someone from making the most of the opportunities in front of them, or from being a good and genuine person to others, it’s worth examining. Not as an excuse to stew in self-pity or fish for compliments or dominate a random conversation like “oh speaking of that new Anne Hathaway movie-musical I, TOO, AM PRETTY MISERABLE,” but in the interest of getting through it and educating oneself and being able to move on to more important things. You acknowledge something is up, you give thanks that it’s this and not something worse, and then you are as honest with yourself as you can be as you try to solve it. You talk to someone when you need to without losing sight of what they might also be dealing with, and you delve in, knowing that you might find a side of yourself that is less than flattering, and that you’ll be obligated to try and change it afterwards, simply because it will be too late to go back to your old habits, guilt-free.

So! In an attempt to talk to some people, I asked the Rookie staffers in our Facebook group: “What do you do when you are so mortified by just the daily embarrassment of living and interacting with people that you stop talking as much as is possible both online and off? ASKING FOR A FRIEND.”

(All of this, BTW, is about my friend, actually.)

These wise souls all had a lot to share (“Talk to a tree”—Jamia; “Hang out with a cat”—Kimberly), and Lola sent me this quotation from Lester Bangs that felt so absolutely right that I wrote it down in my journal to come back to whenever necessary:

It reads: “Just for the record, I would like it known by anybody who cares that I don’t think life is a perpetual dive…I suspect almost every day that I’m living for nothing, I get depressed and I feel self-destructive and a lot of the time I don’t like myself. What’s more, the proximity of other humans often fills me with overwhelming anxiety, but I also feel that this precarious sentience is all we’ve got and, simplistic as it may seem, it’s a person’s duty to the potentials of his own soul to make the best of it. We’re all stuck on this often miserable earth where life is essentially tragic, but there are glints of beauty and bedrock joy that come shining through from time to precious time to remind anybody who cares to see that there is something higher and larger than ourselves. And I am not talking about your putrefying gods, I am talking about a sense of wonder about life itself and the feeling that there is some redemptive factor you must at least search for until you drop dead of natural causes.”

I don’t love the remark about “putrefying gods,” but generally, it’s a life-saver.

I don’t really know what my religious deal is completely, but I have a lot of faith. I am sure at any given moment that there is no shortage of goodness in its various forms out there. I am sure that potential and possibility and the fact that something can exist even just as an idea alone is enough for me. I am also sure that soon enough, I’ll feel disconnected from it all once more, and extreme hermitry will install itself in my daily routine for another period of time. By then, hopefully the phrase “extreme hermitry” will have caught on and become the title of a hit reality show on E! that airs at the same time Pretty Wild used to. And while that TV show will be unbearable and ridiculous for everybody involved, I will love its every embarrassment and make the most of it while it lasts. Just like I did Pretty Wild. (And also life, if that wasn’t clear.)

SO, this month’s theme is Faith. This kind of faith, but religion, too. And lots of Frida Kahlo! It’s not too late to send in a submission: submissions@rookiemag.com.

Also, the holidays are coming up. ALLOW ME TO REMIND YOU CASUALLY OF THE ROOKIE SHOP, SHOULD YOU BE LOOKING FOR GIFTS TO GIVE. Rookie Yearbook One is the 350-page print compilation of our best content from our first year of existence, that T-shirt is real cute, and we also just added a calendar, designed by Kelly and Allegra, for which I chose illustrations and photos from the site. It is really attractive because we have many talented illustrators and photographers! And it would be at home on any wall.

OK, I think that’s everything. Happy holidays and end of the world to you and yours and thank you, as always, for being here.



  • DreamBoat December 3rd, 2012 3:14 PM

    Tavi and her beautiful ideas will always take up at least 5% of my heart.
    This was amazing and perfect and exactly what I needed! <3 <3
    luv all ya guys


  • Erin. December 3rd, 2012 3:16 PM

    Happy end of the world to you too, Tavi, and to all the other Rookies out there.

    Because I’m selfish, I’m getting Rookie Yearbook One for myself for Christmas.

    I hate being in that mood where you hate absolutely everything, even things that you actually really love, and nothing you seem to do can take you out of that deep dark place that is the cave of the human mind. But taking a bubble bath and blasting some super duper sugary jpop can help. Your cats may think you’re weird, but they always think that anyways.

  • noquierodecir December 3rd, 2012 3:18 PM

    Aghhh I understand so completely what you’re saying: about classrooms, about humanity, about Pretty Wild….!

    I feel like posing this question in the comments here, because Rookie is full of so many smart teens and women. How does one know what the difference between sadly pondering existence/school/everything, and being depressed? Or, to phrase it differently, is experiencing lots of depressive symptoms really a disease?

    Sometimes I feel like we (the people of the world) are pathologizing human existence. I’m not convinced the human condition is not a sad one.

    I mean , the default answer might just be: “THERAPY!”, disease or not. I’ve tried my fair share of that, in fact I am still trying it!

    I guess the reason I’m bringing this all up is just that I’m curious what others think.
    And, to be clear, I am not insinuating that Tavi is depressed! Au contraire, I’m trying to figure out what is “normal” and what is not, what is sadness and what is depression (I mean, they feel different, obviously, but other differences).

    • raftingstarlit December 3rd, 2012 4:35 PM

      I totally agree with you. I’ve been thinking the same-that people generally, but especially people who are more intelligent, don’t enjoy life in the 80% of their time. Mostly they are OK with it, because they got used to living on a day to day basis. And then there are those moments which make you feel happy that you live. (for me, it’s walking home in the night, and watching the sky. it just makes me feel so connected to the universe.) What I’m saying is:teenagers still wonder about things (why are we here, what’s the point of living etc.) and than you grow up, and you get used to life. I don’t really know if that’s good or not.
      Anyway, this was just my thought, I hope you get what I’m trying to say, cause english is not my native language.

