Letter from the Editor: February

I write these words on a plane, tears openly streaming down my cheeks, riding in under the light of this wild AF super full blood moon eclipse situation, my heart overflowing with all of the emotions. I'm in the middle of a massive life transition, confused and untethered, but the one thing I do know for certain is: I am drained as a motherfucker. I remember how exactly one month prior I was also openly sobbing on a plane and have to laugh at my new-ish capacity for openness; I reflect on how this is part of how I love and take care of myself, through completely unapologetic feeling. 

For whatever reason, February is deemed the month of romantic love - and what it reminds me of most is how the fixation on romantic love in our culture is staggering, almost to the point where it's seen as the most important thing in our lives. How in subtle (and not so subtle) ways, our worth in others' eyes is measured not by our moral character or our accomplishments, but rather on the "success" or "failure" of our relationships. Some bullshit, most definitely. Valentine's Day always kinda bums me out because #1: IDGAFlyingF about it and #2: I hate seeing how down some peeps get on themselves if they're not booed up.

So this month, I'd like to focus on self-love. And like, the real kind, not just an *inspirational quote* or something intimidating and impossible you see everyone else thriving at on your feed, another apparently effortless thing you're failing at to feel bad about. I'm talking about the messy rollercoaster of healing from a million voices telling you from the time you're old enough to remember that you're not good enough and you never will be - including, possibly, your own. In the past two years I've faced myself raw, naked, looked at my fears and my flaws head-on - and for the first time since my swaggerdripping-i'm-absolutely-that-bitch early 20's, I like who I am. I'm learning to really, genuinely love this woman who others may have written off as "too sensitive" or too wild or loud or impulsive or maarte or whatever and understanding that these are my unique strengths. Learning to listen to myself, to set boundaries, to give myself a hug and say, shit's gonna be just fine babygirl even when it doesn't really feel like it, and maaaybe (just maybe!) letting myself accept love from others even if I don't truly feel like I deserve it yet.

In the past, I thought that I loved myself - but now I know that I really didn't. I stopped and listened to my self-talk and realized it was appalling and cruel. How even having my picture up on the front page of this site was giving me wild anxiety, like who the fuck do I think I am tho? But honestly, who are we to even question our worth at all? We are all made in images of the divine; every one of us is born perfect, as we were intended to be. We are ALL beings worthy of respect and adoration. To not acknowledge this is insulting the flawless design of the universe. Kinda wack.

May you all truly love on yourself this month and all of the months ahead, whatever that might look like for you. Coming from someone who's a ruthless and cutthroat self-critic, I can tell you with utmost sincerity that loving yourself is possible - and it can start in this very moment. Remember: shit's gonna be just fine, babygirl.

<3 Steph

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