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Editor’s Letter

January 2014: Vision

Beyonce in her video “Ghost,” a li’l manifesto for upping her own game.

Beyonce in her video “Ghost,” a li’l manifesto for upping her own game.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ROOKIES!

If last month, Forever, was all about nostalgia and savoring precious moments, this month is about GETTING ON WITH YOUR LIFE. I’d be lying if I acted like this wasn’t a theme that’s more personal for me. See: my journal entry from December 4:

My Forever editor’s letter went up on Monday and it’s been so heartening to see the response, to have it out in the world, to feel a sense of closure…I am no longer afraid of not experiencing moments of Strange Magic; I am finally able to look forward to what’s ahead…like on the walk to school today, I decided to try out the Replacements for the first time, and the first song I listened to was “Alex Chilton” off Pleased to Meet Me, and I played it like four more times, throught the whole rest of the walk, because it filled me with the most amazing dancing + crying feeling, and I know nothing about them but these lines slayed me:

I’m in love
What’s that song?
I’m in love
With that song

It’s such a teenage feeling, that moment of discovery followed immediately by obsession. But I decided this morning that it can be a me feeling, too; a simply human feeling, if you go about being a human in a fulfilling way. Instead of following this magical feeling with a mournful one like I have been lately—ENJOY IT, SOON YOU’LL BE OLD AND JADED AND EMOTIONALLY REPRESSED—I followed it this time with one of excitement, anticipation, just plain positivity. Not because I’m depending on the future being great, but because I know it will at least be itself, aka more living, aka more feeling.

Rookie will always be for teenagers, even as I get older, so this month is not about growing from a teen into an adult. It’s about growing from less of yourself into more of yourself. Anaheed and I had a nice exchange about this month as we were planning it:

ANAHEED: We’ve done a lot of stuff about indecision, and how it’s OK not to be sure. But we haven’t really covered those times when you just KNOW YOU’RE RIGHT. What does that do for you, what kinds of decisions do you make when you’re sure? How does your relationship to fear change? How hard is it when you’re young (and female!) to convince people that you’re right? There’s real value in normalizing indecision and heralding the courage it takes to change your mind, but when that’s all that’s talked about, it can make you start to doubt your own convictions—especially since young people are constantly told that their perceptions and beliefs are worth less than older people’s. When you’re a teenager people are always like, “You think that now, but you’ll change your mind,” so I think it’s valuable to put some words and images and heft behind validating the surer moments, when you just KNOW. I wanna support those kinds of insights, because they lead to greatness.

ME: Such as Rookie! When I started my blog, at first people questioned whether I wrote it myself. Then, once it was understood that it wasn’t a scam, they questioned whether I really *got* what I was talking about—like, Do you even understand that designer’s history or how important that band is??? Then once people were like, K, she knows what she’s talking about, it was like, Well, isn’t that BAD for a CHILD to KNOW ALL THAT? Shouldn’t she have time to BE A KID? It went through some more cycles and then I started Rookie and now people seem to get it and no one really bothers me anymore. Or at least I don’t read what they have to say anymore because I am too busy executing my ~VISION~ and preserving my own bubble of stuff that inspires and motivates me.

My point is that there is always a reason why you are in over your head, but you have to POWER THROUGH IT and literally not have time to deal with it because you are too busy being ON THE MOVE. When Comme des Garçons first showed in Paris, fashion critics were so confused by how dark it was because it was the ’80s and everything else was bright/colorful/gaudy/flashy/YSL/Versace. Then the ’90s came and everyone caught on and minimalism and asymmetry and all-black was everywhere. Rei Kawakubo said she’s concerned when people love her collections right away, because that means she isn’t ahead of the times. Greatness is often first met with suspicion; sometimes you know what you’re doing is interesting and new precisely because people don’t like it. I think it’s good to carefully consider criticism, but once you’ve done that and you’re sure of yourself, you need to really develop a habit of shoving doubt to the side and moving on, and this month should inspire our readers to do so.

ANAHEED: A while ago I read that almost half of young Evangelical Christians support marriage equality, while something like 12 percent of older Evangelicals do. This is true of so many issues—younger people see the issues clearer and are more right-er. Which is why I can’t wait till you babies take over the whole world. And I’m psyched, after the intense monthlong farewell to youthful ideas about the future that will be Rookie in December, to spend January embracing the next moment, when you suddenly see the (near) future really clearly, and it makes sense, and you make sense in it. It’s the moment when you emerge from a long and important hibernation/gestation period of looking inward, to look out at the rest of the world a little more. I like the paradigm of growing up as getting lighter instead of being weighed down, so you can fly higher. It’s still part of being young, but it’s the part of being young that = freedom. I dunno, I just feel like this will be a month of EXCITEMENT about THE WORLD OUTSIDE.