      • Miss Erin December 3rd, 2012 5:34 PM

        I don’t think that’s necessarily true; although I’m only a couple of years removed from being a teenager, I haven’t stopped wondering and thinking about those sorts of things, and I know a lot of other adults (some much older than myself) who still do, too. I think it’s important to keep asking questions and to stay curious and keep wondering no matter what age one is!

        • decemberbaby December 3rd, 2012 5:59 PM

          Maybe the difference is that sadness is more temporary, or easier to relieve. For example, when I’m just sad, or just overwhelmed with frightening or crushing questions about life, I can distract myself and cheer myself up. I don’t have very much experience with depression, but I think when it’s impossible to lift yourself out of sadness or apathy for more than a short time, that’s a sign of a disease. A healthy mindset, I think/hope, is one in which a person is able to find a more cheerful or at least less painful perspective when they need it.

          Don’t quote me on any of this, I really don’t know what I’m talking about xD but that’s just a thought.

      • SincerelyWrong December 5th, 2012 2:17 AM

        I just had to say I totally agree with you on the bit about the sky. There is nothing I love more, really. On bike rides I sometimes just laugh out loud at the beauty of the great wide expanse above me. I once shouted “What does it mean?!” at a really amazing cloud formation, only to realize that there were actually people out and about who could hear me. It just made me laugh even more.

    • Elle December 3rd, 2012 9:03 PM

      This quote may sound really stupid or whatever, but I think it helps sometimes (I have the exact same problem as all this: disgusted with myself and others and then not talking, and wondering wether I should feel guilty for that… Anyway)

      ‘All human knowledge can be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.’ from “The Count of Monte Cristo”

      I also end up listening to a lot of Smiths songs.

      I think lots of these problems though, or sadness and stuff are caused by expecting to be happy or expecting other people to live up to your expectations (expecting to be fulfilled by other people). I find that I am most depressed and unhappy when I should be most happy: summer, weekends, on ‘friend outings,’ after having bought clothes, (after) holidays…

      I think this is because we think that after we have that one more thing we want (wether it be an actual object or thing or finally becoming an ‘interesting person’) and we are still unhappy, we are disappointed.

      There isn’t much we can do about this, except the above: wait and hope.

      Another quote that I love (by the best author in the entire history of everything)

      “We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde

  • alexaannejay December 3rd, 2012 3:23 PM

    I always feel like this sort of stuff should get easier or clearer with age or experience, but here I am, a college student, and I still feel way overwhelmed by the idea of talking to people. Yuck. I love this quote, though. Great editor’s letter.

  • Lea December 3rd, 2012 3:24 PM

    You just warmed my heart, really :3
    Ima print this thing and read it whenever I feel a bit down. Like for real.

  • whodatgal December 3rd, 2012 3:24 PM

    okay so i didn’t reallyyyy get most of this rambling awesomeness but Tavi you are a legend love chooo bebey! <3 <3 <3 can you ship the top and calendar to London etc?

    Ophelia xoxoxoxo

    • Ananas December 3rd, 2012 5:43 PM

      Just wondering that actually! :)

  • Allyssa December 3rd, 2012 3:32 PM

    Oh gosh, Tavi, this is exactly where my mind has been lately and this was super refreshing and helpful to hear.

  • judew304 December 3rd, 2012 3:35 PM

    Hey Tavi! I just wanna say that the world is scary and people are even more scary, it’s crazy! So I think it’s OK and perfectly NORMAL to retreat to our little corner of the world sometimes. You know, there’s a big difference in being a selfish person and just taking care of you when you need it. And good friends understand that so… yeah, don’t worry :)

  • Kathryn December 3rd, 2012 3:36 PM

    I can relate to this so much right now…

    PS. I was hoping you guys would add something new for the holidays! CURRENTLY ADDING THE CALENDAR TO THE TOP OF MY CHRISTMAS LIST. Also the t-shirt, which I love but haven’t bought yet. Thanks for being so awesome, Rookie. <3

  • farawayfaerie December 3rd, 2012 3:37 PM

    Hey Tavi while I miss you during hermit time i understand because i don’t think i could ever handle the pressure of everyone tracking your every internet move. also that quote was beautiful and so relevant, as was the part about looking to friends for help “without losing sight of what they might also be dealing with”. Anndd, I’m also really excited about lots of Frida, because she is my idol. p.s.. I hope you feel better, and (I think you have jewish family/heritage?) that you have a lovely Hanukkah.

  • 062131 December 3rd, 2012 3:38 PM

    I’m not religious, but I’m sure this is going to be a great month here. Different kinds o faith an Frida Kahlo? YES.
    Also, I really want a rookie shirt, but I don’t know much about american clothing sizes. Does anyone know some kind of measurement guide?

  • youngfridays December 3rd, 2012 3:41 PM

    Pretty keen for this month, your letter was lovely Tavi, and my name is Faith so eheheheeh


  • katie December 3rd, 2012 3:42 PM

    The thing about rookie is as soon as I think I cannot love this site more, something like this is posted. I recently had to stop going to school as a result of crippling anxiety and this really resonates. And not just this article. Its becoming a regular occurrence that an article is published around the time that it seems to be most helpful to me. Odd. But nice.
    Hope all is well (or gets better), Tavi (and the rest).

