Summer Sneak Peek & Editor's Note

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

We go live tomorrow morning all!! Here's a sneak of our cover to tide you over and I don't mind sharing our Editor's letter a bit early. Thank you all for your continued support!

Summer 2012 has arrived in full style here in Chicago and the Halfstack staff is rolling in behind it. We are all so excited and proud to share our second quarterly issue with all of you supporters and readers out there.

Summer always brings back great childhood memories for me. I often remember myself daydreaming on the stoop of our old apartment in Humboldt Park during the hot summer days of the 90s; eating my paletas and wondering about where life would take me. 

Even as a kid, I had big dreams. Despite growing up poor, living in gang infested neighborhoods and seeing some hard stuff as a kid, I still had hope. That’s definitely something my family instilled in me early on. With that hope also came a lot of tenacity and ambition. So, it was never a shame to dream, dreaming in the hood was a way of life and an opportunity for young kids like me to hope to make a difference.

Those dreams, I notice, are a frequent underlying idea within the hearts of many of the designers, artists and musicians we are showcasing in this summer issue. It amazes me how resourceful people can be when given no other option, but to “make life work” for them. This issue is about the fighters. It is about those young guns who people may have looked over at one point, but who ended up coming out on top. Musicians like Chi-P  and Designers like Rosina Mae, who keep going, even when the going gets tough. They never gave up, even when life threw them in shark infested waters. People like that inspire me.

During the making of this issue, there were days and nights where I wanted to give up the fight. Not because the work was too hard or because we had help that didn’t follow through, but because like many of you fighters out there, I was facing some tough times. While embarking on the journey to create this last issue, I was also going through family turmoil and embarking on a personal journey of my own. From divorce to having to share my daughter to leaving a crap job, I was going through some hard times and felt defeated.

It’s been scary and down right hard as hell, but then I see the things that the people we showcased, right here in the magazine, are doing (despite dealing with pain, drama and hurt) and I was inspired to keep going. In life, we are all going to face people who want to see us fail, who take joy in seeing our pain, but it’s up to each and every one of us to not let the naysayers win. It’s up to each and every one of us to keep fighting for our dreams, goals and hopes, but most importantly for ourselves. We can all achieve our dreams, if we believe in ourselves. The beauty of it is, that it is from these hardships, negative people and difficulties that we grow and become even better than before. In life, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. 

There’s this new song out by Gym Class Heroes and It touches my soul every time I hear it. I dedicate this song, just as I dedicate this issue to all of the fighters.  Here’s the hook, I hope it hooks you too.

If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get up)

And when your bones can't take no more
Just remember what you're here for
Cuz I know imma damn sure

Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life til we're dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter
Here comes a fighter
That's what they'll say to me, say to me
Say to me, this one's a fighter

xoxo - 
Jennifer M. Lezan 

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