the mad ones

11:54 PM

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 
Leaving is not my strong suit. I’m not the cute cryer that you just want to hug. I am the obnoxious, snot-running, eyes puffy, unable-to-form words cryer and therefore, goodbyes tend to be strenuous and painful. I avoid them as much as possible. So here is a bit more of an articulate goodbye, you may imagine me red and puffy-eyed if you choose.

To my 63 roommates: I did not come to Invisible Children for community but as I leave, I consider it my greatest take away. Tessa told me this before I left: it’s good that it’s painful, because that means we did it right. Leaving was that, painful. I look at you all as individuals and think, “man, if only this ecstasy of life was everywhere, wouldn’t cynicism be defeated”

We’re leaving with stronger convictions, louder courage and a battle-proof skin. Some are coming back to the office walls, but for the few of us heading off to pursue other things, these four months were all we had. Some people are going back to chaos and complacency and for those of you, I pray you find inner-peace amongst the chaos and purpose in the complacency. I don’t know what I’m feeling right now. I’m certainly terrified of the transition. But like Emily and Erin sang to us at the last house meeting, what doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger.  

Thanks for the garage-talks, the movie nights, the dance parties, the acoustic performances, the grace you had when someone took too long in the shower, the close calls in the kitchen, the random bop-it tournaments and most of all, thanks for the sacrifices you made to be a part of my life this Spring. The very fact that you came back from tour speaks perseverance.

To the Ugandan Roadies. “A foy yo” for advocating on behalf of your neighbors still without peace. I can honestly say, sending Boni on the plane home was one of the deepest heartbreaks I can recall in my life. I hope your communities treat you as the heros that you are. You can bet that I’ll be practicing my Luo until I come and visit next summer.

And to my team. We set the world on fire, and I know that makes you want to vomit because we have only listened to that song no short of 100 times. But we did. We forced people to think differently and in response,  we were criticized, persecuted, praised and applauded. Soon, we’re gonna forget what it was like to live out of a 15 passenger van, someday we might recover from the loss of sleep. But when you get to the point where your making a real income, eating real food and actually living somewhere, I will drive to where you are, pick you up and drive for as long as it takes for us to remember what it was about the road that made us fully, painfully and simply live. This is no commencement speech but I can’t help but say we made it. 20 States, a few thousand miles, a lot of cough drops, and a handful of mixtapes later, we came back . We made it, and I will always love you for that. 

The only people for me are the mad ones. Keep burning and I’ll see ya soon :) 

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