The second installment of cult website Rookie’s Yearbook hits local bookshelves today, and it’s predictably excellent (even if you’re a sad adult). It features an evocative photo of a kid in a tie-dyed t-shirt cutting the hair of some other teary kid on the cover; interviews with Morrissey, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and comics dude Chris Ware; enchanting photo spreads by teen camera legend, Olivia Bee; recipes for things like ‘Marshmallow Soup’ and ‘Breakfastghetti’; illustrations from Grimes’ private sketchbook; some tear-out tarot cards; and an article called ‘What I Wish I Knew About My Period’ (nope, not for me).
The best bits, though, come from ultimate teen superstar (and, we’re still hoping, next Australian Prime Minister), Tavi Gevinson. Whether she’s interrupting an interview with Sleater-Kinney’s (and Portlandia’s) Carrie Brownstein to reveal that she’d just eaten bacon for the first time, or being ridiculously self-aware about the travails of Being A Teenager And What That Means (“HORMONES SUCK”), the 17-year-old Rookie editor’s scribblings are consistently charming and thought-provoking and you’ll probably wanna be her best friend and hang out with her every day, even though you’re almost twice her age and it’d look ridiculous, like Danny De Vito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins.
Still, to quote that creepy ‘90s hit from Aaliyah, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number”, especially when it comes to life advice. Even those of us on the wrong side of high school can learn a thing or two from the greatest young person who’s ever lived (excepting maybe Tutankhamun and Malala). Here are five pieces of Tavi wisdom from Rookie Yearbook Two…
Theme: ‘On The Road’
“The memories that are most prominent to me now, the moments that most strongly satisfied the curiosity with which we faced this GREAT NATION OF OURS, are the ones that were just about the people we came across every day – be they kindred spirits, or people with lives very different from our own, or not people at all, but DOGS. (The dogs were SO CUTE.)”
Moral: People can be kind, comforting and inspiring, but don’t forget about dogs.
“Liking things is fun; wasting time and energy figuring out what your taste says about your personality is not. I think that if you can differentiate between taking everything with a grain of salt and just plain snobby hating, you will live a life full of all the joy that Netflix has to offer. (This is not even a Netflix ad, it’s just very much my best friend.)”
Moral: If tuning into Beauty & The Geek or Celebrity Rehab With Dr Drew brings you joy, do it proudly. At least it’s not Q&A or something.
“The thing I am afraid of (being alive), the vast majority of people manage day after day. Many of them are even happy. Many of them have more reason to be sad than I do. And when I consider that I am just one of billions of people on earth and how tiny we all are and what a brief moment in time this is and… HOLY SHIT THIS MEANS THIS IS THE ONLY TIME I GET HOW DO I MAKE THE BEST OF IT WITHOUT BEING A BAD PERSON? And how does it work that I think life is the worst, but I also don’t want it to end? AND, why don’t I have a more sophisticated analogy for this than how I felt when I finished the one and only season of E!’s Pretty Wild?”
Moral: Pretty Wild is life, basically.
“I’d like to think that people of yore would be super impressed by all our technology, but I dunno if I myself would be that stoked about Angry Birds if I were expecting hovercrafts and robot maids. Wait: WHY DON’T WE HAVE HOVERCRAFTS AND ROBOTS MAIDS? I am so disappointed in you, present day.”
Moral: WHY DON’T WE HAVE HOVERCRAFTS AND ROBOT MAIDS?
“I used to accept the negative by believing it would all one day pay off as material for my EGOT-winning body of work based on the horrors of my life and personality, making it all worth it. Bad experiences are no longer a means to an end for me. Since I became especially enamored with Stevie [Nicks] a year ago, they have become enough for me all on their own — certainly acceptable, and even invigorating… I believe that there’s a difference between happiness and fulfilment, and I think the latter is more for me.”
Moral: Sometimes life’s a little bit ‘Everywhere’, sometimes it’s a little bit ‘Landslide’; embrace it all.