  • Bethany December 3rd, 2012 3:42 PM

    Thank you for such a honest letter Tavi, though I am very sorry that you are not having a good time. <3 If it helps I can totally relate to being utterly embarrassed with everything I do or say. I am so self conscious right now. Pretty much anything I do in front of other humans, however small or silly it might seem, makes me want to cry, and sometimes I do. Ugly crying, gosh even my crying is embarrassing!

    But some days I forget that I am a giant lumbering papier mache monster and I feel part of the world. These are special times that I cannot predict. Discovering Rookie was one of those special things.

    Gosh I hope this message isn't too silly sounding or weird or upside down back to front. I'm going to stop talking now but I hope you understood what I was trying to say with my papier mache monster mouth!



    • mulberry December 4th, 2012 12:28 AM

      I won’t say that this will be the same for you as it was for me

      …but one of the best things I ever did for myself was to just BEGIN the adventure of trying to stop caring so much what others thought of me (or MIGHT have thought of me).

      I honestly think it took root the strongest when I started reading Rookie (especially the original ‘How to Not Care What Other People Think of You’ article). I mean, reading that combined with a lot of other things in my head and experiences I had had/was having. But it was definitely a catalyst for change.

      As a person, it’s not like I’ve transformed or anything. I’m sure I still appear exactly the same to 99% of people I encounter on a daily basis. But the main point is that I’ve stopped caring so much just how I appear anyway. It’s like, when you realize how insignificant and overall how FLEETING the impact of the silly buzzing daily thoughts of “ohmythighsarebig ohherthighsaretiny ishowimwalkingdumb doisoundstupid ismychapstickgoopy?” really is, it frees up so much space to just LIVE and EXPERIENCE THINGS. Not every moment of every day. But the judgments you have of others and those they have of you really mean absolutely nothing if no one actually cares about them. They only have as much power as we give them.

      I’m not going to say others ARE NEVER sitting around thinking judgy thoughts about you. A lot of times, people probably are. People do that to each other. BUT:
      a) Everybody’s judgy thoughts are so random, and so weird, and so arbitrary that you’re never going to be able to guess what they’re thinking, so why try?
      b) If you liv

      • mulberry December 4th, 2012 12:37 AM

        e your life by trying to achieve PERSONAL satisfaction (find things YOU like! do things YOU want to do! care about what YOU want and do things that make YOU proud!), then nobody can take that contentment away from you. Your happiness will not be dependent on others’ approval, but will be self-sustaining.

        Geez, I really didn’t mean to preach!
        I just have recently been going through a pretty meaningful shift in the way I see the world on a daily basis, and overall I’ve really been able to just relax and live in a way that feels unencumbered and genuine for the first time probably since I was a little kid.
        It’s been really amazing and wonderful (not always happy, but just very honest…and I feel more stable and resilient) and I thought if somehow my experiences could help another person with what he/she is going through, that that might be a good possible thing.

        Anyway. Be however you choose to be, but however you are, make sure you’re that way because you’re choosing to be.!

        (P.S. Sorry for two-comment comment!)

        • Bethany December 4th, 2012 3:38 AM

          Wow, I have attempted writing like 3 different versions of this but they all sound clunky and word vomit-y so am going to keep this simple-
          Thank you so so much for this. Seriously.
          The idea that someone has taken the time to write this to me actually means so much and makes me feel so much less lonely in this scary world
          I am going to write your words in my diary for me to remember on bad days <3
          I hope you are well and happy
          p.s sorry for delay in response I am in England so check Rookie at weird times to everyone else!

  • decemberbaby December 3rd, 2012 3:43 PM

    This is amazing. So raw and honest and effing true. Only on Rookie.

  • fox in the snow December 3rd, 2012 3:59 PM

    This is so beautiful! I love Tavi’s editor’s letters because they are always so honest, and truly the best things ever. My friends are getting pretty annoyed that I tend to refer to Rookie as a person. Honest.
    Friend: What are you doing?
    Maxie (Me): Hanging out with Rookie.

    I just adore the community that Rookie creates, whether it’s online, or in real life. Maybe one day I will actually be able to go to a Chicago Rookie meet up.


  • Laura Lemon December 3rd, 2012 4:13 PM

    I am afraid Tavi is some sort of mind reader.
    Personally, it’s around this time of year that the hermitry and the HOW DO I GO ABOUT BEING ALIVE (why the heck hasn’t anyone written a Guide that doesn’t make me feel psycho?) sets in. ugh.

    also, super excited for Frida Kahlo!!!

  • coolgirl December 3rd, 2012 4:18 PM

    thank u for this i don’t feel as alone

  • Mary the freak December 3rd, 2012 4:22 PM

    Oh yes. Tavi everything you are writing is perfect. I am in love.

    I too know this feeling, it’s awful. you are sittin in school, counting minutes which will never end. And when it’s finally over, you stand up, go home, sit around doing nothing. Waiting for the day to be over, crying because your best friend calls you “annoying sometimes” and your teachers won’t stop telling you how bad you are. And then, you realise you have wasted a whole day of your life. Sucks. I think snow and white skies always bring this kind of feeling. I mean, why tha hell is the sky white? It seems unreal, creepy and monotonous.

    Anyways, I am looking forward to this month! Christmas is coming, love is in the air and Faith is a brilliant theme.



  • CariStereo December 3rd, 2012 4:23 PM

    I initially misread “putrefying gods” as “purifying gods”.

  • rabea December 3rd, 2012 4:38 PM

    I feel like watching ” Girl, Interrupted”, even or maybe because I never got its message.