ME: Yes yes yes. December will be a good bittersweet nostalgic month, fitting with the holidays and the year ending and all that, but by January it will be time to move on. A lot of the stuff I am mourning in December/my editor’s letter is no longer having these teenage moments of INTENSE CRAZY FEELING. Like Olivia said here, everything feels like the end of the world when you’re 15. That stuff can feel really strangely great in the moment or—especially—when looking back and romanticizing the moment, but there’s a different kind of happiness that is less fleeting and more substantial. I go on and off antidepressants depending on my schedule and how much I can afford to ~feel everything~ at a given moment, and every time I am off them for too long and then start taking them again and get clear-headed, I’m able to be like, Oh, right, I am a more complete me when I can think clearly and execute my ideas and make something of my feelings, instead of just having these sporadic bursts of extreme chemical joy or sadness. Like the episode of Girls where Hannah stays at Patrick Wilson’s house and is like, Wait, what if I don’t have to be CRAZY and FEEL IT ALL? What if simple boring stuff like reading the paper and having friends makes me happy? Isn’t that OK too? At the same time that this month is about how old people CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH, it is also about how it does not make you boring to grow up a little and value stuff like your health and your family and what have you. #eatpraylove.

When Danielle asked Ellen Forney about the trade-off between being healthy and stable and not having those end-of-the-world moments anymore, Forney said:

You know how it is when you first totally fall in love with somebody, and you’re just like still crushing, like HEAD over heels, like, Awwwww! Like, I can’t even believe this experience would be happening! Right? And then let’s say that relationship extends into years. And then, ideally, four years down the line, you have this sense of deep love. And it’s still an extremely strong sense, and you can say that it’s even stronger because your feet are on the ground, and you can say, “I have this great thing.” It’s like that.

So this month is like, yeah, it’s special to have those great moments of intense feeling, but it’s also cool to not hate the world and to be productive and to know what you want and to get it done.

And, from the email I sent our staffers, to get a sense of this month’s vibe:

SPORTY GOTH TIME. The dark minimalist asymmetry of Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, early all-black Comme des Garcons, Rihanna’s style of late. My Bloody Valentine, David Byrne, Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, Beach House’s Bloom, Kanye’s Yeezus, Grimes’s Visions. The X-Files, Born in Flames, and, of course, THAT’S SO RAVEN. Neon lights in the suburbs, tennis courts lit up at night, pavement and concrete, skyscrapers and city lights (empire state of mind <33), ALIENS AND UFOS, the people who spot them, prophets and poets.

If Beyoncé’s new album had come out before we’d started brainstorming, that email would have also just included her name over and over again. If you’re ever in a rut, just watch this interview and feel eternally inspired to RUN YR OWN SHIT.

And HEY, while I’m pasting little scraps of Vision inspiration, some of our staffers have been sharing New Year’s resolutions. Some of my favorites include:

“Start a female astronauts’ club called Ladies Who Launch.” —Amy Rose

“Make a list of enemies and outlive them.” —Lola

“Learn choreographed dances from late-’90s/early-’00s hip-hop videos.” —Marie

“Remember that I’m still in this phase.” —Brodie

“Write justgirlythings horror movie.” —Gabby

I love you, Rookies.

To a VISIONARY new year,
Tavi

52 Comments

  • brontosaurus January 1st, 2014 3:29 PM

    What Anaheed said about being sure of yourself and trying to convince others that it’s not just some fleeting teenage girl phase is exactly what I’m going through right now. It’s hard to believe in yourself when your whole culture is telling you that your age makes your beliefs meaningless.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamerGear?ref=si_shop

    • Abby January 1st, 2014 7:53 PM

      YES YES YES. That’s the part of this editor’s letter that resonated with me the most. It drives me absolutely up the wall when people do this to me. My dad does it all the time when I talk about feminism… he acts like I’m a little girl with a cute little idea, and it makes me fucking nuts. One time he said (albeit jokingly, BUTSTILL), “you’re going to be singing a different tune when you want to get married!” SERIOUSLY WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. And when people tell me that my atheism is “just a phase”, I legitimately want to walk off the face of the earth.

      • Anaheed January 1st, 2014 8:08 PM

        All of the things that my parents and others used to make those kinds of comments about, they’re still true of me. Everything else has changed, probably, but I am still a liberal and an atheist and I still don’t want kids and I still don’t care very much about money and I still always, always will have a dog.

