margins9

Illustration by Ashley Amado.

In September of 2015, I put up Margin’s first editor’s letter and held my breath.

 This September marks Margins’ first year anniversary!

I was very career driven when thinking about Margins from the beginning. I wanted to be an Editor-in-Chief of a intersectional, feminist magazine (read that sentence again in an overly determined voice). I wanted to be like Tavi Gevinson. I wanted to be the next Anna Wintour. I wanted to eventually make Margins into a successful business and be able to pay our contributors generously.

As someone who had followed Rookie, Teen Vogue, and Vogue for many years, I idolized those at the top. I saw how teenagers fawned over Tavi, how the fashion world bowed down to Anna Wintour. Even though I had the confidence to reach out to people to help me with setting Margins up, besides that, there wasn’t much confidence in other areas of my life. The last time I was this passionate about something was when I wrote a novel when I was twelve–this September I turn nineteen. 

I believed that being a successful Editor-in-Chief would be key to me becoming genuinely happy. Really happy. It would give me the confidence I wanted, and I would be set forever. The idea, and Margins, blossomed shortly after one of the hardest years of my life.

Not a realistic idea, I realize now.

I was not in a healthy mindset. Putting immense pressure on myself and others to do the impossible for this publication was not good. I broke down crying to my mom about it, and she made me look at a bigger picture. With her help, I realized I needed to take a step back. I realized I needed to appreciate what the team here at Margins and I have built.

It was easy for me to complain about how I wished we could have a makeover for our website instead of appreciating the great conversations my team had on our Facebook group. Instead of fully appreciating the friendships I’ve cultivated through this ongoing project, I focused on my frustration to our low stats (which weren’t really low). I was not happy. In fact, I was treating myself as I had been treating myself during the worst year of my life–harshly, unfairly, and without love. Instead of viewing Margins as a healthy, fun outlet and learning experience, it became another tool of obsessive self-destruction.

The people on Margins, directly or indirectly, taught me to love. Whether is was articles (like this one and this one), or just chatting in our staff Facebook group. When I have bad mental health days and have to walk away from Margins, they understand. More than that, comments from contributors and readers about how Margins has helped or changed their lives has brought me to (happy) tears. It made me realize that all the milestones I have in mind for Margins–even if Margins never reaches them, our job is done.

I wanted to provide a space for girls and non binary people on the margins to speak and express. They have spoken, they have been received, and they have seen themselves in a new, confident light.

As of the publication of this letter, Margins has published 150 pieces, and we recieve thousands of hits every month! Not bad for a new magazine.

In the upcoming year, I hope to make the Margins website look fantastic, to be more organized, and expand the topics and concepts explored on our platform.  

And you can contribute to Margins too! Head over to our newly renovated submission page, where you can find out how to submit written work, visual art, and applications to be apart of our team!

A couple of days ago, I also made a spur-of-the-moment video surrounding my emotions with this milestone which you can view here (trigger warning – suicide):

 

 

All my love and more,
Nicole