We will.

In late 2008 my wife & I left our full-time jobs at agencies and started a design business together. We called it Brick Studios after the brick-laden buildings of Chicago. Solid. Sturdy. Modular. Pixels. The name felt good. Branching off on our own felt even better. Around the same time Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. It was a time of immense pride.

Yes, we can.

Then, as they often do, realities set in. The Markets finished crashing, housing prices plummeted, phones stopped ringing, email went dark. What better climate to start a small business?? We were already in motion and determined. We could do this. We will do this.

Yes, we can.

What followed was an education in life that no formal university or parents could provide. One that focused on perseverance, ingenuity, and the confidence that we can succeed if we continued to fight. And fight we did. We felt the sting of the housing crash after losing most of the value in our newly purchased home. We watched promised contracts be put on hold then wither away after months of uncertainty. No matter, we'll create our own work, we'll keep learning, growing, talking to other people and figure this out. But most importantly we'll take care of each other even when it's dark.

Yes, we can.

Sure enough, by 2010 we found light. And that light continued to grow brighter as pushed towards 2012. More diverse projects began to open up and opportunities started sprouting. It was a period of immense personal and professional growth. I learned more about design, business, politics, taxes, collaboration, and life than I’d ever thought possible in four years time. It was empowering to see our efforts bare fruit and realize that we had done it on our own – together.

But no success is truly idle as we began to set our sights on the changing world of software & product design. We thought, What if we could "ante-up" in Silicon Valley? We could learn so much more, become empowered by the collective intelligence of our peers and challenge ourselves in ways unknown to us. And maybe even drink a little wine. We can do this.

Yes, we can.

Now, after 4 years of living and breathing SF start-up life and California-living we are solid. I'm currently designing software @uber and my wife is riding a few start up waves herself. Opportunity in the form of learning and fiscal gain are higher than they've ever been in either of our lives. We are healthy and better people because of these past experiences. We're better people because we took care of each other and listened to others point of view. We're better because we were inspired by hope and the confidence that hope brings, even if it were peripheral. No one is taking that from me.

So, with all of that said, I'd like to take this moment in history to say thank you, Mr. President. For your fight. For your resolve to stay positive in the darkest of dark. For your pragmatism and sense of reason. I have hope that we will continue to succeed and that our nation will improve its current weaknesses. You've given me that hope. You've provided change. You've inspired me to fight for our values with grace and dignity. That is the legacy you have imprinted on this citizen.

You're work here is done… for now.

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