There seem to be two types of people: those who believe that vulnerability equates with weakness and those who recognize that being truly vulnerable shows strength of character. Until just a few years ago, I believed the former. As an only child who was always the smallest in her class, I was tough and never asked for help. When I broke my foot in second grade, I refused to cry. When I needed thirteen stitches in my head, I willed myself to not feel the pain.
But with age and experience, I now know that letting yourself be open and honest may leave us vulnerable to getting hurt, but it’s also the only way to grow. The young writers featured in this second issue are only in their teens but they already know what it took me thirty years to figure out. They are letting us see their essence and their souls through their work. And I cannot think of anything braver than sharing your fears and real emotions with those who may judge you.
Our featured artist is Erin Garrett, who resides in Los Angeles and writes about her experience as a child prostitute. She is extremely bright and talented, and incredibly, her poem is the first she’s ever written. Our Hero, Michaela DePrince, has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles with empathy and grace. First as an orphan witnessing her parents’ deaths in Sierra Leone to becoming a professional ballerina in a world where Black ballet dancers are still stigmatized for their skin color.
The writers in this issue have inspired us to be better people and we hope that reading their work changes your lives for better.
Thank you and again, happy reading!