Time is Our Teacher (Issue 1)
The following editorial includes selected excerpts and previews from Revolukin Magazine, Issue 1. To read the full stories and experience the issue in whole, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the magazine through our shop or at a stockist in your area.
“We’re so focused on figuring ourselves out. We want to know who this person, ourselves, will be, and the amount of pressure we put on ourselves to become whoever we think that might be is insane. Because we’re already becoming that person, you know? I was really concerned about all of that when I was younger. I would love to go back and just say, ‘Relax, you are already becoming the person you’re trying so hard to become’. There’s no need to try to control it.”
Table of Contents
Reading mixtape 002
THE LIFE BEHIND WELL-LIKED LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHS WITH BEN PRESCOTT
LOVE: A CHRONOLOGICAL DIARY BY SHAUNA SIMON
JOURNALS & POEMS: A COLLECTION OF MOMENTS ON GROWING UP BY CHRISTINE NGUYEN
TEARS ON CONCRETE: A BOY’S COMING OF AGE IN NEW YORK CITY BY TRAVIS ZANE
PERSPECTIVES ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP, WELLNESS, & CHAMPIONING LOVE WITH CHINAE ALEXANDER
How has outdoor photography and the process of capturing a moment affected your outlook on life?
B: Everything I’m doing is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. If I leave late and miss the sunrise, there’s no getting that sunrise back. It’s made me realize that those outstanding moments in life that wow us—a sunrise at the top of a mountain, meeting a new friend across the country—they all happen whether we’re there for them or not. We can be there for those moments, putting ourselves out there, taking time to look around, or we can let it pass us by.
Does it ever get hard being on the road?
B: It’s become massively hard for me. Last August I travelled to the Faroe Islands and Iceland. After that I was home for one day and then flew to New Zealand, then came home for 8 hours before flying to the Yukon, then over to Alaska. Very early on, 5 weeks in, I hit a wall. Lots of things started happening. My mom went into stem cell treatment (for lyme disease), which was a great thing, something we spent all year fundraising for. But being abroad while she was going through treatment, when she needed support, that was rough. Then some business stuff happened that I couldn’t take care of abroad, the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) wanted to consult with me while I was in the Faroe Islands, an impossible place to communicate. I had to get routed through to the Canadian Embassy while in the middle of nowhere. And after that, I got really sick. Everything about that trip was extremely challenging. 5 weeks of treacherous weather, living off of gas station hot dogs, getting little sleep...Being away like that was difficult and made me rethink traveling. I much prefer being home when I can.
What does "success" mean to you and how do you measure it in your day to day life?
B: How I define success right now is in the question that risk presents. When that scary situation arises, are we attempting it? Usually, the thing we’re scared of doing ends up going pretty well, we get to look back and say, “Hey I did that!” with gratitude.
Just yesterday we were filming this video for a friend named Paige. She was recently in a car accident, hit by a drunk driver, and is now in a coma in the hospital. I don’t know her personally, but I know Paige’s friends. I suggested to her best friend that we make a video of all of Paige’s friends and family to play for her as she tries to wake up. We organized everyone together at a house to film, and as I walked up to the door, my heart rate skyrocketed. I got so nervous. I didn’t want to go through with it. It was my idea; I was the filmmaker, and I was supposed to be the one calling the shots. When you’re in the midst of that panic, everything happening in your body just tells you to pull out of the situation. It feels like danger, which is weird because there’s nothing that can physically hurt you. But I had some friends who talked me back into it, and within 5 minutes I was doing my thing, directing people and filming it all. Looking back, that feels like a huge victory. I overcame the panic and completed a project that was extremely important to me. Paige will be blessed by it.
If you want to define success, I think it’s right in there, when you’re about to pull out of something difficult because it’s too hard and you don’t feel like you can do it. But then you say, “Okay, let’s just try this”. I think success can be broken down and reverse engineered into all of those little things, situations we want to run away from and quit. One of the most important factors in not running away is having support, having our friends and crew. They help us do things we’re bad at and we help them do things they’re bad at."
