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Editor’s Letter

February 2013: Passion

Happy Friday and February, Rookies!

This month’s theme is Passion, and the best way to introduce it might be to ask that you watch this video of Stevie Nicks singing “Wild Heart” backstage in 1981:

Where is the reason?
Don’t blame it on me,
Blame it on my wild heart

This sentiment has taken multiple material forms in my life—the vinyl record, this banner, this bag—and become a personal mantra of some sort. This past fall, I started diagramming every lyric Stevie Nicks has ever written. I gave up, of course, but this is how far I got:

And this is the key and the collected results, at least until I one day revisit this project:

Her songs are often about these adventurous, puzzling women, probably all wearing cloaks, most likely also holding doves, always challenging those around them, always asking a series of questions…

…and always having a ton of feelings. Kinda like all of us at Rookie this month.

Look, I am as disgusted as you right now. Even writing this feels kind of silly—the word PASSION is way overused and corny, and who am I to say I’m some special emotional snowflake? But the alternative is to write something ironic and removed, and I hate that—I’m obviously already making an effort with this, why pretend that I don’t care? So excuse me while I bare my soul. Or, to quote another great lady musician, TAKE ANOTHER LITTLE CHUNK OF MY LUNG. (Did you watch the 30 Rock finale last night? Did you also feel sad? LET’S TALK ABOUT BEING SAD TOGETHER.)

The process known as “growing up” is riddled with Pandora’s boxes. The negative of every circumstance becomes more and more visible, and you have to accept it if you want the positive, too—be it in a friendship, an opportunity, or listening to an album that might do something to your breathing for a moment instead of keeping you up and busy. I used to accept the negative by believing it would all one day pay off as material for my EGOT-winning body of work based on the horrors of my life and personality, making it all worth it. I used to scheme, basically. But bad experiences are no longer a means to an end for me. Since I became especially enamored by Stevie a year ago, they have become enough for me all on their own—certainly acceptable, and even invigorating. As difficult as it is to convince myself of this when such experiences are actually taking place, I really do think I prefer a life of emotional range to one that’s consistently happy. It’s not that I believe you need the bad to appreciate the good—as Dave Foley says, pie does not taste better because somebody somewhere has AIDS—but I do believe that there’s a difference between happiness and fulfillment, and I think the latter is more for me.

My goofiest-sounding secret is that I also believe in magic. Sometimes I call it God and sometimes I call it light, and I believe in it because every now and then I read a really good book or hear a really good song or have a really good conversation with a friend and they seem to have some kind of shine to them. The list I keep of these moments in the back of my journal is comprised less of times when I was laughing or smiling and more of times when I felt like I could feel the colors in my eyes deepening from the display before me. Times in which I felt I was witnessing an all-encompassing representation of life driven by an understanding that, coincidence or not, our existence is a peculiar thing, and perhaps the greatest way to honor it is to just be human. To be happy AND sad, and everything else. And yeah, living is a pain, and I say I hate everyone and everything, and I don’t exude much enthusiasm when sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for seven hours straight, and I will probably mumble a bunch about how much I wish I could sleep forever the next time I have to wake up at 6 AM. But make no mistake about it: I really do like living. I really, truly do.

I hope you like this month. Submit something if you can, or send something for next month’s theme, Mystery, which is all creepy suburbia and David Lynch and stuff.

Love,
Tavi

81 Comments

  • rosiesayrelax February 1st, 2013 3:12 PM

    I love lamp.

    http://rosieandthewolf.blogspot.co.uk/

    • caro nation February 1st, 2013 5:52 PM

      Do you REALLY love the lamp or are you just saying that because you saw it?

      • AnaRuiz February 1st, 2013 8:14 PM

        Uuuuu!!! Fight, fight, fight!

      • rosiesayrelax February 2nd, 2013 2:32 PM

        I love … Carpet.

  • gr-ass February 1st, 2013 3:12 PM

    tavi I love you

  • LittleMissE February 1st, 2013 3:34 PM

    Tavi + Rookie in general, you’re wonderful. Thank you for, um, everything. I’m really excited about this month.
    Also, I found a vinyl of Stevie’s Wild Heart album at Goodwill for 99 cents last November and I’ve been listening to it constantly because she’s magical. As is Rookie.

  • cosmic-vomit February 1st, 2013 3:36 PM

    Everything about this is perfect. I am always so damn happy when I discover that people feel the same way about Stevie as I do.