  • catpower44 December 3rd, 2012 4:57 PM

    Thank you so much Tavi! Ugh how are you such an amazing writer??? I love today’s background, Frida is amazing! My art teacher sometimes calls me Frida because I wear flower crowns! I loved yesterday’s background too, I’m actually reading her book right now! It’s so good! I love Patti Smith.

  • SpencerBowie December 3rd, 2012 5:07 PM

    Tavi, you’re such a Taurus! Lol! I am too and this is where a lot of us bulls have been. But apparently it’s all gonna get better and you do gotta have faith faith faith!

    God Bless Rookie and Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas to all!


  • Ladymia69 December 3rd, 2012 5:22 PM

    Tavi, I feel you. This is one of the main reasons I read Rookie, because you so honestly and generously share your angst with me.

    I have been in a state similar to yours for about a year now. Jean-Paul Sartre called it “the Nausea”, and wrote a book about it, and a better word for it I cannot think. But Bangs is right. We have to make the best of it. Glad to be making the best of it with you gals here at Rookie. Even as a woman in my 30s, this feels like a cozy, non-threatening home for me. Thanks to you all.

  • Abby December 3rd, 2012 5:26 PM

    You live under my bed, don’t you. Don’t lie. I know.

  • kendallkh December 3rd, 2012 5:33 PM

    this is actually freaking me out a tiny bit because i have noticed that i have been doing the exact same self-isolation thing for the past several weeks. it feels like everyone pities me because i’m so dumb and i just want to never say anything again. but i also totally identify with that feeling of wanting to search for those perfectly crystallized beautiful moments in life and discover a purpose for yourself and contribute to the goodness in the world.

    a lot of the time (for me) it just feels easier to be hermit-y and not try anything at all because then you don’t have to risk trying and failing and looking dumb. that pretty much sums up my life. the sad little depressed zone is comfortable but this letter has sort of popped me back into the zone of wanting to get over it and stop wallowing and be productive and actually make an effort and be willing to look silly in the name of accomplishing something greater.

    so thank you! it feels strange to see another girl feeling the exact same things i am, but it also helps to see that i am creating a lot of my problems for myself. it’s weird that so many girls can be feeling shades of the same thing all over the world. i’m glad we have the internet to help each other.

  • Peejay December 3rd, 2012 5:36 PM

    I am so glad that i clicked on this. I saw it and thought, ‘i’ll read that later’ but something made me change my mind. This perfectly sums up how i’ve been feeling for the past month or so. I thought that it was just me being weird but you’ve made me realise that i’m not the only one. These letters make me feel less alone.

  • Emma December 3rd, 2012 5:36 PM

    Tavi, Tavi, Tavi. I know just what you mean. Recently in school I did this essay on the poem “The Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman. The poem is beautiful and meaningful, but basically it’s message is that conventional classroom teaching is not true learning. So I wrote this whole essay analyzing the effing poem, when the message of the poem was not to over analyze things. Sometimes the things we learn in class are so superficial and pointless. And sometimes I just feel miserable or depressed for no good reason, and the nit just screws up my whole week. And sometimes even my FRIENDS annoy me, so I am bitchy to them, and then I feel like they are angry with me. Basically, living is hard. It sounds bratty, but it’s so very true.

    • soretudaaa December 4th, 2012 10:44 AM


  • jenaimarley December 3rd, 2012 5:40 PM

    I’m really glad you exist, Tavi.

  • katie December 3rd, 2012 5:49 PM

    why is it specified that non-christian holiday articles are what you’re looking for? i’m not meaning to be woe-is-me about it but i’d just like to know…

    • Anaheed December 3rd, 2012 5:50 PM

      Because we already have plenty of articles about Christian religions scheduled for December.

      • katie December 3rd, 2012 5:52 PM

        ok! thanks :)

      • soretudaaa December 4th, 2012 10:45 AM

        does that involve Catholicism as well? (just wondering)

  • VivaViviana December 3rd, 2012 5:54 PM

    I wish I could have this entire letter from the editor transferred onto a t-shirt or something. For now I’ll print it out and keep it in my journal, to remind me that there are beautiful introspective people all around me, like you, Tavi. We will probably never meet each other, but reading this just reaffirms my faith in people and thinking critically about our existence as both individuals and members of this WORLD.

    And can I mention that I LOVE Frida?!

    Mucho Amor,

  • Tavi December 3rd, 2012 5:59 PM

    Oh it is very, very heartening to see this resonates at all with other people! You guys are the best, thank you for your comments, and I hope y’all feel OK, too.

  • FlowerPower December 3rd, 2012 6:16 PM

    Weee! Can’t wait to start of a new month!
    One random thingamabob: I have been looking for a new calendar, since the calendar I’ve been using is coming to an end, so yay I can get the Rookie calendar! The funny thing is, the calendar I’ve been using is just this one my mom got from our Polish Roman Catholic church…funny how things connect to each other that way, huh?

  • clairedh December 3rd, 2012 6:28 PM

    I was reading through this letter going “yes, thank god someone else is feeling this way”. I’ve got to the ‘noticing a very unflattering part of myself’ stage and to be honest it’s pretty hard to do what I need to do in order to change. I get it wrong and I fail but I have to keep trying.
    So…reading, scrolling, reading, scrolling and then… the best thing I have ever seen on here… TAVI QUOTES LESTER BANGS!! Holy moses Lester Bangs is the best dude ever! My boyfriend was obsessed with him and then so was I. I can definitely see why Tavi likes him though – He’s a no bullshit, do what he wants, brilliant, contadicting, honest, creative writer – and so is Tavi :)
    I cannot wait to read all of this month’s articles and print out the Lester Bangs quote for my wall.

