I’d never been called a “positive-thinker”. I often joked that if I still wore day-of-the-week underwear, they’d all say “Doomsday.” But the day my therapist said, "The only thing we have control over is where we put our attention", something shifted in me tectonically. I began writing a list poem titled, “Things That Don’t Suck.” The list included recess bells, bearded women, boomboxes in the car when the stereo breaks, soldiers in the airport on their way home.
When contemplating what kind of newsletter I might write, I decided that would be the focus. Essays and letters and poems that scour for joy and catalog all of the things in this world that do not, in fact, suck. But just as the project was about to launch, just as all those sweet unsucky things were about to make their way into your inbox, my world changed. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. “This is the worst timing for a newsletter called ‘Things That Don’t Suck’.” But then I had another thought. This is the best timing.
Writing, connecting with others, and shifting my lens toward gratitude has always been a crucial part of my healing. And now, it’s more important to me than ever.
Things That Don’t Suck subscribers of all levels will receive a weekly musing from me about something that doesn’t suck. Often this will be unexpected, like the ego-crushing break-up that led me to read a poem at an open mic for the first time. Or that patch of warts that bloomed on my chin just in time for the seventh grade dance. Or even the surprising way a cancer diagnosis threw open the doors of my heart. To be clear, this is not about turning my head away from the grief of our world. I don’t believe healing ever comes from ignoring what aches. But orienting toward beauty fuels me and reminds me why this precious earth (and these precious lives of ours) are so worth fighting for.
Premium subscribers will be able to send questions to me directly. I will use my expert (and non-expert) insights to select a few to respond to in upcoming newsletters. I’ll hunt for beauty while hunting for answers to your questions both big and small. Premium subscribers will also have access to exclusive video content and additional writings.
My name is Andrea Gibson and I am a spoken word poet. I travel around the world speaking my poems out loud on stages. I write about love, mental health, and social justice. I am queer and non-binary and write poems about that too. I have published seven books and recorded seven albums and my books have won Independent Publishers Awards and been Good Reads Choice Awards finalists even though I’m told I put the moon in far too many of my poems. (I’d rather have a sky without a moon in it than a poem without a moon in it.) I have three rescue dogs who come on tour with me even though they despise poetry. My dance moves are mind-bending. And I cry in public at least once a week.
I’d love for you to join me. ❤️ Andrea