The past few weeks have been hard.
There I was...getting ahead of myself, big time making plans without having the data I needed to be making plans. (What is MY problem?) Oh friends I'm a big visionary. I'm just going to say it. I've got insane runway, ideas, and 360 degrees of how to argue on a topic, and grand views of the world at large. I'm a mercenary when I get my head around something.
Then my world fell apart.
A friend and brilliant marketer, Summer Austin died tragically last Friday. I just saw her weeks ago as she giggled at my silliness. "Forget the QBees", she laughed. Summer had a way with work and life: work hard, have fun and she just an amazing soul you wanted to know and learn from. Twenty minutes before she took off, she snapped this photo. "So this is happening" she wrote.
And despite Summer's own fears, including flying, she made stuff happen.
Minutes later, her plane crashed with three others. The other couple had two small kids. The whole thing has rocked my world. I'm at a loss. I don't know what to say. Things feel surreal, fuzzy and I'm just really sad.
But death brings us together to celebrate life with people we don't think we know.
But we do know them....
When we lose something or someone, we gather to share by celebrating our experiences.
And let me just tell you Summer's facebook page is full of happy amazing experiences.
The startup world feels lonely. Entrepreneurship is about doing things the harder way to get to a better way. It's not for the faint hearted. However, feeling lost, which happens often when you're in a constant state of chaos, is natural. It's your body, mind, and soul trying to focus your way through to the next puzzle piece in life.
Today I cleared my calendar. I needed a sense of meaning, purpose and belonging. Strangely I wanted nothing to do with any of my colleagues. I wanted to be with strangers. So, I met Howard Love, a successful founder and angel investor along with 10 others. He came to Houston to pitch, The Startup-J Curve, which I'm likely to read soon on a long haul to Latin America. I've skimmed and so far it looks magnificent. (My hats off to Howard. He's a wanna-be oil wildcatter from Silicon Valley, so you know I'm drooling.)
In that 6 hour experience I met complete strangers that were so familiar.
I got to hear that I wasn't alone in my thoughts and crazy rollercoaster emotions. I got to hear that I was normal. (that's taking it a little far right?) I found myself right where I was supposed to be..."where everyone knows your name..." I could feel real and experience things with others I knew better than I thought.
So, I say "cheers" and toast all of you. When you feel alone, know that you aren't. Just go where people know you, can "feel you", and can help you pivot from loss.
Until we meet again to dance, sing, and giggle among the angels in heaven.
Rest in peace, sweet Summer.
Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
All those nights when your've got no lights, the check is in the mail.
And your little angel hung the cat up by it's tail.
And your third fiancй didn't show!
Sometimes you wanna go..
Where everybody knows your name
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
the troubles are all the same.
you wanna be where everybody knows your name