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Old Friend

Under the Cover of Darkness by The Strokes

Don’t go that way I’ll wait for you And I’m tired of all your friends

Listening at your door I want what’s better for you


Two years deep now. Halfway in. Halfway… or perhaps more? An arbitrary mark if I’m being honest. We screen so many resumes and wonder why people on having a new job every year, despite very well knowing that humans aren’t meant to stay tied down. When one of my best friends, my mentor, my coworker… when they leave, what is left in the nest? It is doesn’t seem to be a hollow shell, but I would obviously be lying if it didn’t feel a little more empty. Their final, corporate words to me:

Brady, [They’re] is lucky to have you, and I deeply believe there is much more you can do for us that hasn’t even started!

I will probably puzzle over these words for a good deal longer than is necessary or required, let alone expected. My gut instinct was clear – I am clearly in need of a larger rib cage, for the one I am currently possessing is far too small and enclosed. For some reason utterly unbeknownst to me, my heart grew three sizes too large and ten pounds to heavy upon reading all of this. Maybe it’s just time for an upgrade…

Don’t think about it too much, they said. We only had one shot and this is what we came out with, it’s not something you need to etch in stone. But alas my friend, etched in digital stone it shall remain. Personally, I prefer to view it as a challenge. No matter what they threw out at me, I would always do my best to deal with it, one way or the other. I’ve had some pretty rough times, but as always, we made it through it.

Naively I like to think those dog days are over, and perhaps Florence and I can get on with it and see the light the next day. My friend seems to delight in pointing out the naivety of those ideas. Not only are they not over, but they are going to get harder and harder. I have no idea what possible walls will be thrown my way. Can I scale them? Or will they run into me at full speed, leaving me utterly incapable of standing upright, let alone proceeding forward?

Luck is the last part of it. I’ve always held a theory that wishing someone luck is, on average, not a nice thing to do. Luck seems fairly uniformly distributed to me, so you are far more likely to ruin their day than make it (if you assume \min{Luck} >= 0). The interpretation I’ve always preferred is that “in many, many timelines, very few of them ended up with us here right now”. That isn’t good or bad, it’s just a fact. Commenting on the rarity of the situation is equally exciting to me. I naturally enjoy betting on things, and love to take the underdog in similar acts.

I don’t think I’ll ever know what he was trying to say, but I do know that every few months, I lose another mentor and another friend. This isn’t the worst thing that could happen in my life, but it really feels like that we are trying to keep our super stars burning bright. Even if they aren’t at the same office as me, I am going to keep following them and making sure they don’t have any smudges of dirt on them. That’s what friends do after all, they don’t just stand next to bright, shining stars, they actually take the time to lean over, polish them, and make sure their friends shine even brighter.