  • Tihana December 3rd, 2012 6:38 PM

    Hi, I just wanted to say that feeling guilty for having problems that are minor compared to someone else’s is really no use. Everyone lives in a world of their own, constructed of their own dreams, hopes and memories, and, I guess that a person who lives surronded by war has created a world that differs a great deal from ours, but that doesn’t make our problems matter less (at least not in our universe) because we have to deal with them everyday, and, being blessed with such wonderful lives, we’ve never had to face a situation that was more difficult. Thus, everyone in the world thinks of their problems as the biggest. And that’s perfectly normal. And human.
    You see, I have this medical condition, and a friend of mine once started to complain about her day,and, since I was in a really bad mood I kept thinking how inconsidearte she was. But, then I relized that is just how people are. Egocentric creatures. And I am just the same, trapped in my own little world, with my worries and wishes. But, if you think about it, being alone isn’t always fun. It can become boring after a while. That’s why we need other people. We have to colide and interact, because, essentially, other human beings (or all beings, I guess) are what makes us spin, what makes us tick, and turn mere exesting into life.
    Sorry for the length, but this is something that has preoccupied me recently. Also I’m sorry for any grammar or spelling mistakes, but english is not my first language.
    Rookie you’re the best! :)

    • Tavi December 3rd, 2012 8:28 PM

      I didn’t mean it’s good to remember there are worse problems as a way to dismiss your own — just to put things in perspective :) What you’re saying reminds me a lot of this, parts 1 and 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5THXa_H_N8

      • Tihana December 4th, 2012 11:34 AM

        He was such an amazing speaker. This is really inspirational. I’ve always thought that I do put things in perspective, but, now I’ve realized that I do it just theoretically. I undestand other people have problems, but in real life, in the situations that make me feel bad, I guess I forget it by default. It’s really difficult to put things in perspective because it takes a lot of mental strength and it’s like you have to be alert all the time. It’s just easier to give into your thoughts.
        But I’ve become aware of this now, so I’ll try to percieve the world differently. I agree with his concept of freedom, I just didn’t know how to get there, like, mentally.
        Oh, and some of his books are definitely going to be on my reading list for the holidays. I haven’t heard of him before so thanks. It really made my day. :)

  • la fee clochette December 3rd, 2012 6:44 PM

    Thanks for this, Tavi. I am 24 and have acomplished some dreams i didn’t think I ever would, or so soon, and have loads of sweet friends and found a job i like. But it is too hard still, some days, to not worry or feel anxiety about things that are bothering me and unfixed problems. Whether personal problems or not, it’s so easy to get fixated on the negative or just be in a ‘slump’ for no reason. But being sad is okay. And I for one enjoy my hermity-loner times a whole lot, and my friends happily understand (and some are like this, too!)

    Anyways, isn’t it in Hannah & Her Sisters that near the very end ofthefim, Woody Allen is contemplating the point of existence and decides that maybe there is no God?– only to feel better when the Marx Brothers come onto the movie screen he’s watching and he then realizes that life can be okay.

  • pendulous-threads December 3rd, 2012 6:59 PM

    I’m so happy that Tavi can relate with me, but I feel as though I’ll never relate to her. It’s a shame, because I read Rookie religiously yet I’ll always have a pang of jealousy for the utter success that Tavi has produced all the years she’s been active online… and i’ve produced hardly anything in comparison.

    • Melisa December 4th, 2012 8:13 AM

      Our time will come. Perhaps not exactly like Tavi’s, because each person is different.

      I believe that good things come when you least expect it. Work hard, strive for the best, and hope for the best!

  • Eryn December 3rd, 2012 7:09 PM

    This letter and all the comments made me cry wow I don’t even know why. It just resonates so much. It’s so nice to know one is not alone. Which is pretty much what Rookie does every day.

    Also, super excited about lots of Frida, I adore her, and we have the same birthday (a fact I readily share because it’s just so cool). It’s gonna be a great month, I can feel it.


  • witheringslytherin December 3rd, 2012 7:41 PM

    I loved this so much, it relates so much to how I’ve been feeling recently. When you have no desire to do ANYTHING productive ever, really, and things are slipping but then you’re just worrying about them slipping rather than doing anything about it. But at the same time SOME BEAUTIFUL THINGS JUST MAKE EVERYTHING WORTH IT. For example, dancing with a scarf to the Harry Potter soundtrack. Alone. Makes me happz.
    Anyway Tavi, I’m so thankful for Rookie (like these other trillions) and it means so much to me so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ALWAYS FOR THAT. It will definitely be something that sticks with me forever. And you are, I’m sure, a really lovely person and I hope what you’re going through doesn’t last much longer. SO MUCH LOVE.

  • Emilie December 3rd, 2012 7:44 PM

    nice letter Tavi, it really resonates with my winter-onset depression. Also, is there still going to be that journal scan collection / was it already put up?

    • Tavi December 3rd, 2012 8:27 PM

      Going up this month instead!

  • firky December 3rd, 2012 7:58 PM

    Ugh this makes me really, really excited. I just emailed like 4 people trying to get them to send something in.

    I consider myself a “Wondering Jew” (get it?) but am not so confident about my writing skillz.

    Anywho, I will keep contacting my peeps and thinking of what I could possibly submit.



    • Tavi December 3rd, 2012 8:27 PM

      Thank you for that! I mean I am Jewish and a handful of our staffers are Jewish but we didn’t have much to say I guess.

      • firky December 3rd, 2012 9:07 PM

        I don’t know about y’all, but I’m always interested in hearing what people who say they don’t have much to say have to say.


