Intro, August 16, 2016

Some folks have been asking me to post my Lenny intros here, so here you go. This is from Lenny No. 47.

Hello Lennys,

I’m writing to you in a GREAT MOOD because I just finally got my air conditioner fixed after five straight days of near-90-degree heat in my apartment. It did not feel good, as anyone who follows me on Twitter can attest. My ability to withstand this trial is on point, though, because, as Jenni said in an email: “There’s a real physical/mental endurance theme this week, and I’m into it!” I’m into it too.

Ottavia Bourdain kicks the issue off, telling us about her jujitsu training. Years of practice have given her incredible mental and physical toughness, as well as the quiet confidence of knowing she can take down an opponent twice her size. Another athlete, Olympic runner Alexi Pappas, shares her story about the pain that athletes endure and the way she has learned to parse that pain in her head. Pushing our bodies can bring great rewards — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

Other trials are not chosen ones. Megan Kelly and Claire Typaldos recount their time working at a refugee camp in Greece where migrants, having survived a treacherous sea journey, were often left in political limbo, at the mercy of international tribunals made up of the very countries that persecute them. The people living in camp Moria, despite being stateless and in constant peril of forced repatriation, nonetheless found moments of happiness, beauty, and even hope — until they were made to leave their temporary haven.

Also in this issue, our contributing writer Kaitlyn Greenidge interviews the writer Natashia Deon, and our deputy editor Laia Garcia talks with Tabitha Soren about her photography. (Yes, that Tabitha Soren.) What I like about these pieces is not only the opportunity to hear from two complex female artists, but also that both have used their storytelling and observational skills to excel in many ways. Deon is a novelist and a defense lawyer; Soren is a photographer, a documentarian, and was once the journalist from MTV News that I, for one, dreamed of being.

My Great Air-Conditioning Struggle of 2016 does not compare to the challenges any of these women have conquered, by a long shot. It did bring me perspective, though, which is the very least any shitty experience can do. If you, Lenny readers, are going through a thing right now, I’m sending you my very best thoughts for cool air on the other side.

Love,

Mikki

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