  • katie February 1st, 2013 3:38 PM

    taavviiiii
    i wish you would write more! i love whenever we hear from you <3

    • flapperhatgirl February 1st, 2013 4:49 PM

      I know! Tavi’s articles are always so good. PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE write more, ok?

      • Tavi February 1st, 2013 11:23 PM

        I wish I could write more too! Lately the things I’ve been writing/making don’t suit Rookie and my time has become more limited — basically I don’t use the internet at all anymore besides Rookie and email. But hopefully I’ll get more ideas for Rookie soon. I’m glad you like em so much, thank you, really.

        • dandelions February 2nd, 2013 1:12 AM

          This place without Tavi has no the same sweet air, Rookie is amazing but you are like the soul of this page.

        • whodatgal February 2nd, 2013 3:47 AM

          what do you do if you’re not on the internet? Where I live, there’s practically nothing to do except surf laaaa web. It’s depressing. Also, please please pretty please post more on your blog if you can! I miss it :(

          Ophelia xo

  • WitchesRave February 1st, 2013 3:41 PM

    ”I don’t exude much enthusiasm when sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for six hours straight” uggghhh so true, combine that with crappy january weather, I dont understand why we dont all just hibernate till the flowers come out again..

    And you could totally do a thesis on Stevie Nicks and her lyrics

    witches-rave.tumblr.com

  • Manda February 1st, 2013 3:41 PM

    Each time I think to myself, “there’s no more themes left to do! It’s all been done on here before!” you guys always surprise with awesome themes that are neither too vague nor too specific.

    Also, if Rod Stewart’s “Passion” doesn’t make an appearance this month, I will be sorely disappointed.

  • litchick February 1st, 2013 3:43 PM

    Both this month’s and next month’s themes sound awesome! :)

  • sarahf February 1st, 2013 3:56 PM

    I love you.

  • saramarit February 1st, 2013 3:59 PM

    I’ll never forget The Rural Juror

    • caro nation February 1st, 2013 5:53 PM

      The comments section is Reaganing so far

  • jenaimarley February 1st, 2013 4:00 PM

    I believe in magic too :)

  • kathryn-s February 1st, 2013 4:04 PM

    The last paragraph is so beautiful and really resonated with me. FEEEELINGS!

    • kathryn-s February 2nd, 2013 12:21 AM

      PS, I got a new email address / forgot the password to my old account, which was Kathryn. I don’t know if you guys want to know that to delete the account or something like that– it probably doesn’t matter, just thought I’d comment just in case.

      I’m SUPER psyched for this month and March (which is also my birthday month). Last March was Exploration and was one of my favorite themes ever, so I’m hoping Mystery will be just as awesome!

  • Mary the freak February 1st, 2013 4:04 PM

    Tavi,you are just the most awesome person in the universe. And I am looking forward to this month so much! It’ll be amazing. <3

    http://birdiewearsatie.blogspot.com/

  • Narnia February 1st, 2013 4:17 PM

    tavi you are life.

    if i happen to be in the chicago area could i give something to you? or do you have an address i could send it?

  • Jeanne February 1st, 2013 4:23 PM

    Stevie Nicks is such a good example of passion. I have a vinyl of her, and while I listen to her, I just wanna cry and dance and shout out loud and hug someone really tight. All those feelings create something so deep, something that touches my feelings in a good way. Passion is something I can’t really describe. After all, those mystericall and deep moments in life are the ones that really matter.

  • mar9ar3t February 1st, 2013 4:36 PM

    Tavi, I know you will EGOT one day.

  • gurlgang February 1st, 2013 4:42 PM

    tavi this is amaaaaazing!!! xx

  • silvermist February 1st, 2013 4:50 PM

    Tavi <3 you're so mature and you're my younger brother's age. you could switch places and be my sister!

  • Florencey February 1st, 2013 5:00 PM

    wow, it feels like i’m talking to people from the past… it’s been february for 22 hours here already.
    this must be what time travel feels like…

    also, i challenge you to mention how good passion fruit is this month.

    • kirsten February 1st, 2013 6:20 PM

      i’m talking to people in the future! it’s only 3pm here!

  • AmyL February 1st, 2013 5:05 PM

    I’m so excited to see what February has to bring!

    intergalactic-dragons.blogspot.com

  • DreamBoat February 1st, 2013 5:07 PM

    This was so so so beautiful. I totally believe in magic, and I loved what Tavi said– it’s about small moments where you just feel something. Yesterday I was going into town and the clouds were right above this little house in the distance, and the sky was a million different colors, and even though I had my camera out I didn’t take a picture of it. I wanted to feel that one emotion, see that one image, and take solace and sadness in the fact it will never happen again. It was true magic– just a fleeting moment of sweet beauty and perfect.

