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It’s Just The Middle

Bumps in the road don’t always mark the end.

AT THE FRONT // BY Cornelius MCGrath

Dearest Reader, 

I hope you enjoyed spring followed by summer. It all came and went so fast. 

I clocked over 26,000 miles between Los Angeles, San Francisco, Memphis, Lake Geneva, Brussels, Copenhagen, Bastad, London, Toronto, Granada and Barcelona.

I spent 5 weeks outside the US — my longest stint since 2017 — split between our inaugural UK retreat, my first Swedish wedding and a family vacation to Spain.

It was certainly a summer of firsts on many fronts. I got engaged, turned 27, and took EE public as the world’s first workplace concierge.

It’s early innings, but the reaction thus far has been tremendous. We’ve announced partnerships with Spotnana, Maven and unveiled our corporate offering. “Can you do this for my clients?” is a great compliment, and we’re excited about what’s ahead.

Outside of work, I played No.3 at Medinah and completed my first public talk since the pandemic at Northwestern. My little brother moved to Fayetteville to study at the University of Arkansas and pursue his dream of covering American Football for a living. Close friends and family had their first children.

However, not all firsts were welcome.

I had a close friend pass unexpectedly, aged 28. I cried hard. He did so much. But still had so much life to live. We had so much more to experience together, and his death has made me examine the speed at which I move. 

The last few months are best summarized by a play I saw at the National Theatre called The Middle. It’s the story of a broken relationship. The wife is convinced it is the end, but the husband ends the debate by saying, “honey, it’s just the middle.” 

It’s one of the most powerful moments I’ve experienced on stage.

What I took from it is that life and our relationships are long. Make sure you and they are default alive. Take your time. Don’t be afraid to slow down or admit things are broken. Focus enables speed. But remember: bumps don’t always mark the end. Rather the middle. So stay strong, persevere and make it through.

For this issue, we spent time with Karin Kildow, Peter Pham, Alexia Williams and Othman O’Malley. An eclectic crew, to say the least.

Karin is the younger sister of Olympian Lindsey Vonn. We sat down in Los Angeles to discuss the launch of her new business, Content Capital.

Fellow Angel City resident Peter is the founder of Science, the VC firm behind Liquid Death, Dollar Shave Club and Bird. Instead of talking shop; we dive into jeen-yuhs, the Netflix documentary on the life of Kanye West that Peter produced.

Next, we move to the East Coast to see Alexia. A Fulbright scholar and special needs teacher leaving her hometown of Rhode Island to start a new life in D.C.

And finally, we move South to meet Othman. A Saudi-born American-raised PT now making waves in Elvis’ city in healthcare and wine.

In short: our contributors cover so much ground. But the commonality is that the story of our lives is often the culmination of the things we were prevented from living. The unlived life is our greatest aspiration and motivator; our greatest dream is an alternative future in which we don’t dream of alternate lives.

We long to stop longing, but we also extract deep purpose from that desire.

Anyway, that’s enough for me. I hope to see you IRL in the coming months. Catch us in D.C. for Retreat XV from Nov 17-20. It’s our last of 2022.

If we don’t intersect, email me, and I’ll do my best to make sure we connect.

Cheers — and thank you for your support.

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