Selections from “Love” in Revolukin Magazine, Issue 1
A CHRONOLOGICAL DIARY
Words by Shauna Simon
The time we first met…
It’s noon on a Friday. I drive six hours into a setting sun, to a barely snow-blanketed mountain range, to a man I barely know. I pull up to the green little church, where I wait until you nervously greet me with an awkward hug and a hurried kiss. I’m not afraid, but I’m not unafraid either. We’re in your truck trying to beat the moon as we race to a hot spring, for the sun already ran away from us. We jump from hot spring to hot spring, meeting bike-riding travelers who only dip into the sulfur baths nude. Kind people, different people, earth people. We don’t know them, but for some reason, we trust them enough to share our night. Night-blanketed naked bodies in one small space, all huddled under the same full moon, sharing a heated tub and unfiltered words through the snow prime air.
The time I questioned it…
How do you know when you are in love? They say it’s a feeling, but if it’s a feeling, then why do I keep thinking? Analyzing how he feels. How I feel. And how these feelings might develop. Might possibly, probably, change over time. They say it’s a feeling. But it isn’t a good feeling to wonder if I am feeling what I think I’m feeling.
The psychologist Philip Zimbardo once said life is all about temptations. As time goes on, temptations increase. The longer the delay of satisfaction, the greater the temptation. I want what I want when I want it. And when I don’t get it, I want it even more. Long distance relationships are the Mount Everest of temptation, the zenith of delayed satisfaction. Do I really love him? Or do I just so badly want what I can’t have?
The time I tried to put this feeling into a poem, but couldn’t find an adequate metaphor…
This is not poetry
This is not a complex combination of convoluted phrases filled with big words
This is not a flowery compilation of beautiful literary prose that leaves you to decipher meaning through analogies and metaphors
This is plain
This is simple
It’s getting drunk off of tequila and forgetting everything else besides each other
Forgetting to check our phones
Forgetting the responsibilities of tomorrow
Forgetting the guard that you so politely call my fear of commitment
It’s that moment when everyone else in the room disappears
And it’s just you and me
I still don’t know what love means
but I know how this feels
You and me
And fuck, is it lovely
It is simplicity
It is a Sunday morning
Ruffled blankets, your hands in mine, and our heads at the end of the bed
looking through the skylight at the leaves dancing on that invasive tree that covers your roof
Sun-shy, hiding from anything that would take us away from a Sunday morning, from the single obligation of being you and me
Hands through my hair and eyes fixed on mine, you ask what I’m thinking
You claim dishonesty
But honestly, it’s the most truthful answer I could ever give you
Because I’m not thinking of anything
I don’t need to think with you
Because I already know
Selections from Christine Nguyen’s (@chrissstttiiine) Feature in Revolukin Magazine, Issue 1
The Video-Wizard-Vinyl-Spinning Content Creator’s Personal Journals & Poems
Words by Christine Nguyen
kissed the girls and made them cry
My first kiss was at the age of 8 when Jacob Eminger and I ran out to the fields during recess to wish upon dandelions.
“It’ll only come true if your eyes are closed and you don’t share your wishes,” he convinced me as we approached a lush patch.
And so I closed my eyes and made a wish, only to be disrupted by his lifeless lips. I immediately opened my eyes and looked him directly in the eyes for what seemed like hours until it finally hit.
My mom once told me that girls get pregnant from kissing boys.
Scared shitless, I ran and told my teacher.
I was eleven when my parents bought us a computer game that would forever change my life. It was a game where you guide a family through life and watch them live with real world reactions.
I became obsessed trying to keep everyone happy, monitoring every move, and finding ways to keep their lives fulfilled.
My computer hacker cousin Tom introduced me to a cheat code where you have all the money in the world; it was a lot of fun in the beginning, but I grew bored quickly and struggled to find new means of entertainment in this virtual world.