        • Laurataur January 7th, 2014 2:18 AM

          WHAT’S UP PINEY!! Dogs make the world so much better. (P.S. Anaheed, did you get my card? I gave it to Tavi at the San Francisco Rookie event)

          • Tavi January 7th, 2014 2:28 AM

            I still have it! She’s getting it next time I see her IRL!

        • Laurataur January 7th, 2014 6:42 PM

          Cool! And thanks for responding, Tavi, you da best! (I couldn’t hit reply to your response) (Also my dog is literally barking at me to go on a walk as I type this, just a tidbit)

  • herdinthehalls January 1st, 2014 3:29 PM

    This is SO GOOD! This month’s theme is really inspiring!

    http://rockpapermisc.blogspot.com/

  • -alexandra- January 1st, 2014 3:35 PM

    THANK YOU FOR THIS. Now inspired to power-through college apps and just get em done. I’ve been in this weird in between state of not wanting to think about my future/getting really excited about it all. I know I need to work through the boring stuff to get it all in motion, but it is hard to get in that mindset. I’m just gonna GET IT DONE. then i can future-dream and dance to beyoncé.

    • lauraunicorns January 1st, 2014 3:41 PM

      Applications suck! They’re weird cause you feel like you’re just sitting working on this meaningless thing, but it’s necessary to like get a move on with your LYFE and stuff. Good luck!

    • Belinda January 1st, 2014 4:30 PM

      you are literally reading my mind right now

    • Barhbie January 1st, 2014 6:05 PM

      I’ve been going through the same feelings as well!

  • vacuum January 1st, 2014 3:38 PM

    yeESSSS GOTH SPORTSWEAR/MINIMALISM/YOHJI YAMAMOTO AND LACKING CYNICISM/HAVING DRIVE ARE WHAT I AM ALL ABOUT RIGHT NOW I was so sick of the saccharine virgin suicides romanticized sadness thing I’m sorry

    • vacuum January 1st, 2014 3:41 PM

      also ALSO BORN IN FLAMEs YES YES YES

  • lauraunicorns January 1st, 2014 3:39 PM

    As I was reading this I kept wanting to break out into a happy dance. I’m 18 and a college freshman, so it’s weird feeling halfway teenage-y and emotional and strange magic and half trying to be at least semi-adult and learn to navigate the ~real world~. And I was really worried and a little upset that I was leaving that first part behind, but I’m starting to realize that that’s just the very beginning! This letter gives me hope and it’s perfect for New Year’s :) Thank you Tavi and thank you Rookie! I can’t wait for another year!

    http://lauraunicorns.tumblr.com

  • emseely January 1st, 2014 3:40 PM

    I can’t believe it’s already been a month since the Forever letter. Here’s to new beginnings, and a year that will undoubtedly be full of anticipation, disappointment, heartbreak, contentment, adventure, romance, hardships, acceptance, and ch-ch-ch-changes.

    • whodatgal January 1st, 2014 3:47 PM

      yeah i also can’t believe a whole month has gone past since that editors letter. maybe because it really resonated with me and lingered in my mind of maybe because i expected december to last forever or at least for january to come later so i could actually get something done this (well not anymore but) year before 2014 but new beginnings and moving forward all the way

  • dreamygirl January 1st, 2014 3:44 PM

    LUV U TAVI

    perfect theme for me. i have so much destiny to fucking conquer it’s great great great + i can’t wait

  • whodatgal January 1st, 2014 3:45 PM

    this was so long but so good
    also the transition from last month to this month really seems so natural and i just love that authentic flow and feeling of moving on and keeping going. this has been a kind of special new year for me and im really excited for 2014 but of course also sad because growing up and there are probably bad things to not look forward to but of course i will try to be productive and get on with my own stuff ok yay

    http://www.opheliahorton.tumblr.com

  • Etima January 1st, 2014 3:53 PM

    cannnot wait! this is superrrr exciting! lorde, grimes, beyonce, rihanna=YESSSSSSS

  • mangointhesky January 1st, 2014 4:38 PM

    I remember your last letter so well, Tavi! I can’t believe it’s been a month.
    I can’t believe it’s already 2014.
    I can’t believe how much it still feels like last year, despite the fact the yesterday/last year, it felt like next year to me. Time is weird.
    Anyways, I’m talking way too much. I just wanted to say how excited I am for this month and the posts!

    http://perfectlittledaisy.blogspot.com
    http://mangointhesky.blogspot.com

  • amescs January 1st, 2014 4:46 PM

    SOOO psyched about this month it is gonna be a good one

    • amescs January 1st, 2014 4:47 PM

      of course every month is great on rookie, but i’m extra excited for this one!

