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March 19, 2018 | by  | in Editorial Opinion |
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Editor’s Letter

I’ve got a sore throat and can’t entirely be fucked with working right now. Marlon’s complaining that I’m a slave driver, but it’s too bad. I’m slave driving myself too. Magazine’s gotta be published.

Last night, I ended up in Caroline. I was telling Elise, stressed, “I’m just here to get some food, then I’m going straight back to the office. So much shit to write”, which progressed to “just one beer”, and then, inevitably, “I’ll write everything tomorrow”. Later on, I could be heard proclaiming, somewhat hysterically, “work? What do you mean? The magazine doesn’t exist. Figment of our imaginations”.

I ran into an old Dunedin pal at Caroline. He’s feeling unfulfilled because he’s an aspiring musician working minimum wage jobs. He also feels like as a white dude he doesn’t have the right to complain about anything. “XYZ is going on in my life. But I shouldn’t complain. Compared to other people….” I told him his emotions were as valid as anyone else’s. He probably didn’t believe me.

So now it’s 2:30pm on print day and I’m pulling this shit together. Surprisingly not too hungover. Just got back from the sexual assault protest at Law school, asking person after person “want to give a quote for Salient?” A lot of people didn’t. “I don’t have anything to say”, they said.

I used to think I had nothing to say. Then I realised that I just didn’t believe in myself enough to say anything. Having voice is actually a massive privilege. If you ever want to change anything anywhere, the first thing you gotta do is make people listen to you. And to make people listen to you, the first thing you gotta do is be good at communicating, and confident that you can.

I feel massively privileged about the fact that I’m the Salient Editor, the fact that my English is good enough to get me here. My parents moved from Taiwan to New Zealand because they knew that having a native command of English is a lot more powerful on a global platform than a native command of Chinese.

I received an email today from a guy who was really upset by something, but his English wasn’t good enough for him to make coherent sense. I’m gonna interview him, and hope that at least I can understand him when he talks.

People have said to me “I’m glad that you, as a woman of colour, are the Salient editor”.

I’m feeling bad because editing is hard; my flatmates are mad at me because I’ve bailed on cooking dinner twice (too busy editing); I’m working though I’m tired and sick; and sometimes I want a break from it all. My Dunedin friend is feeling bad because he’s unfulfilled. I don’t know if I’m any happier than him, but I’d still rather be me — having a sense of purpose, and feeling capable of fulfilling this purpose, is a powerful feeling.

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