Tavi Gevinson is the founding editor-in-chief of Rookie.
“I know that I cried because as soon as I wear myself out, what wells up first is love.”
I share this line on twitter with a link to Lena’s entry for all the girls at Rookie events this week who said that they want to write but feel like their lives are not interesting enough or like nothing exciting has happened to them. This one stayed in my mind for weeks but for some reason I kept trying to figure out, in memory, where the word “warmth” had gone, as I was sure that it was in there, but maybe it was just a mind trick with “wear” and “wells,” and maybe “Here Come the Warm Jets” has just been lightly kazooing me around lately: waking up in the morning, crying in bed until I will absolutely be late, walking to yoga, coming out calmer, getting a smoothie, marveling at my new self-care lifestyle, going back home to shower and cry again because although it’s merely a byproduct of independence and freedom that I’ve inherited not through neglect or abandonment but a choice to become the kind of person I would’ve looked up to when I was 12, there is loneliness in living by yourself, being your own boss, not going to school, industries about which there is nothing your parents can teach you, all adults in your life being either friends or peers or subordinates but rarely mentors, and being dumped by an elderly male on your 19th birthday. On one of my flights this week I wrote out my new, half-fictional family tree, pleased to find that I have not killed all my idols:
Chris + Shane
Lilly and Jane from Louie
On the opposite page there is a grid:
give me someone to believe in
please send me someone to love
tho when we celebrate one’s art we are not celebrating their character — we are celebrating the cosmic aptitude of this (art)ifact of natural history — a bird’s nest
and I suppose much of this comes down to being OK with not getting answers, preparing for everyone to be completely wrong or misleading, outgrowing the teenage need for catharsis (remember when one stoned conversation/one run through the woods/one night of dancing solved everything?)
Still: is there anyone whose inner planet can orbit the earth with mine?
I leave the Hilton Garden Inn and walk around Austin with headphones on and slowly allow myself to enter the street, blocked off for people all in clusters and pairs. “Closer Than This” as antidote to “More Than This.” Outdoor concerts and bar noise seeping in.
I walk back to the hotel on the sidewalk, keeping to the right, and a man corners me into the storefront and tells me I am beautiful and walks away and I turn around and yell “STOP!” and keep walking. I remember a self-defense zine I read in 9th grade and occupy the middle of the sidewalk instead. The Hilton elevator is the only one I’ve ever been in that has a button to keep the door open without another to keep it closed.
Tavi, Tavi, Tavi, my heroine… Always a pleasure to ready anything that’s written and birth mom-ed by you. Keep shining, darling star.
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