    MOVING ON FROM DEEP STUFF… I AM SO SO SO SO SO STOKED FOR THIS MONTH!

    Also… NEXT MONTH IS MYSTERY? HOLY FREAKING LORD I’M DYYYYYING. Definitely sending in a piece for that one! <3 <3 <3

    http://psychedelicdaisy.blogspot.com/

  • HollinsCollins February 1st, 2013 5:07 PM

    Tavvviii weee looove youuuu :D
    And this month will be awesome! And next month-MYSTERY!-I cannot wait ^^

  • la fee clochette February 1st, 2013 5:13 PM

    I like this letter a whole lot. and I agree with the happiness and fulfillment thing being something perhaps separated. But I disagree with the not needing the bad to appreciate the good. I know (but could do much better) that bad things are also an end in themselves, as far as being an experience that is needed/fulfilling, etc. But it does make the good that much sweeter. And like the gypsies say, let us have happiness and sadness travel side by side.

    and on a personal passionate-y note, I am self-promoting here that I have one of thos kickstarter-y campaigns (but on indie gogo), seen here: http://www.indiegogo.com/lizlayton/x/1958319

    I have tried to do a fundraiser before, but FAILED. and here I am trying again, with an even bigger idea, and asking for more funding and so far, failing miserably. but I am passionate about this. Let’s see that all of us pursue are passions, and whether we fail or not, show our truest and dangest tenacity.

    anywho, thanks, Tavi

  • Ms.O February 1st, 2013 5:35 PM

    Tavi, you feel like my best friend (that I’ve only really met once). You’re amazing and I love you.

  • Aurora February 1st, 2013 5:36 PM

    Is it weird that I’m scared to watch the 30 rock finale? I feel like I would feel empty afterwards… I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.

    • Aurora February 2nd, 2013 11:26 PM

      Oh my god I just watched it and… Wow. Crying. And I kind of want a clear dishwasher now.

      • Ms.SNL February 3rd, 2013 6:11 PM

        I was afraid to watch it too! I started crying when Jack sailed away, but when he sailed back and said clear dishwasher I just lost it and sort of curled up in a ball on my couch. I always knew Kenneth was immortal.

  • caro nation February 1st, 2013 6:04 PM

    Stevie always reminds me of these Sonic Youth lyrics (I KNOW but we’re baring our souls and mine is pretentious),

    She think’s she’s a goddess
    She says she talks to the spirits
    I wonder if she can talk to herself?
    If she can bear to hear it?

    I don’t think they explicitly DESCRIBE her, but, like, I always picture Stevie as a transcendental being, and I wonder about her self-image. How does it feel to seem unreal? Heh.

  • Emma February 1st, 2013 6:29 PM

    30 ROCK! I cried so much last night… RIP the best show ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Badlands February 1st, 2013 6:33 PM

    Is anyone else totally blown away by the Stevie Nicks diagrams??!?!!! I AM WOWED, this needs to be in a museum. Stay prolific Tavi.

  • Jessica W February 1st, 2013 6:36 PM

    “To be happy AND sad, and everything else. And yeah, living is a pain, and I say I hate everyone and everything, and I don’t exude much enthusiasm when sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for six hours straight, and I will probably mumble a bunch about how much I wish I could sleep forever the next time I have to wake up at 6 AM. But make no mistake about it: I really do like living. I really, truly do.”

    I have no words. This is… me

    The Lovelorn

  • Ninaaa February 1st, 2013 6:46 PM

    tavi you are very good at articulating confusing feelings that i never seem to be able to

    thanks for this

  • Dick February 1st, 2013 6:59 PM

    Hey Tavi, not too long I asked my English teacher if he liked Stevie Nicks because I was listening to her during class and he answered, “Yeah, she has such a powerful voice. I also DELIVERED PIZZA TO HER HOUSE.”
    Yup you heard, my English teacher delivered pizza to Stevie Nicks. I had to interview him about it. The story isn’t too exciting. Though it’s short and sweet but how rad, huh?

    I’ve also diagrammed and dissected lyrics from The Smiths. They’re my life.

    • Anaheed February 1st, 2013 7:59 PM

      WHAT DID SHE ORDER ON HER PIZZA????? I feel like it was probably, like, rosemary, cactus, tequila, and myrrh.

      • Dick February 1st, 2013 8:42 PM

        HAHHAHA! She lives in Arizona so I’m sure she has plenty of what you’ve listed. :) Because it was so long ago my teacher doesn’t remember but he feels like it was a regular old pepperoni pizza.

