You need reminding, I feel, of all the ways in which you are brilliant. Perhaps, not in the way that you’ve kept memorized since sophomore year every African country and it’s capital, or in the way that would behoove you to believe in Arianna Huffington’s genius (because you don’t). Brilliant in a way that allows you to enthusiastically praise science-fiction novels from the mid-century over pizza and to participate in passionate discussions about the “othering” of post-colonial and marginalized peoples.
Brilliant in a way that you don’t apologize for asserting yourself. In a way that you know it’s not just because you went to college for four years, though the lessons learned during that time are certainly part of it.
Brilliant that you know when to ask for help and the power of admitting you don’t know something. How to compartmentalise your emotions about having been wronged by others and how to make amends to those you have wronged. In a way that you feel defend your right to live free of gender-based harassment. Or harassment at all, for that matter.
Brilliant in a way that when you wake up in the morning feeling like you’ve lost purpose, you can find it. Or you can be patient while it finds it’s way back to you. That you know that what you need right now more than anything else is winter sunshine. That you understand the difference between your job and you life’s work.
Brilliant in a way that has taught you that any moment you’re not being strong for the women who aren’t allowed their right to stand up for themselves is a moment you could have done better. But also in a way that you know to be gentle with yourself, to be forgiving, to be understanding. In a way that makes it harder for you to be those things to yourself than to other people.
I’ve known Justin since college; we rode the Writing track waves together. My eyes are floating in how excited I am to be able to offer This Love (and him) a home. I know he plans to contribute in the future, notably some audio recordings like he offers up on his personal Tumblr. Enjoy this Tumblr-exclusive interview with our very first contributing writer.
-Bee Walsh, Poetry Editor