I can’t articulate to you how incredible it feels to have landed my first editorial internship, especially for an organization as fine as Sundress Publications. I spent most all of 2019 navigating my two intense jobs: working as a Community School Director at a small public high school in Queens, New York and working as a psychotherapist at a private practice in Washington Heights, Manhattan. As a queer, non-binary LMSW of color and as someone who identifies as a highly sensitive person, a day of working as a social worker would often deplete me to the point of exhaustion.
After working over 65 hours a week while juggling a dog, a chronic illness, and a small inner circle of friends and family, it was nearly impossible to find time to read and write. Most of my days would begin at 5:00AM and end around 10:00 PM. I was lucky if I managed to read a chapter or write 500 words during a lunch break without having to navigate a student crisis or tend to clients in distress. And while I loved having the privilege and opportunity to show up for so many different folkx and communities, I can’t deny some of the emptinesses it left me with: I was starting to feel like a fake.
Having barely any time to read, write, or apply to writing conferences left me profoundly dislocated: could I even call myself a writer anymore? Would applying for the MFA be a waste of time? Did I have the emotional willpower needed to suck it up and keep pushing through? These are but some of the questions that filled my brain space, that made me wonder if writing—and truly writing—was some pipe-dream I hadn’t yet critically debunked.
Having said all that, a new job landscape and some time off has left me energized and hungrier than ever to re-plunge into the literary world—a world that has always, through some variation or another, made me feel seen. Made me feel heard. Made me feel visible and important and here. With the start of 2020 and new opportunities ahead, I look forward to having more time to sit with writing, to devote to reading, and to decolonize the definitions of what really makes someone a writer.
I am writer because I say I am. I am writer because words have always fostered an intimacy and electricity within me. I am a writer because my soul-scape illuminates like spilled neon when I think of what it means to occupy a voice—to center stories that have been erased, to bring communities and people from margin to middle, and to continue to investigate and exfoliate what things in life bind us together, and what things in life cause us to bend away from one another.
I am so incredibly thankful to be given the opportunity to represent Sundress in the capacity of an editorial intern and am thrilled to discover what new areas of success and challenges await me.
Sabrina Sarro is a current social worker in the state of NY. They hold an LMSW from Columbia University and are currently pursuing an MFA from the City College of New York—CUNY. As a queer non-binary writer of color, they are most interested in investigating the intersectionalities of life and engaging in self-reflection and introspection. They are an alumnus of the LAMBDA Literary Emerging Voices for LGBTQIA* Writers Retreat, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Yale Writers’ Workshop, and many others. They have received scholarships from The Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing and the Community of Writers’ at Squaw Valley.