So long, and thanks for all the love

Editor-in-chief Julie Cortez is finishing up work with PQ Monthly and El Hispanic News this month before moving to Ashland for a job with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Photos by Jules Garza, Izzy Ventura, Erin Rook, Melanie Davis, Christopher Alvarez, PQ Monthly
Editor-in-chief Julie Cortez is finishing up work with PQ Monthly and El Hispanic News this month before moving to Ashland for a job with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Photos by Jules Garza, Izzy Ventura, Erin Rook, Melanie Davis, Christopher Alvarez, PQ Monthly

I stare blankly at a blank page and blinking cursor. A handful of lyrics to Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” are doing laps in my brain. (Note to self: Think of a cooler song and claim that was what was running through your head when you write this down. And please resist the urge to make a “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” reference in your headline. No need to go full nerd in your farewell address.)

Oops. Oh well, I’ve never been very good at not being me. I often admonish myself for laughing too loudly and smiling too widely, for telling too many dirty jokes, for eating and drinking with a bit too much gusto, for continuously outing myself as a know-it-all, and for my tendency to dress like I’m prepared for a day of housecleaning and light jogging. Tone it down and class it up, lady. No one makes passes at girls who crack jokes about bodily gasses.

I’ve gotten better at embracing my inevitable me-ness as I’ve aged (notice I didn’t say “matured”), but one personality trait I’ve been struggling mightily with lately is my resistance to change and complication. I’d totally marry my great loves Stability and Comfort if I weren’t so deathly afraid of the complexities polyandry would bring to my life.

Yet, here I am, about to pick up and move to a new town and a new job (Ashland, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival) after 16 years in Portland, nearly 13 years with El Hispanic News, and almost two with PQ Monthly. When our owner/publisher Melanie Davis came to me with the idea of launching a second paper, I resisted that change, too, but boy am I glad she didn’t take my “hell no” to heart. My consciousness and my circle of friends have expanded at a dizzying pace, and I’m certain a little time and distance will only further reveal to me just how ridiculously enriched my life has been by these last two years.

To our community: thank you for your passion, resilience, and willingness to educate and embrace me. To my PQ family: thank you for sharing your talent and your dedication, and for your warmth and support during trying times. I love you.

All my best,

Julie Cortez, Editor-in-Chief