"We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun"
Every year about this time I send out my unofficial investor's letter -- "unofficial" because 1) it does not get sent to my investors and 2) it usually has nothing to do with investing.
The best part of the letter is always a picture of my son and daughter, whose photogenicity gives the letter's recipients reason to overlook the awkwardness of my writing.
Next month Nikhil and Tarana will turn 20 and 17, and lately I have been not only aware of how much each of them is growing, but also the extent to which they are moving -- and moving away.
The pool of 2016 pictures makes me proud. There's Nikhil standing over the neatly laid out squares of dough as he makes ravioli from scratch, his hands dusted with flour and his apron tied around the back and loosely knotted in the front. There's Tarana, a bit wide-eyed but still confident, posing in front of mascot statues on her first college tours. There are separate shots of them looking respectfully at Lincoln inside the Memorial on Spring break, perhaps storing impressions and perspectives that could prove reassuring and hopeful later in the year. There's Tarana indulgently modeling my old high school varsity jacket, and Nikhil's intrepidness hiking the rims of the volcanic lakes of the Azores.
But none of these images capture the sense of movement into the future that I felt from both of them this year. At dinner, Nikhil talks about his coming move to his own place and near-future plans for work, good-naturedly adjusting his time frames as he absorbs the realities of construction schedules and trying to hone in on how envisions the workplace. Tarana experiences lofty successes in school and in competitions, mixed with some pretty bitter disappointments, digesting the sometimes inconsistent relationship between effort and outcome, but committed to always moving forward, uncertainty be damned.
So kids, as you smell the sea and feel the sky, and let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic, don't forget that we're always behind you.
Probably taking a picture.
Best wishes to all for a great 2017, appropriately a prime number, the first since 2011 and the last until 2027 (we'll have to enjoy it while we can.) May the coming year prove that no challenge is too daunting, may it bring peace and contentment on hectic days and sufficient outlets for your ambitions and opportunities to make the world better on quiet ones.