  • Narnia February 1st, 2013 7:25 PM

    And also today is Andrew Vanwyngarden’s (of MGMT) birthday. I feel like there should be celebration/acknowledgment of some kind .

  • love_soup February 1st, 2013 7:57 PM

    holy shit this is cool

  • zhajean February 1st, 2013 9:00 PM

    cheers to the new theme for this new month!!!

  • Domenic February 1st, 2013 9:15 PM

    Passion is weird when you have about a hundred… does it then still stand as a passion? Like wtf…

    xx Domenic

  • Melbaroast February 1st, 2013 9:39 PM

    AMEN SISTER FRIEND.

  • laurajane February 1st, 2013 11:17 PM

    AHH this is so perfect and I’m honored that this perfection is taking place in the month that I began my peculiar existence. Love everywhere wow <3 <3 <3

    elizbethbbennet.tumblr.com

  • Tavi February 1st, 2013 11:25 PM

    Thank you for all the nice comments and enthusiasm about this month’s theme! <3

  • Mags February 1st, 2013 11:27 PM

    Oh, Tavi, you are simply amazing.

  • Limey February 2nd, 2013 12:32 AM

    This is by far my favorite editor’s letter ever.

  • Hannah February 2nd, 2013 3:44 AM

    loved the video, and great editors letter :)xx

  • alesssurprise February 2nd, 2013 8:57 AM

    Tavi <3

  • Erika Wilder February 2nd, 2013 9:59 AM

    <3 <3 this flower background!

  • rebasaurusbex February 2nd, 2013 11:13 AM

    speaking of passion/ladysuperstars/howdoesshesinglikethat/magic/obsessions/BEYONCE (since everyone is always talking about beyonce): we should all watch the first 5 minutes of this 3000 times https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUT05IeHu4s&feature=player_embedded

  • heyashes February 2nd, 2013 12:46 PM

    The Stevie Nicks lyric diagramming is amazing! I wish I had enough patience to replicate something like that.

  • GildedLocks February 2nd, 2013 1:47 PM

    I always look forward to your editor’s letters, Tavi. This one was exceptionally good and uplifting!

  • Marjainez February 2nd, 2013 2:20 PM

    OMG TAVI I LOVE YOUR PROJECT!!! Also -
    our february colour scheme is like my all time fav!

  • littleplasticrose February 2nd, 2013 6:37 PM

    In the interests of talking about Passion – this legit made me cry real life tears so I also have ALL THE FEELINGS today.

    I wish I’d had this outlook on life when I was younger. I’m 25 and I struggled with years of seriously debilitating clinical depression and anorexia nervosa, trying to figure out all this stuff. To figure out how to accept the painful things in life without letting them swallow me up whole. Sometimes I still struggle with the pain of knowing that I lost several year’s worth of joy to mental illness, and I want to scream, and throw things, because it all feels so unfair.

    But as I’ve learned more about myself, I’ve also learned about life. I will never get those years back. But I can dedicate my life to truly living from here on out. To swallowing my fear of feeling passion, and therefore pain, and taking back the joy in life at the same time. I sheltered myself for so long against those feelings because I had no way to cope. There was no community like this when I was young. I only had Cosmo Girl and stuff like that, and they were no help!

    What you do here is truly inspirational. It reminds me why I’m determined to go back to university to study journalism. Don’t ever stop being your amazing self.

    Get in touch if you need contributors from across the pond. (:

    • Anaheed February 2nd, 2013 7:33 PM

      But I think those years probably taught you important things that you will use in the rest of your life, including this thing you’re saying here about the importance of living your life the way you want to. So in that sense they weren’t “wasted.” I think of shitty stuff that happened to me and I know it helped make me who I am today (not all of it — there are things I really wish didn’t happen, but those are the minority) and I like my life and who I am, so I try not to dwell on how unfair that stuff was (it’s not always easy). You sound awesome and cool and if you want to submit any of your writing to us, please do: submissions@rookiemag.com.

      • littleplasticrose February 2nd, 2013 11:50 PM

        I agree. I guess that was kind of what I was getting at, in a round-about kind of way. (:

  • MaddieMae February 2nd, 2013 8:23 PM

    I absolutely loved that second-to-last paragraph. I feel like that all the time, but I’ve never been able to describe it, or known someone who felt the same way. Thank you!