I trapped everyone in a room with no door and watched them all die; one by one.
My computer hacker cousin Tom doesn't know this, but he taught me a valuable life lesson when I was eleven.
much of what I know comes from others
My dad once told me over a cigarette in his backyard that it's very important that I find someone with hobbies and interests; like a purpose that keeps them alive, that thing to look forward to that will detach them from the mundane nine-to-five.
This he told me while gazing at my mom through the screen door; my mom sprawled out on the couch, gossiping on the phone with my aunt in France or Vietnam or the Republic of…wherever.
This, coming from a man who suppressed my curiosity in “hobbies and interests” beyond the Holy Trinity: piano, ping-pong, mathematics.
I couldn’t register if he meant this to be ironic; he’s hard to read that way. In an effort to understand, I helped the conversation along by adding my bit of confusion. His tone was neither of regret because I could not pinpoint a single hobby or interest my mom had or of relief because she has this “separate life” from what I saw on the daily. A life only he and my mom knew of, you know, one full of interests and hobbies that kept my dad so cripplingly enthralled.
I pictured this “separate life” where she doesn’t answer work calls during all hours of the day; a life where she doesn’t make the same meal every other night; not burdened by her children’s needs; or simply doing anything besides recapping the tedium of what I was certain her rehearsed daily agenda must have been to my aunt in France who must find it all very interesting.
I just couldn’t see it.
I gazed at her as my dad did through the screen door and tried my best to make a connection as she mouthed the words “clearance sale.”
In any case, my dad doesn’t offer much advice so when the moment comes, I’ll take what I can get.
“You never want to get bored.”
We all are, act accordingly.
SELECTIONS FROM “TEARS ON CONCRETE” IN REVOLUKIN MAGAZINE, ISSUE 1
A BOY’S COMING OF AGE TO NEW YORK CITY
Words + Photos by Travis Zane
August 2017 - Davis, CA
As I sit at the airport terminal after our goodbyes, I begin to scroll through my phone contacts. Who should I call? It has become a ceremony of sorts for me to call a friend before leaving to go somewhere new. I remember my conversation with my friend Mallory prior to my flight to Sweden, where I studied for a year. Who would mark my introduction to New York? I actually do not remember now, who I called or if I called. All I really remember is watching "The Devil Wears Prada" on that petite screen in economy class. How I wondered if there was anyone else on the plane also headed to New York for the first time. Or perhaps the millionth, a potential carbon copy of me in the future. The dim glow of Meryl Streep deriding Anne Hathaway was the only other life on that flight till our arrival, all other characters in my New York movie asleep or still, glued to their own screens. As the pilot announced our approach to the city the lady beside me rose from half slumber, turning towards me as if we had been talking in her dreams, and asked me if I lived in New York.
“No, it’s my first time, but I’m moving!” I whispered. She asked me what for. “Hopefully not that!” she joked, referring to Hathaway’s dire existence, a simple girl caught and captured by a complicated world. “Kind of!” I said. I blatantly lied and told her I was taking a position as an editor’s assistant at a well known magazine. But I had no job, no plans, and no friends in the city who might help me find either. I am not sure if it was the film that persuaded me to serve falsehoods or if it was that idea of life in New York itself. The one we learn of first through the movies, the one that sticks and never seems to leave. It was already beginning to blur reality with possibility. I thought it might be true, that idea. Life in the movies wasn’t real, but if it were possible that someday we discovered life in the movies could be real, it would be discovered in a place like New York. I had no plans, but anything might pop up, expected or unexpected, dull or magnificent. Probably magnificent, though, because that is how things worked in this city, or so I thought. Something, whatever it was, was bound to take place. For if I did know anything about New York, it was that New York was not a city of nothing.