  • Lucy23 December 3rd, 2012 8:04 PM

    Tavi I love you to death. Seriously. This is beautiful. <3

  • Imogen-Rose December 3rd, 2012 8:18 PM

    I love Frida Kahlo! we share a birthday :3

    • Eryn December 3rd, 2012 8:55 PM

      That means we share a birthday! July 6th? :) her real birthday (as opposed to the one she told people)?

  • rosesinthepark December 3rd, 2012 9:03 PM

    I’m really looking forward to this month. I’m trying to decide right now whether to be confirmed a Catholic or not, so I need to think about religion and faith a lot.
    Also, yeah, I always get kinda depressed around the winter. I try to sing optimistic songs in my head and get absorbed in beautiful things and just keep pushing on, as John Maus would say.

    • firky December 3rd, 2012 9:42 PM

      If I could like this, I would.

    • soretudaaa December 4th, 2012 10:47 AM

      My confirmation was two years ago! If it helps, Frida was a Catholic. And JFK.

    • SincerelyWrong December 5th, 2012 2:33 AM

      Confirmation is an interesting thing. I was supposed to get confirmed as a proper Episcopalian this past Spring, but I skipped it because I wanted to see a play my friend was in, and that was the only day I could. XD
      But afterwards, I realized I had some problems with the idea of confirmation, mainly that the Bishop had to be involved—I have issues with Bishops, just… do—and that it was this big ceremony—I hate ceremonies with a passion—so right now I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

      And about winter depression, it gets dark so earlier. o_o It’s just so tiring, I need to take a nap from 4:30-6:00 or something, just to get over how fatigued I am.

      Keep on singing! Go with your gut, and know we’re all pulling for you. :)

    • Martinapovolo December 5th, 2012 11:26 PM

      I think being confirmed as a catholic would be a good idea because if you get confirmed but choose not be one after all, you can just go on with your life but if you choose not to get confirmed and want to later, it’s a big mess and you’d have to take Ccd classes with the converts

    • Kathryn December 10th, 2012 4:13 PM

      I was actually thinking about writing about this and submitting it. I’m getting confirmed Catholic right now and I absolutely hate it. Instead of bringing me close to God and keeping me in touch with my spiritual side, it’s making me bitter and giving me an existential crisis.

      Of course, this is just me/my experiences. It definitely depends on your views, what you agree with, and your church. I don’t like my priest or the leaders of my confirmation very much and the more I go there, the less I want to be associated with the Catholic church. (I haven’t for a long time, but my parents wanted me to get confirmed.) Especially since almost every week we end up talking about gay marriage (before the election there was a huge “VOTE YES” sign hanging above the doors of my church, to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in MN), abortion, contraceptives, etc., etc.

      Bottom line: if you disagree with a lot of the Catholic views, I WOULD NOT recommend getting confirmed, if even just to please your parents. I am having a terrible time.

      • Kathryn December 10th, 2012 5:46 PM

        Also, this is the first year where I’ve completely realized/wondered/admitted to myself that I don’t actually know if God exists, which is giving me a lot of anxiety. And at the root of all of this is confirmation classes… sort of the opposite of the desired effect.

  • daisyauthority December 3rd, 2012 10:09 PM

    Ya know, faith can be so confusing sometimes. My personal faith consists of knowing that someone greater than me made me and everything else on this world because some things are just too beautiful to be random accidents. But in terms of religion, I’m not sure. I belong to a particular religion right now but I don’t understand/agree with all of its principles. I can’t convert because I’m underage and it feels so wrong. And I think that when I turn 18, I will go on a “spirit charge”, to go all around the country/world/city, exploring different religions before I can find a perfect fit. I’m not an atheist, I just don’t know where I fit. {I don’t even like labels anyway}

    • Kathryn December 10th, 2012 5:48 PM

      sounds like an eat, pray, love sorta thang
      (i never saw that movie so i might be completely wrong on that)

  • Jes December 3rd, 2012 11:02 PM


    Every day since the age of 13 I have looked forward to reading what you have put on your blog, and now I look forward to what you write for Rookie. Your writing has become a fixture in my life like a favorite television show or magazine. If ever you feel as if you don’t want to say something for fear it will sound stupid, just remember that right now, a 17 year-old girl sitting somewhere in America’s urban sprawl is dying to hear what you have to say.

    • Kathryn December 10th, 2012 5:59 PM

      same here. i’ve sort of been obsessed with tavi’s blog and general amazingness since i was in 7th grade (woah, four years ago) and it makes me feel kind of creepy, but… yeah

  • LuxOrBust December 3rd, 2012 11:08 PM

    tavi i just wanted you to know that since discovering rookie and your personal blog you have taught me a lot about being happy and being happy that im myself, because you are courageous and you put YOURSELF out there. thanks for being you.

  • dandelions December 3rd, 2012 11:10 PM

    “I am sure that potential and possibility and the fact that something can exist even just as an idea alone is enough for me.”

    For me too, Tavi. And I feel you right now. We are just growing up and learning, it hurts, but then, all that pain or angst is just a beautiful way to understand life and understand why we are here, living in this planet (in the space).

    A hug.

