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Hey Old Guy

Written By: Lauren Howard



Hey Old Guy:


You’ve been really bad at answering my calls lately, so I figured I would try to reach you another way. 


This week was a big one for me. It was the three year anniversary of when I left the job that broke me in ways that I may not even fully comprehend. I spent a lot of the day thinking about how I can’t believe so much time has gone by, and also how I’m not sure you would have recognized the person that I had become. 


But the one I am now? This is who you wanted me to be with every fiber of your being. 


You gave me my first job right out of college and let me run wild with ideas and plans and big dreams. You were never scared of any of it falling flat because you knew we would just get back up again. You just knew. 


You reminded me all the time that just because it was that way didn’t mean it needed to be that way. 

Together, we built a multisite mental health clinic, utilization review company, and forensic psychiatry program like the one that you dreamed of for your entire career. You let me build, and I gave you the bandwidth to do nothing more than care and be smart. That combo was pretty unstoppable. 


I thought my time in that space was done without you. When you left, I moved on to other things; things that would both teach me invaluable skills but also leave me a shadow of myself. I learned about toxic workplaces and how they can break people. I learned how it’s never “just a job” when your mental health is at stake. 


The truth is, you were on my mind through all of it. You were the voice in my head telling me that I deserved more. 


When I left that role, painfully and unceremoniously, I did what you always said would help. I started sharing. I found not only validation but women who were a few steps behind me in their processes who needed to hear what I went through and how I eventually got out. It made me brave and strong, even though I’m still scared a lot of the time. 


And then this week, at exactly the three-year mark of meeting the possibility of this version of me, I bought a mental health practice that will help us help people get through the things that I didn’t think I could overcome. We’ll integrate it into our current programs to ensure that the help you wanted everyone to have is just a click away. 


None of this would be possible without you. It’s been 7.5 years since you left, and you’re still the first person on my mind every day. 

I can’t believe this life I get to live. I can’t believe I get to live your legacy every day. I also can’t believe I’m doing it without you.


Thank you for being my dad. I hope you’re proud. 


Love you, 


Your daughter 


(Oh! They all call me L2 now. I know it’s weird. It doesn’t actually have anything to do with you, but people think it does, and that’s neat.) 



 


Founder & CEO at elletwo



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