Fulfillment: Editor’s Letter, April 2016

illustration

Illustration by Marta Herrera

Dearest Pulp Babes,

This month, we here at The Pulp Zine are thinking about fulfillment. A dictionary will tell you that the word means happiness connected to “fully developing one’s character.” What that means and how one actually does that remains mysterious at best.

Though, perhaps it’s fitting that even the simplest definition of fulfillment is foggy. It’s such a personal concept, how could one ever expect to create universal criteria?

Personally, I believe finding fulfillment is deeply rooted in pursuing passion. Many creative people attest to no greater sense of purpose than when they are singing, painting, or writing. Fulfillment is a piece of the soul clicking on when it senses that something truly important is at stake.

On my block, an apartment rental website recently posted an advertisement featuring a comic about an English major. In one frame, the turtleneck wearing girl is sitting in a cafe, looking rather posh as she reads her Camus. In the next frame, she’s begging her parents for rent money–presumably because such a poor life choice as earning an English degree leads to dire straits.

I have to laugh when I walk past this ad. I’d be lying, too, if I said my fellow English majors and I don’t frequently joke about the stereotype of the useless English degree. We swap stories about condescending strangers and stuffy aunts asking us “What exactly do you plan to do as an English degree?” I can see the futures these people imagine for me: teaching an out of control high school classroom everything they don’t want to learn about Romeo and Juliet. A particularly juicy spitball lands in my already tangled and unwashed hair. I believe anyone who has ever pursued the humanities knows this feeling well–people are all too keen to criticize that which fulfills others when they don’t understand it. But when the criticisms and visions pass, one is left with the sensation that what they are studying and who they are becoming is incredibly important. 

A couple of years ago, I knew someone who abandoned their job at a swanky magazine so they could move to Connecticut and start a farm. When I see pictures of them on Facebook, they look tan, happy, and fulfilled. Of course not everyone has the resources to uproot their present lives and pursue a dream, but I was always inspired simply by the fact that this person was so dedicated to something that they would literally give it their all.

We live in a society that’s constantly pushing us to be something unattainable. We “need” more money, clothes, exercise, green juice. Sometimes it can feel like happiness and fulfillment are doomed to permanently remain just beyond our reach. But this month I want to encourage you to think of all the ways fulfillment is within your reach. Start small, but dream big. Don’t hold yourself back and let your soul expand as far as it can go. 

Share your journey to fulfillment with us! Send art, photos, poetry, and more to thepulpzine@gmail.com

With Love,

Kate + The Pulp Babes