  • Minella January 1st, 2014 4:59 PM

    Wow! Somehow you guys always seem to be at the exact same point as I am. Thanks, I needed this!
    xxx

  • umi January 1st, 2014 4:59 PM

    this month’s theme is me,100%.i literally cannot wait to see what it uncovers.i also sense a large presence of arabelle? maybe??????? this sounds like her as well???????????
    my new years resolution was to become my own vision.i have so much to do.i feel like 2k14 will be the year that a lot of things show themselves.i made a whole folder dedicated to what i envision for this year and it includes a lot of comme des garcons adverts(my favorite,the parfum advert that says “second gets nothing”) and jenny holzer’s inflammatory essays and mathilda,from leon.it’s all consistent,at least in my mind.just by my moodboard,journal things,etc i think it’s going to be a dope year.

    • dreamygirl January 1st, 2014 6:37 PM

      this is SO arabelle i feel like this manifests her existence. she’s such a dream (everyone CHECK OUT HER SURVIVAL ZINE)

      omg gtg partition just came on

  • clocksheep January 1st, 2014 5:00 PM

    Ahh so good, you guys. I feel stronger already.

  • Soupboy January 1st, 2014 5:16 PM

    Writing about us (Rookies) being right is important and the shock value it can have to the outside world. I hate that Anatomy & Physiology is basically telling me “No, wait a few years your frontal lobe is still changing”. NO! If I *~FEEL~* that it’s right and beyond feeling if I’M DOING IT than something must be right.

    Tavi, I’m not into fashion (not that I have to be) but the whole Comme des Garçons and Rei Kawakubor is something that I’ll be quoting!

  • Soupboy January 1st, 2014 5:23 PM

    Also visioning stuff is rad. I feel like Wes Andreson when I do so but I’m fond that this month is about visioning but also taking it outside our brains into the world, world. Where actual human beings are doing human being things. That’s a huge transition!

    I’m excited for this Rookie.

  • Jes January 1st, 2014 5:44 PM

    that ira glass quote inspired me to keep trying

  • Barhbie January 1st, 2014 6:03 PM

    This editors letter made me super pumped for the month and the new theme it brings!! So excited! I also love the new year resolutions especially gabby’s :)

  • mimsydeux January 1st, 2014 6:46 PM

    “LADIES WHO LAUNCH”!!!! Amy Rose, I can hardly breathe for laughing <333

  • littlediamonds January 1st, 2014 9:02 PM

    OMG so excited for this month! The last one is probably one of my favorites so far and this one seems to be even more awesome and just so in tune with everything i’ve been feeling lately (as always).

  • taste test January 1st, 2014 9:59 PM

    oh my god, that’s right, it’s a new month. wow. I am really feeling this theme. positivity, moving on, certainty- all things I need more of in my life right now. and I’m always for gothy vibes.

    also, GABBY. JUSTGIRLYTHINGS HORROR MOVIE. I cannot breathe. that is the best thing I’ve heard all year- for real, haha! please do this!

  • LaurenMichele January 1st, 2014 10:50 PM

    Reading this was so spectacular. I’ve definitely been experiencing those same feelings that are described in the quote that Brodie linked to at the end of the post. I’ve been reconnecting with interests and stories that were important in developing myself as a child into who I am now, channeling them into inspiration and ideas for my own creative works, but out of fear and uncertainty I’ve shied away from doing much journaling/doodling in fear that I won’t make anything “good”, or that it won’t amount to anything. But I can’t let that fear hold me back! I can channel that fear into creating SOMETHING, and I can only grow from there. I’ve used December to reconnect with my Forever, and now January/this year will be a time for my Visions. I can’t wait to see all of the fantastic content for this month! xx

  • julalondon January 2nd, 2014 12:33 AM

    Yay, this is gonna be a really really interessting month and i am really looking forward to it. It feels so different from all the other Rookie months but i think it will be great anyway!!

  • monalisa January 2nd, 2014 2:00 AM

    this vibe and forever’s vibes are just so perfect to me

  • paige.xo January 2nd, 2014 4:55 AM

    last months editors letter made me cry (in the best way) but this months is really the perfect follow up. im excited for the rest of january.

