Letter From the Editor
Had it not been for the failures of last year, and the ten stupid years before that, and all the horrible catastrophes since my ridiculous birth, I don’t think I would be here today. Flunked that tenth-grade chemistry test. Talked back to my parents a thousand times. Got rejected from several colleges. Didn’t get the job offer. Spilled seltzer all over the family computer once and still wince at the memory. I’m a hodgepodge of mistakes. And now, I’m a junior at Tufts University and Editor-in-Chief of this beloved, ancient publication. Isn’t that great?
So, let the record show that all of us are foolish. Bumbling around, really. Walking through a haze of emotions and trying to decide if we should greet the familiar-looking person walking past us in a hallway. It’s endearing, our little acts of living. Our weak kicks into the purple-shaded space of uncertainty. Not enough average idiocy is written into history—so, let me be that person for you. I’ve shown you that I can be pulled apart. Now, here’s my spiel.
I think that this magazine is one of the best things in my life. I love the Observer because I love people. I love their stories and their passions. I love all the things they don’t like, all the things they rally against with pen, paper, and voice. I love that I know everyone’s name on this team and that they all choose to spend their nights with each other to craft together a 32-page magazine of record. All my heart’s devotion to Josie, Richie, and Brigid. All these spreads, infused with everyone’s soul-specks, sweat, and spittle. For people to pick apart, to poke in twenty-so years, to keep under their bed in a box. It’s sacred work.
Flo, one of my closest friends at Tufts, was the first to hear this soft soliloquy for the Observer before the start of the semester. We were having a classic, Whitman-esque night, laying outside and smelling leaves of grass. The black forest breathing on our necks. The smog of stars above us. I prefaced by telling her about a novel I read in middle school: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, which follows the preteen protagonist Julia as she grows up amidst global catastrophe—namely, the slowing of the Earth’s rotation. The book had resurfaced in my mind in the wake of the pandemic, the fires engulfing the West Coast, and the general malaise of crowning adulthood. It had struck me that, despite it all, Julia tries her best to adapt to her new reality. Brushing her teeth. Writing in her diary. Having a crush. She reminded me of the two of us, as we struggled to piece together a world for ourselves where we could still grow up, a world where we had some kind of future.
It is exactly this persistence so inherent to the human condition that I find myself obsessed with. I’ve always wondered when reading history textbooks, encyclopedias, and religious texts, what wasn’t captured in these written records. What they liked to do on their birthday. Whether they liked to drink hot cocoa in the evenings. The abundance of sex they were having. You know, the good stuff—how they were living. I want this magazine to show you a glimpse of that. Of how we live amidst the chaos of disease, of war, of death, of strife. How, amidst all the uncertainty, there is always that one constant—the drive to continue living. Spiraling in our uncertainty and constantly spinning stories, celebrating the serendipitous, the splendid, the stupid, and the spectacular. So, to the past, I cast a loving glance. To the future, I send big kisses. And to the present moment, I stumble on, headstrong.