December 2017 - New York, NY
The temperature is frigid and my coat is too oversized. I cannot afford the real clothes that everyone else here seems to flaunt so flawlessly so I ordered a winter coat off Amazon that regrettably looks as if it could double as a king-sized duvet. And it’s red, so I cannot help but feel self-conscious of how similar I look to an obese Teletubby. You can never really tell how small, big, stupid, or great something is until you wear it in person. Kind of like this city and the movies, the songs, and the way other people talk about it. You will never truly know its opposing evil and angelic angles till you have failed and succeeded against its skyline, perhaps finally coming to a conclusion the 500th time you have contemplated all of this as to whether or not this city is what you thought it was.
What is one of the most difficult things you’ve experienced?
C: I started my first business, an event planning company, after being kindly fired from my old job. I wasn’t fired because I wasn’t a good employee but because my boss believed in me. He told me, “You’re an entrepreneur, go start a company. I’ll pay you what you’re worth, I’ll be your first client for two months”.
The first night I went home after being fired, I built a website on Squarespace and I was like, “Okay, I guess I’ll become an event planner”. I just had to pick something. I remember walking through the streets of Park Slope, texting my other coworker at the job I’d just been fired at because I knew, he needed a nanny. I told him I’d be his nanny. I was so afraid I wouldn’t have money, or couldn’t be an entrepreneur.
I kept pacing the streets of Park Slope and wandered up to a flower shop. In the window, they had a sign that said PART TIME WORK NEEDED and I thought, “Okay, I can do flowers, so I’ll hustle together these little side jobs and that will be my life”. I wrote all these notes in my phone telling myself to call the flower shop the next morning. Then I woke up the next morning, and told myself “Fuck that!”. I refused to buy into my fear because I knew out of everything that fear would’ve been the obstacle to screw me over, the roadblock to whatever I tried to pursue.
The fear of being in that position, thrown into a space where I felt completely afraid, dreading the possibility of failing and disappointing myself and others, was not easy to push through. But you just have to do it. If I can point back to one thing that changed my life and completely adjusted the trajectory of everything onwards, it would be that moment.
When my Instagram account started growing I had to make the choice to shut down my event planning company in order to focus on social media, which was also scary as hell. Making choices that are sacrifices, hoping they eventually lead to more space for you to do what you’re supposed to, is always hard.
My whole life has been a bunch of plans that haven’t gone as expected, but the outcome has always been right. Failure isn’t failure, failure just redirects us to something else. I think as a society we get so bogged down when things don’t work out, but we have an extremely small view of our own lives. I always try to remember, whenever things don’t work out, that all the things I have and love right now are things I never even knew I wanted.
As an icon for self compassion, what are some major challenges you’ve been through that you aspire to help others champion?
C: I used to think that wellness and self love were checkbox items we’d achieve and then be done with. I was always waiting for this switch to flip, but what I’ve learned is that it’s a long process and a daily choice. Being compassionate to yourself is a choice we have to make every single morning, getting up and asking ourselves “How do I care to view myself today, what can I do to build a better life?”.
It’s the same with wellness. People beat themselves up all the time for not being perfect or reaching their goals—getting their workouts in or eating perfectly a certain day—but wellness is a lifelong process. We’ll never be perfect. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but by understanding that wellness and self love are ways of living made up of a million tiny choices, rather than one big one, we can feel like we can manage it better.
Are there any important lessons or values you conclude upon when you look back on your younger self? Is there anything you would encourage others to live by amidst periods of growth through various stages of life?
C: I think the world is really hard on people growing up, and I think we’re hard on ourselves when we’re growing up too. We’re so focused on figuring ourselves out. We want to know who this person, ourselves, will be, and the amount of pressure we put on ourselves to become whoever we think that might be is insane. Because we’re already becoming that person, you know?
I was really concerned about all of that when I was younger. I would love to go back and just say, “Relax, you are already becoming the person you’re trying so hard to become”. There’s no need to try to control it. A lot of times the person we become is due to all the failures, obstacles, and workarounds that were never a part of your plan.
It’s a hard thing to choke down, to let go, I get that. But if I could go back and tell myself anything, that’d be it.