  • Sorcha M January 2nd, 2014 4:56 AM

    perfect theme. everyone i follow is aiming for this aesthetic in 2014. im excited

  • orthopedicsaddleshoes January 2nd, 2014 7:48 AM

    Didn’t read yet. Beyoncé. Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    • orthopedicsaddleshoes January 2nd, 2014 8:09 AM

      Omg, please let there be lots of Beyoncé and let there be lots of Arabelle Sicardi and good vibes all over.
      How not to be excited??? This whole feeling of vision has been my life ever since the new Beyoncé album made it into this world.

  • stokrota January 2nd, 2014 8:03 AM

    for like the last year i haven’t got the vibe from everything on rookie and i kinda couldn’t relate to the themes and the looks, but now it’s again that teenage excitement that a whole frikking site will show my state of mind (my vibez, as you will) for an entire month
    don’t get me wrong i always loved the artists who did stuff here and respected them, but i couldn’t relate for a long time

  • Flossy Mae January 2nd, 2014 8:12 AM

    Wow, this letter captured everything I’ve been trying to explain to people my whole life. What really gets to me is that the adults in my life tend to downplay my absolute 100% real desire to be a writer because ‘I’m not supposed to know exactly what I want to do aged 16 I need to be unsure and take a broad range of subjects to make sure I have back up plans because I will change my mind etc etc’ when I won’t change my mind. It’s like, come on, TRUST ME, I’ve wanted to be a writer since I could think, am I likely to change my mind?

    • Sophii January 2nd, 2014 5:05 PM

      It’s the same with me. I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life and adults still don’t take me seriously. I tell them I want to be a journalist and get the whole condescending, ‘ooh that’s competitve and hard to get into.’ Uh I KNOW THAT I am serious about it and have done my research ugh

      http://prettypassionsfinefashions.blogspot.co.uk

  • Erin. January 2nd, 2014 10:57 AM

    “So this month is not about growing from a teen into an adult. It’s about growing from less of yourself into more of yourself.”

    Yes yes yes! Ever since I was little, I’ve tried to take this view of life. So many others seem to insist that life exists in stages, and that you are totally different at each stage, but that’s not how it is to me at all. Instead of worrying about whether I’m acting my age or whatever, I’d rather focus on being myself/becoming more of myself. I’m gonna like this month. Perfect timing, too.

  • K8 is Gr8 January 2nd, 2014 11:46 AM

    Eep. This is late, but for the record, I like this! I’m in the middle of boarding school applications (no I am not some spoiled little rich kid) and it’s like slowly walking through a pool of lava. It’s painful. Really painful. But I think if I just sit down and do them it’ll better.
    So I’m gonna go and work on them now….

  • Sophii January 2nd, 2014 2:55 PM

    I love this. So excited for this month on Rookie! I totally want to make a list of all my enemies and outlive them this year ahaha :’)

    http://prettypassionsfinefashions.blogspot.co.uk

  • Jennell Strong January 3rd, 2014 12:09 AM

    “it’s also cool to not hate the world and to be productive and to know what you want and to get it done.”

    this is what i needed to start off the new year. really, thank you Rookie. I do hate the world most days and i feel obligated to; being a teenage girl and all. i feel like i should have nothing to lose. i feel like being rebellious is cool. but then i know i need to be rational and mature and think about my life and the decisions i make and i worry about looking back into my adolescence and finding my seemingly lackluster days unsatisfactory. I blame the movies and their romantic portrayals of youth.

    Anyway, great letter. Appreciate it. :)

  • Ella W January 3rd, 2014 8:45 AM

    After neglecting Rookie for the entire of December (I’m sorry I’m sorry) my new years resolution is to read Rookie! (as well as catching up on the entire of last month)
    Reading this month’s editors letter reminds me why I love Rookie! It sounds like it’s going to be a great month!
    Ella x

  • dragonfly January 4th, 2014 4:08 AM

    Thank god Rookie is in my life.

  • girlhero January 11th, 2014 12:14 PM

    I’m really happy to read this tavi bc your sense of permanence in your last editor’s letter made you seem more like a teenager than ever.

    as you implied in your letter, a sense of forever-ness is one of the defining characteristics of teenager-dom, and yet you were talking about how that part of your life was over with a tone of permanence so defined by the “forever-ness” that you were allegedly moving on from…

    does that make sense? I don’t know, the logical contradiction really bothered me and it just seemed like you were desperate to grow up or something.

    I’m not trying to criticize, your letter just made me sad because it seemed like you were so ready to mourn something that wasn’t lost or dead or going anywhere.

  • loopdeshor January 12th, 2014 8:04 PM

    “It’s about growing from less of yourself into more of yourself.” I love this quote!

    http://delightfuldreaming.blogspot.com/