Just a few words of gratitude, for you.
Earlier this week, before accidentally getting caught in a more typical piece and a rant about populism, I wanted to write a brief thank you, to all of you. Crossing 10,000 subscribers and hitting 50 of these short essays at New Means both feel like major milestones. I’m sure that just about anyone who hits these sorts of markers here feels a debt of gratitude to everyone who takes the time to read our words and share them and interact with us and support us, but I just wanted to share a little about why it feels so special, before offering a little something to paid subscribers.
Five years ago I had just left my position teaching English to high schoolers in the Bronx. I was unemployed, before stepping into a community college adjunct position at the last minute, and really unsure what would come next. I ended up taking three part time jobs that fall, and although I was making it work I wasn’t really thrilled about it all. Then, in the winter of 2019 I got on Twitter for reasons I can’t even remember at this point. I just knew I wanted to rail against Trump a bit and that I finally had the time to do this random little thing after having so little time to myself when I was teaching full time.
Fast forward five years and my day job is tweeting about politics and unions and climate and other issues I’m passionate about. And on my own time I get to write about these same topics and more to a group of readers who I mostly would never have been able to connect with if not for Twitter and social media. I never saw this coming, and still feel like the nobody who started tweeting without knowing what I was doing. Probably mostly because I still am that guy haha, just with a few more followers and a little more knowledge about politics and media. So again I just want to say thank you for taking the time to read what I write, for engaging with it, for your kind words. It all means the world to me and humbles me each time.
I used to have little idea what people meant when they gave profound thanks and added that they were humbled by the gratitude or praise they received. Mostly because I hadn’t been in a position to receive the sort of praise and meaningful feedback that comes my way more often now. And I do find it humbling, each time. For many reasons, but I think mostly because alongside the gratitude I experience is a knowledge that I could never, ever be in this position without so much good fortune and so many wonderful people. I’m not trying to do some awards acceptance speech here, but I am an extremely lucky person in so many ways, and I think a deep knowledge and awareness of whose shoulders I stand on, how interconnected my life is with the lives and deeds of so many amazing people who have helped me along the way and not once asked anything in return, from family to friends to mentors, is something I want to hold dear and never lose sight of. You know who you are.
Before signing off I just want to give some brief extra thoughts for those of you have been able and generous enough to become paid subscribers.
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