  • alisong December 3rd, 2012 11:38 PM

    First of all, I’d just like to say that I wish this site had been around during the earlier part of my teenage years, and I wish this editorial had been posted two years ago so I wouldn’t have felt so alone. I kind of feel like I did after I read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” earlier this year when Charlie described so poignantly how I felt when I was depressed (the part where he talks about how he wishes he could melt away into nonexistence). While I was depressed, I HATED MYSELF. Everything that came out of my mouth felt like word vomit, so much so that I felt like I was going to actually vomit. Being cursed with a long memory, I beat myself up for stupid shit I said/did YEARS ago. I was convinced that the entire universe hated me just as much as I hated myself (if not more so). So I went away. Slept most of the time I wasn’t at school. Stopped eating. Nearly broke 100 pounds (in the wrong direction). Sat in class and wondered what the hell I was doing there, barely able to keep my wretched self upright. It took a long time for me to pull myself out of that hole. I did therapy, took long walks in the sunlight (fuck yeah SAD). After spending so much time alone, when my senior year of high school started, being around people scared the shit out of me. But I worked it out and am now killing my first year of college. Sometimes I still struggle with these feelings (winter) but when I feel the oncoming sadness, I just listen to U2 until everything’s ok again. Thank you for somehow knowing my heart and reminding me I’m not alone. You are not alone either.

    Hugs for everybody!

  • Faith December 4th, 2012 12:40 AM

    How would you guys like to hear about faith from a Christian’s perspective?? I dunno, it kinda stung when it mentioned “especially non-christian” This is coming from someone who used to loathe my name (which is Faith) who now is really proud of that name, all because of my new found faith in Jesus. Anyways, I really missed your writing Tavi, so glad to hear from you!!!

    • Tavi December 4th, 2012 12:47 AM

      We asked for other religions specifically because we already have pieces about Christianity slotted.
      And thank you!

      • Faith December 4th, 2012 1:06 AM

        Ah, I see! And your welcome, hee hee!

    • SincerelyWrong December 5th, 2012 2:37 AM

      I feel you on the name thing. Mine is Christina, which translates to “Follower of Christ”, which I was always bothered by because it was so dull compared to my friends who’s names meant magical, sparkly things. XD

  • LilySew December 4th, 2012 1:56 AM

    Loooooooove the quote, it’s just so accurate and the way it places things in to perspective is so sharp. I’ve got mixed emotions about this month’s theme as i’m not at all very spiritual and best define myself as an atheist. So when it comes to learning about tarot I find myself thinking its all a little strange. However it’s always interesting to hear everyone’s opinion and Frida Kahlo always makes anything amazing!


  • Lillypod December 4th, 2012 3:24 AM

    This, like all the other people in the comments, has really struck a chord with me.
    Some days it just seems like like everything that comes out of my mouth is pointless and stupid and inane.
    Its easier to stop talking. stop interacting.
    its only ever a downward spiral. And I’m still there…I think i will be for a while.
    When I find myself wallowing in self-pity i think of my friends and family who have struggled more than i ever will. My mother. my best friend.
    It doesnt diminish MY issues or problems. My thoughts and emotions are valid, I know this.
    But perspective is a precious thing.

  • Megann16 December 4th, 2012 4:58 AM

    Tavi! I can relate to this far more than I would like to but it’s really comforting to hear it from someone else instead of SILLY OLD ME. Makes me not feel so ridiculous. I’m sure you feel the same way reading these comments. It’s funny that reading this article about feeling so disenchanted is a reminder that life and people are actually so beautiful and connected, even if sometimes it’s in a heart breaking way.

    Rookies. you. are. astounding.

    “Despite it’s sham drudgery and broken dreams, It’s still a beautiful world.” – max ehrman, Desiderata.

    (now go and read the whole poem to feel instantaneously better, I have it pinned next to my bed for easy access and HIGHLY recommend it to all of you)

  • Yasemin B. December 4th, 2012 5:23 AM

    Tavi, this article came at a time of need. Thank you so much for sharing your awesomeness and being so honest

  • Flavia December 4th, 2012 6:11 AM

    You are so lovely Tavi, I’ll always wish you the best

  • zhajean December 4th, 2012 7:18 AM

    this is absolutely just in time. this article is very uplifting and insightful.

    one of the reasons i look forward to every month :)

    thanks Tavi :)


  • Pearl December 4th, 2012 7:34 AM

    Tavi, this is exactly how I’ve been feeling these days. Pretty much why I refuse to socialize with even my closest friends but I’ve realised that people come and go, but in the end you have to live with yourself, it’s only when you’re comfortable with being alone that you can allow others to enter your “circle of faith.”
    Also, I loved the little paragraph illustration & its relevance with the whole theme of this month. Love rookiemag!!

  • boyfights December 4th, 2012 9:55 AM

    God I’m so glad I read this, I was THIS CLOSE to not clicking that editor’s letter link. I’ve been in a very similar depressive funk lately and one of the thoughts I literally repeatedly had was, “I bet like, Tavi Gevinson would never have periods where she just drops everything she’s doing and wants to ignore life for a few weeks. Why is she [people in general?] so good at life, and why do I suck at it so much?! So much for adulthood.”

    So this editor’s letter was a fucking godsend.

    This Stephen Fry quote on self-pity was my Lester Bangs-style lifesaver: http://zenpencils.com/comic/89-stephen-fry-ultimate-self-help-book/

    Thanks for being weirdly, serendipitously in sync with my life as always, Rookie. (I’m not even a teenage girl anymore, I’m 20 years old. An adult or something.)


  • HollinsCollins December 4th, 2012 10:50 AM

    Tavi, you’re great.

    And I used to be super-depressed a lot of the time, and then BOOM! Rookie!
    I’m so happy that I know about this magical little worm hole on the internet. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

    Keep up the amazingness, you all.

  • nova December 4th, 2012 11:07 AM

    I always think that when people are laughing they look like primates.

