Glory is thought to be fleeting, as in “faded glory,” or “glory days.” It is borne of its expiration date, like the fact that it can’t last is what causes it to burn so brightly: You’ll never see this person again, so why not tell them everything, on this roof, with that distance from the ground? Glory is what happens when you “live in the moment,” because a moment has no context or aftermath. A moment is all feeling, and it’s where glory thrives: a conversation with someone you have no responsibility toward, a party with no concept of hangovers, a love that’s doomed from the start. Glory is anything you’re doing “for the story,” neglecting to consider consequences beyond getting to say that it “felt like a movie.”
Such scenes tend to make up a rather flimsy charm bracelet. Most of the events that have been good for me were not glorious—they were unsexy and difficult. Glory usually fills me with shame the next day, pillow lines forming cartoonish wrinkles on my face, making what I thought was newfound wisdom seem like a game of dress-up.
But something else is left over when I awake from glory, too, like a lingering dream. My laughter echoes, or a friend’s expression buzzes in my head. Some of the memories don’t even feel like mine, and I find that sort of wonderful, that I was able to briefly exchange my own histories, regrets, and self-imprisonment for what was in front of me. I become aware of the delusion required to have had such faith in myself, in others, in the moment, and then I find it almost heroic. From the risks made less scary by the seemingly temporary, I have grown a sort of confidence. It is an act of bravery to dance on a tightrope suspended by one’s own abandon.
This month, we want to hear your stories and thoughts about such triumphs. There are other kinds of glory, too: The Greeks called it glory when someone lived for the stories that would be told about them in death, which is sooort of what we all do all the time on Instagram? There’s the idea of peaking early, and the glory that rushes in when something good is gone too soon, like when a TV show is canceled after one season but is then crystallized as never having gone downhill by like, randomly switching out a little sibling character with another actor and NEVER ACKNOWLEDGING IT. There are the sacrifices one makes for glory and the pains it takes to “make it,” like what Beyoncé talks about in behind-the-scenes videos about her self-titled album: “When you get this trophy, and you look at it, was it worth it?”
There’s a ton more about this theme on our Submit page, along with everything you need to know to send in your writing, illustrations, photography, comics, all of it—glory-related or not! We continuously update that page with information about posts we are working on and need you for, so be sure to keep checking it. Send us your Halloween costumes! Lend us your braiiiins! And and and: Come to one of our upcoming book events! Rookie Yearbook Four is out October 20, and I am making rounds to read from it, along with other Rookie contributors, and sign books, and basically just linger until the bookstores kick us all out. Rebels!! Glory!!!!!