Well Ryan, you’ve ended it. You’ve ended a beautiful life. You thought that what you did would save the world. Maybe it will. It will impact the hearts and souls of so many people that will process and adopt the passion, enthusiasm, and love that you brought to the world. I would still rather have you around but I can accept your play. You had good intentions and you died with no regrets.
We both went to Arizona, we were in the same fraternity, we lived in the same house, but we were never really friends (I saw some feces last night, man you would have laughed your ass off…). I was entertained by you – the pajamas at Eller, the nasty kitchen, the Regress movement, Jolene, the countless schemes -- but eventually you graduated, I graduated, and that was it. If I were a betting man I would have put money that we’d never run into each other again….
…..but then…..you randomly, out of nowhere, showed up on my door step in Palo Alto. We stroke up a deal that night. I get dibs on your Coachella ticket for a referral to LinkedIn. Fast forward two months – I’ve gone to Coachella with all your high school friends and you are working next to me at LinkedIn. A scheme that worked (!). From then on, we were friends – real good friends – and through you I learned a whole lot about myself and what’s important in life.
If I could boil it down, I want to give you special recognition for these three things:
Enthusiasm – your intense enthusiasm made it’s way into every aspect of your life. Music, travel, get rich quick schemes, e-cigs, surfing, regress, juicing, tinder, those stupid toe shoes. More than anyone I know, you had so much enthusiasm in everything you did. I will miss that more than anything.
Realness – you were yourself. It was about who you were, not how you looked or what you had. Probably to my disadvantage professionally and huge advantage personally – you taught me the importance of being myself.
Friendship – you loved Julia. More than any of my friends, you saw her as a true friend – and I love you for that. You were so incredibly loyal and loving to us.
Thanks for introducing Settlers of Catan to me. I miss your evil laugh. Remember that time at Outside Lands when you packed raw bell peppers as your snack for the day? That was hilarious. Or that time you spurred a huge debate about how I wasn’t healthy because I didn’t wake up with a boner every morning. That time you ditched me at Coachella to hang out with Christian – and after a few hours – you came back and said “Christian is way funner than you! We are going to have a threesome!” I see your spirit in Christian more than anyone I know. Or that time you met up with Julia and I all sweaty because when you got my text you ran from North Beach to Inner Richmond wearing a Hawaiin shirt and those stupid toe shoes. Or that time you told me you cried when you saw that video of me? That really meant a lot to me. Or the time you were so proud of that hideous green sweater that you got from Goodwill. That sweater was so ugly. We had so many conversations about the meaning and purpose of life – happiness – being the one and only thing that mattered. I fondly remember us always asking strangers who the guy on our shirt was. Regress confused EVERYONE. I still don’t really get it but I think that’s the whole point. Remember when you said that instead of making dials at LinkedIn you were just going to use recruiter to find software engineers so you could get that $10k referral bonus? It didn’t work but man was it entertaining. That night we spent three hours making gnocchi with that cream based sauce? It was so bad we went to bed hungry and you gave the remains to a homeless guy. You were always thinking about the homeless, I noticed that about you. These memories will live on forever.
Every month you had some new scheme. Cricket farm, container communes, juice bar, the “people” stock market (my favorite ridiculous idea), bus tours for tourists, opening a hostel. To steal a pretty spot on quote from Jordan, “When Ryan spoke about an idea, it was as if everything had already fallen into place. It was over, and he had already won…The ideas were enough. The plans themselves and the eventual success of each were actually better than wasting years of time working on them.” You are one of a kind my dude. I love you.
Your last week was a wild ride. I’m sorry for not investing in you, or connecting you to the people I know, or in some way not influencing you out of your hypnotized state. I do feel like I could have done something and that’s been tough for me to get over. You did a selfish thing but I know that you didn’t mean for it to be selfish – your intentions were pure and I forgive you because of that.
The morning after you passed I watched this video over and over. I couldn’t stop crying. Elvis was the fucking man! I don't know if you ever got into his music but you would have loved it.
I’ve had some really good conversations this week – you were loved – Lev, Jordan, the Segal’s, Belitz, Jimmy, Pete Ryan, Bryan Breck, Gordon, Josh and Christian – even Bdave and Jason were sad that you died!
You’ve made a huge impact in my life and I’m going to be a better person because of this. You’ll be glad to hear that I intend on becoming good friends with Horen, Kendal, Stevie, Mikey – you had a great crew. Your death won’t fix the worlds problems (you weren’t Jesus, silly!) but will make the world a better place. Your spirit lives in me and all the people you touched. Luckily you have hundreds of shirts with your face on them as proof.
You were such a good person. I love you so much.