  • kirsten December 4th, 2012 11:44 AM


    I have a gorgeous pendant of Frieda Kahlo’s face that my best friend gave me. Totally bumped her up to Friend Crush material.

  • lubs December 4th, 2012 11:47 AM

    This was so poignant. My struggle now is more like ‘how to turn angst and confusion and feelings in general in something beautiful, maybe art, in a way that satisfies me”, not an easy task. It probably has to do with the realization I’ve come to these days that my life is really all I have and it’s the only thing that it’s going to stay with me for ever (as long as I’m alive) and I have to make something out of it and life is a bunch of moments and that’s it. Well I’m confused too.

    I like to think about Plato in times like this. In his cavern myth the man that got out of the cavern was blinded, overwhelmed and confused for some time, but after that was over he could see more clearly the wonderful world that surrounded him.

  • Pashupati December 4th, 2012 6:36 PM

    I feel like this very often and even more so recently because it was my birthday.
    Don’t worry, just by articles like that you’re making the world a better place; also, you have to say stupid things to learn from others and from it, so even if you do, what’s the problem? Now, some stupid things can hurt people, but I believe if they see you actively trying to not say the same stupid things, they’ll feel better about the world! That’s for the worst stupid things, general stupid things are just awkward and not dangerous or offensive, these can even be fun!
    Keep going!

  • solverde December 4th, 2012 7:38 PM

    Looks like it’s gonna be a good month. Also, Frida Kahlo! I got to see an exhibit on her in Mexico a few years ago and I think I was still too young to completely get her work, but even then, it made a huge impression on me. Her life was so hard, yet she still made such gorgeous work.

  • Kipper December 5th, 2012 1:03 PM

    Registered just to say that your writing is great–honest, genuine, and relatable! Thank you!

    And “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.”

  • Clare December 5th, 2012 3:05 PM

    This is so good, and painfully relatable; I feel like at one time or another we’re all on the same boat (of hermitry.)
    Hey Anaheed, what’s next month’s theme? I want to have my submissions in nice and early. :]

  • artobsessed December 6th, 2012 1:32 AM

    adding to this plethora of comments,
    i want to thank you, Tavi, for sharing.
    i often feel like the Rookie writers have everything figured out, and that i could never find myself among the ranks of your gorgeous minds, so hearing that you, too, have many a bad times is an immense comfort.

  • cancercowboy December 6th, 2012 2:48 PM

    when i read something like this i still can’t believe your age. this isn’t meant to be an insult. you show a remarkable clearness of thought. the hard thing, of course, is to live by these rules.
    i hope your feelings are ‘just’ Weltschmerz, and that they pass. don’t know if your ‘job’ has anything to do with it, but being the quasi-official face of something must come at a price and maybe creates a distance between you and your peers. don’t know. you write that you “believe” you annoy your friends or something along those lines. but to be human means to err. every belief can be a misbelief.
    and you have lots and lots to be proud of. just look around here. hell, does this sound patronizing? sorry. whatever, everybody needs to recharge from time to time. and if your next post is just photos of cave drawings, who would complain? ^___^
    also, and on a general note: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” ™ by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

    take care.

  • clarabell December 7th, 2012 9:31 PM

    I really related to this. Thank you for writing it. Also, I sent something in for this month like a month ago and still haven’t gotten a response… I know you’re busy and I really don’t want to seem like I’m nagging, I just wonder if I’ll get a response at all? Thank you again so much for writing what so many of us are thinking!!

  • sunflowereyes December 7th, 2012 11:31 PM

    This was so beautifully written Tavi! That quote is absolute perfection. Also, Frida! This weekend I’m performing in a Friday dance at my school and it’s absolutely amazing and I can’t wait for all the Frida related content this month!

  • Sea goddess December 8th, 2012 6:55 PM

    Oh Tavi you are so cool, I was also feeling werrd lately, lonesome on Friday nights mostly, and confused about how to really be. It’s awesome that someone out there that is really cool is also feeling weird, I’m not the only one yay! I think it’s just part of this life, and of course teen yearZ

  • girlswithsecrets December 12th, 2012 10:08 AM

    Rookie is the only magazine I’ve read that is this incredibly honest, funny, down-to-earth, and relatable….this was like my life, exactly, in high school. Hated people, would either be studying them curiously or trying to curl up into an invisible ball in the back of the room, wishing I was at home where I felt safe…I never felt like high school was ANYTHING like movies and magazines promised it would be. Now that I’m out my life is so much better, I can choose when I’m around people and who I’m with. Human beings can indeed be too much sometimes–but I try to remember that life is beautiful, even under all the ugliness you see everyday…

  • Dagmara December 13th, 2012 10:07 AM

    I teared. I definitely teared.

  • Betsy December 17th, 2012 3:03 AM

    I already got rookie yearbook one for myself for christmas, and i had never heard of rookie before cos i live in a tiny town in the middle of australia, and everyon just loves footy and netball and basically nothing else. So i was so excited to get this book, because I am the first person out of my group of friends to discover rookie! YAY , dont worry i will defienetly tell EVERYONE hhow amazing rookie is. By the way the yearbook is the best book ever i cannot live without it <3<3<3

  • KFT February 13th, 2013 8:13 PM

    Tavi –
    You are a wise person. And a wonderful piece of humanity. Some spirit-flotsam sparkles more than others and reflects more star fire than most… glad to have stumbled across your blog. And, as an old one, nearly 50 (it happens, look forward to it!), I need to say you are important to have here, so thank you. :) Keep going, breathe, and don’t worry.
    – Karen

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica April 27th, 2013 12:17 PM

    I don’t know what to say except <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3