  • Monica B February 2nd, 2013 10:19 PM

    Tavi….your paragraph about magic is incredible – and in itself magic. To have someone explain in words exactly what you think about the world but have never been able to articulate does indeed deepen the colors in your eyes and for me gives me a soaring, yearning feeling in my heart, and beyond all an understanding that I wish I could carry with me at all times not just in words but in intuition. And reading that paragraph was exactly that. So thank you for being alive and thanks for that little bit of magic you just gave me. It’s incredible how it’s in each of us and we aren’t even aware when we give it to someone else unless they explicitly tell us. So I’m explicitly telling you because I don’t know what could make a person love themselves more than knowing they made someone else feel that way.

    I wish I still saw you around. What you do here is really incredible yaaaay okay bye

  • KatGirl February 3rd, 2013 7:03 PM

    It would be cool if there was some Emily the Strange next month. It will be Mystery after all :)

  • Dylan February 3rd, 2013 8:53 PM

    Tavi, I miss you and this might be my all-time favorite editors letter. Me heart be full of feeling.

  • Smriti February 4th, 2013 1:32 AM

    This was such a beautiful Editor letter Tavi. I feel so warm inside. Because off late I have just been feeling so numb inside, maybe the reason is that everything has been going just wrong – people, emotions, job… So much so that I am not really looking forward to my birthday. Which is weird cos I have always been a happy person. And suddenly I am not (since months).
    And then I read your post – “But make no mistake about it: I really do like living. I really, truly do.” And I felt horrible to have felt that I stopped liking the living bit.

    This motivates me to continue living and always knowing that it is ok to feel sad just as its brilliant to feel happy… Lots of Love…

  • erinaudrey February 4th, 2013 10:43 AM

    I really loved this editor’s letter, it’s probably my favorite one to date. I don’t know, maybe it’s the winter weather but I’ve been feeling vaguely melancholic lately. I guess I feel like I should be “living life more” or something (whatever that means). But this letter was really fantastic and kind of what I needed- especially that magic paragraph- about humanness and little bits of magic. It was sort of a reminder that I can still find magic and hope and wonderment in things, in spite of completely feeling numbed by being “sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for seven hours straight”. The human experience is complicated and messed up and beautiful too, even if it feels like I’m sort of wasting my life away in high school.

  • rayano-banano February 4th, 2013 12:47 PM

    I really liked this Tavi, thank you!

  • catpower44 February 4th, 2013 6:36 PM

    Ok now I really need and want to listen to my Fleetwood Mac record!

  • timi February 5th, 2013 9:17 AM

    Amazing article..

  • BC_Jen February 7th, 2013 6:50 PM

    This letter is a great reminder to refresh your mind and explore passion in all of it’s forms. Thank you.

  • cloudinthesky February 9th, 2013 2:24 PM

    So excited about the month’s theme! (:
    I love your articles, Tavi. You’re such a great person.

  • Elle February 11th, 2013 12:56 AM

    Ah, I am so glad Rookie is here. Thank you Tavi. I don’t have anything cool or new to say about you, but I am such a doomed fan. Um, also this is an awfully annoying question and you really don’t have to answer, but how do you pronounce your name? (Like mauve-E or sounds like taffy?) Um, you are really cool from my perspective. Thank you a bunch.

  • LADYNANA February 11th, 2013 4:32 PM

    Hi,I’m from Japan.
    I’m studying English on your texts of ROOKIE and others.

    I wanna read about Frence and France’s culture on Tavi’s point of view.
    Please introduce about France on ROOKIE.
    movies,books,songs,persons…

    I’ll study English more…
    I support you from Japan:)

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica June 5th, 2013 6:19 AM

    “My goofiest-sounding secret is that I also believe in magic. Sometimes I call it God and sometimes I call it light, and I believe in it because every now and then I read a really good book or hear a really good song or have a really good conversation with a friend and they seem to have some kind of shine to them. The list I keep of these moments in the back of my journal is comprised less of times when I was laughing or smiling and more of times when I felt like I could feel the colors in my eyes deepening from the display before me. Times in which I felt I was witnessing an all-encompassing representation of life driven by an understanding that, coincidence or not, our existence is a peculiar thing, and perhaps the greatest way to honor it is to just be human. To be happy AND sad, and everything else. And yeah, living is a pain, and I say I hate everyone and everything, and I don’t exude much enthusiasm when sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for seven hours straight, and I will probably mumble a bunch about how much I wish I could sleep forever the next time I have to wake up at 6 AM. But make no mistake about it: I really do like living. I really, truly do.”

    This is one of the most beautiful paragraphs I have ever read in my life. My breath has been taken away. Wow. Just… wow.