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Letter sent on Jan 5

Let’s take care of one another.

NEW YEAR, NEW FIGHT.

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE EST. FOR JUST $5 A MONTH.

I don’t even know. Are we saying happy new year?! Are we courting hope?! Can we simply take stock in the psychological house-cleaning that a new year can bring?!

I think… yes.

In forcing myself to do The Thing–i.e. reflect on this past year and maybe even pen a few intentions for the next one — I realized that duress of any kind, while horrible, can in turn foster community. It can catalyze change. It can cauterize wounds. It can force us to ask for help and to take care of one another.

It’s a long story (as most stories are) but in addition to run-of-the-mill life shittiness, I also recently entered a liminal stage of ‘maybe’ with my partner. As in maybe we’re not each other’s person. Maybe this is where our romance ends. Maybe we’ll be dear friends and one another’s bodies will soon be a memory.

This is all to say Christmas was pretty much a WASH — mostly crying — and our Christmas tree was haunting me with its fucking twinkle lights and glinting balls.

One of my dearest friends and one one of her dearest friends agreed to come out to the house my man and I are renting in Guerneville and help me take it down…

And then burn it at the beach.

“We’ll be witchy and write our resolutions and burn them with the tree!” we bellowed.

I cried and cried as we packed the ornaments away. I cried and cried and hugged the tree and said, “I’m sorry we couldn’t love you this year. You are so beautiful. Thank you.”

Obviously, it was a pitiful scene.

Anyway. We took the damn thing to the beach, waited for sundown, scrawled our resolutions on an old New Yorker, and held the lighter to the boughs.

Nothing.

The tree was too fresh. Too green. Too alive to burn.


 
Do you all play Zelda? In its newest incarnation on Switch there are “hearty radish snacks” that give you an additional heart.

I had been terrified to tell my tribe how sad I was. I didn’t call anyone on Christmas. I couldn’t say, “CAN YOU TELL ME YOU LOVE ME I’M SCARED!”

But finally…I just did.

I sent a flare over the bow and my people just showed the fuck up for me — storming the beaches of Normandy-style — with so much love in all their different ways. And I’ve been chomping their hearty radish snacks like WOAH and a thank you could never suffice.

My point being…I wish I hadn’t waited as long as I had to send that flare.

I hope you are braver than me and just ask for what you need. Because your people are waiting to give it to you.

With love + rage,
Katie Tandy
Co-founder | Creative Director

The Establishment’s Top 20 Reads Of 2017

By The Establishment

In the face of a deteriorating Republic, publishing stories may seem like a relatively insignificant form of resistance. But elevating the voices of those who stand to lose the most is imperative to the survival of compassion, empathy, understanding, and indeed democracy itself.

By tackling crucial issues with nuanced incisiveness, these 20 stories — the most read and shared of the year — played a key part in making 2017, in some ways at least, bearable and even emboldening.

Behold! Fundamentalist cults, the ableism of comic sans, cool girls, and punching Nazis . . . and a whole lot more in between.

This Is The Story Of The Story I Can’t Write

By Katherine Cross

This story is about what lurks in the penumbra of #MeToo, what is occluded by the press coverage and the jokes (so very many late night jokes) about the sexual dimension of male power. Power, as a whole, remains in the shadows.

A few women have tried to bring this more complex analysis forward. Journalist Melissa Gira Grant, for instance, wrote for The New York Review of Books about how sexual harassment is a projection of power, rather than something purely sexual.

“Sex has overshadowed harassment,” she writes. But this moment points to larger, more systemic issues of men in power silencing and marginalizing those they dominate — whether or not they use sex to do so.

Inside ‘Hold The Line,’ A New Publication For Parents Committed To Social Justice

By Nikki Gloudeman

I can admit to having a few years where I was enthralled with mommy chats and birth clubs and trendy parenting magazines that encourage you to cut stars and hearts in your kid’s PB&J.

However, at some point, I felt a shift internally that helped me realize the value in being a parent isn’t the ability to buy cute cloth diapers or have internet fights over feeding choices — the value is in raising good people.

If parenting magazines are covering social justice now, it’s as a passing thought or an occasional feature. But we know social justice is an all-of-the-time issue.

I am sure there are many blogs that take on a sector of social justice and parenting — we have pieces from Woke Mommy Chatter and Chicana M(other)work, to name a couple — but our aim is to take a broad, inclusive in-depth stance on what social justice includes.

Why We Must Walk Away From Destructively Dependent Relationships

By Nicole Schmidt

Tear-filled conversations about suicide often transitioned into him planning for a future he refused to think about without me in it.

Those days were the hardest. They left me feeling scared and overwhelmed — like I’d taken on the sole responsibility of keeping my partner upright. His life was at a standstill before we met. He had three university degrees, but hadn’t held a steady job in years because he felt like he had nothing to work towards.

Our prospective future was his first real plan, and that brought ambitions — like cutting back on drinking and finding a proper job — to the surface. He wanted to move in together after I finished my degree, maybe even get married.

But there’s an unsettling pressure that accompanies being someone’s main source of motivation and happiness.

Five Beauty Tips For The Lightskinned And White Adjacent

By Tylea Simone

When I was 12, my mother moved away and told me and my brother that we were “too white to come.” She wanted a new start with her new husband and my half siblings, and we just didn’t fit in. “People ask too many questions,” she explained. “It’s just too confusing.”

So instead of splitting our weeks between her home and our father’s — like we’d been doing for years — we stayed with him in New Jersey and she relocated her new black family to Massachusetts.

I ached for them, but I wasn’t mad. As a child of a black mother and a white father, I was already hyper aware of race and its sticky, complicated residue on my daily life. I understood that defending a multi-racial family was an annoying and relentless project, because people interrogated me daily.

I desperately wanted to be free from the constant examinations so I didn’t begrudge my mother or anyone else for wanting the same freedom.

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