When I started The First Day in 2013, it was the summer after I lost a job that I loved, a job that had marked the beginning of a transformation in my life. I was forced to look more closely at what mattered to me, what my values were. I began diving into the questions that been gnawing at me for my whole life—Who am I? How do I want to live? What is my role in this life?
The First Day is, of course, about beginnings. It’s about starting fresh and starting new. It’s about seeing each day as an opportunity, a chance for beauty and love and wholeness and growth.
I did not realize when I started his magazine that I was on the cusp of such profound transformation in my life.
Over the course of the last three years, I’ve experienced job losses and job searches, marriage trouble and marriage ending, the joy of welcoming my third child and raising three vibrant kids. I became a single mom and a single woman. I explored and wandered out and came back. I danced in my kitchen and laughed with my children and packed up my house and made a new home. I cooked food, I cried on the dining room floor, I rode in my car with the windows down and the sunroof open and gazed at the moon. I began to learn what it feels like to open doors and walk wide-eyed into the fullness of a new life.
I have done so much, but what I haven’t been able to do is take good care of The First Day.
That’s why I’m grateful and excited to announce that Rudri Patel and Beth Burrell have decided to adopt The First Day as their own. These two strong, hardworking, inspiring women have been writing for The First Day since its inception and have been deeply engaged with its mission. I am pleased and blessed that they have accepted responsibility for the magazine going forward, and I know their energy and excitement about taking it in a new direction—while keeping its foundation strong—will be a gift to new and old readers.
Whatever direction they decide to take The First Day, it is in good hands.
I hope you will tell your friends about The First Day, the soulful little magazine about faith and beginnings and love and beauty. I hope you will continue to make a space for it, however small, in your heart.
Thank you so much for reading.
Jana Llewellyn is founder of The First Day Press. She has written essays, short fiction, reviews and cultural commentary for online and print publications. Before starting The First Day, she taught writing and literature to teenagers and adults and worked as a writer and editor in Philadelphia. She lives with her three kids outside Philadelphia.
Image: Beginnings by Mike Bitzenhofer via Flickr.