A Toast

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Dear Readers,

I just wanted to take a timeout and give my sincerest thanks for your continued support in coming here, whether you’ve started two weeks ago or as far back as four years. If it weren’t for the random comments, the kind emails, the sharing in an experience… I wouldn’t be doing this, really and truly. And, most importantly, I wouldn’t have improved. Writing is like a sport: you need challengers, goals, an audience. You throw yourself into the gladiator ring and pray you’re the guy who kills the other. I guess that means you all are the blood-thirsty Romans? And I’m killing words? Or other authors? Hell, I don’t know. Might not be my best analogy.

I remember starting this badly named blog on a lark in 2008, after someone stole $300 out of my wallet at a runway show. Thusly inspired, I wrote “Letter to a Thief” on a plane from Chicago to Los Angeles, typed it out on my phone while feeling, well, pretty goddamn angry. When I landed, I handed my Blackberry to a friend who read it aloud while we worked our way towards the exit of an LAX longterm parking structure. She laughed. Amber, thank God you laughed.

It started small. Less than small, really. Five-hundred words about being a child and walking to get candy from a gas station without my mother finding out. In 2009, Tyler pushed me more. “If you don’t write every day, no one is going to read.” So I wrote every day. Not necessarily good stuff, but stuff nonetheless. That same year, I went to some LA party where Weezer sang Lady Gaga covers ironically to a crowd who did not understand irony. I was standing on a staircase when a photographer whose work I admired, who had shot many of my model friends but never showed interest in shooting me, walked my direction. He told me he read my blog, that it was good. “This is what you need to do. This is what you need to do with your life.” It meant more than any modeling job I had ever booked, compensated handsomely for any infantile feelings of unworthiness I had previously felt. Randall, thank you. Tyler, thank you, too.

The rest of you, all you silent partners in this, have been just as integral to the journey. I cannot tell you how much it means that these stories — funny, depressing, niche, or otherwise — resonates with each one of you in some capacity. Because that is point: the collective experience.

Anyway, I just thought it appropriate to write one of these on the dawn of a new era or, at least, a new year. I wish everyone the best in 2013. Work hard, listen to good music, love a lot (cry a lot? seems to go hand-in-hand but I’m probably most definitely doing it wrong), and be grateful for everything you have.

Thanks to you all for changing my life.

Jenny B really does love you.

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