350: On The Shoulders Of Giants/ Dear Darien

Dear Darien,

I suppose the suddenness with which we’re about to be flung apart is a fitting poetic return on the suddenness with which we were thrown together; and yet, just contemplating it drives me to tears every time.

I remember with incredible clarity the day we first met. You were adventurers and entrepreneurs, artists and poets, geniuses and prodigies. You all seemed so big, that morning on the K10 lawn — so much bigger than I could ever be. I wondered whether there was a chance in this world that I could ever find a place among this stunning display of human talent, tenacity, bravery, and joie de vivre.

Today, as we approach the final moments of our collective adventure, I wonder instead whether I will ever find a place outside of Darien.

When I came to you, I was not yet entirely whole. I arrived in Prague both acutely aware of my many flaws, and distinctly unaware of how to fix them. I came to you self conscious, unmotivated, stubborn, and feeling wholly undeserving your friendship, love, and helping hands.

In many ways, the end of Darien feels less like a goodbye than it does a graduation.

I believe it was Isaac Newton who proclaimed that his massive accomplishments were achieved by “standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Because of you, I finally understand what that means.

Thank you for being my giants, Darien.

Thank you for teaching me to give love without reservation in June.

Thank you for giving me the gift of unconditional friendship in July.

Thank you for making me feel beautiful in August.

Thank you for showing me that it’s ok to ask for help in September.

Thank you for helping me open my mind in October.

Thank you for banding together and sharing your warmth in November.

Thank you for showing me my value as a friend in December.

Thank you for reminding me that it’s ok to laugh at myself in January.

Thank you for teaching me the real meaning of family in February.

Thank you for showing me that it’s alright to show emotion in March.

Thank you for being pillars, rocks, and cheerleaders in April.

Thank you for staying right by my side in May.

Thank you for taking a person who struggled to see the light in herself and making her burn as brightly as the early fall sunshine in Buenos Aires. Thank you for being the greatest friends I never knew I deserved, or could ask for. Thank you for being my giants, Darien. I still can’t believe all that I have accomplished while standing on your shoulders.

I know in my heart and in my soul that this is far from goodbye. It’s clear, in fact, that in many ways this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what each of you accomplishes. I can’t wait to watch you form businesses, climb ladders, and reach for your dreams. I can’t wait to see the places you’ll visit and the adventures you’ll have. I can’t wait to be there with words of encouragement, hugs, and pints of beer whenever you need a friend, or a celebration. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life trying to give back to each of you even a fraction of what you’ve given to me.

With just two weeks left, I want you to know that I am not afraid of saying goodbye to you, my giants.

I am thankful for everything we’ve shared, everything we’ve learned, and every way we’ve grown. With bonds in place that make me sure I am irrevocably tied to each one of you, this simply cannot be the end.

With that, don’t be surprised if I struggle to say “goodbye” in two weeks as we set out for the flights that will scatter us across the planet. Instead, I’ll see you on the road, Darien. I can’t wait to see where we’ll go next.