On Lennon: My Human Seatbelt

I was listening to country music on the radio yesterday when the music stopped, and the radio hosts began talking. Generally, when this happens, I immediately switch the channel for more music but I was driving downtown and couldn’t take a hand off the wheel. He started talking about Thomas Rhett, who has a daughter named Lennon Love. I immediately thought of my friend Lennon, and how having the middle name ‘Love’ would be perfect for her.

Lennon moved to my school in seventh grade from another state. We played basketball together but didn’t have much interaction throughout middle school except being the only two people on the team who enjoyed running. In high school though, we were in almost every single class together and grew close at an exponential rate, especially during junior and senior years. When quarantine started at the end of senior year, everyone got the opportunity to evaluate who they wanted to actively keep in their life and for me, it was Lennon.

There are many differences between me and Lennon, honestly, we mostly just have differences, but our core values are the same. Lennon is at a small community-centered school up in Michigan studying Spanish and philosophy, she spends her weekends tramping through woods with her friends and sitting in dorm community rooms. After our freshman year of college, she told me, “my grades slipped a bit this year because I was too focused on fostering good friendships. If having friends that love like family causes me to get B’s and C’s, I’m okay with getting B’s and C’s.” I admire her deeply for having this kind of mindset… I also curse her for the anxiety she gave me whilst telling this story.

What I’ve come to appreciate the most about Lennon throughout the past two years of us being Big Girls in college though, is that she is my seatbelt stopper. When you’re in a big rush, running out of the house and trying to get in your car and leave as fast as possible, but the faster you try to put on the seatbelt, the more it stalls. You have to calm down and retract the seat belt all the way back up to the top, before slowly bringing it back down. I think everyone, especially Type A (enneagram 3) people like me, need a seatbelt stopper in their life and for me, that’s Lennon. She takes me when I am at my most tunnel-minded, rushing self, and forces me to slow down and be still.

Lennon and I regularly talk about the future, especially this summer as we make the transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen. The world of Wall Street really is about connections, and I’ve spent the majority of my summer making those big and important connections to get where I want to be. I know if I get the role I want, people will reach out to me as their big and important connections. It makes you wonder, in a world where everyone is looking to use each other as a means to an end, how do you figure out who is really there for you?

Sometimes I get tired of the constant networking, especially when I talk to Lennon. When I tell her about connecting on LinkedIn, sending DMs, and the things I talk with associates on the phone about, she asks me if I know any of their dog’s names. I tell her, “No”. She responds, “Well, you know mine.” Just like that, I’m sitting in the driver’s seat, slowly retracting my seat belt.

Lennon’s future dream is to own a summer camp so that people can learn to love the outdoors, disconnect, and make lifelong friendships like she’s made at the camp she goes to every summer. What started as a participant has now turned her into a counselor for the past two years. I remember when everyone in school had to go to sixth-grade camp and how much fun we had spending time in the outdoors, horseback riding, and sitting around campfires. Our counselors had a really big impact on our lives and we were only there for a week, I can’t imagine the impact Lennon has on her campers throughout an entire summer. I told her that if I ever do break into Wall Street, her camp would be my first investment.

Lennon was also the first person I asked to embark on a two-week-long dirtbagging trip around the United States with me last summer. You can’t be much closer than driving for hours, hammocking on free BLM land, and not showering for two weeks straight. We hiked, climbed, and caused general buffoonery in all of the National Parks on the west coast while living off a diet of peanut butter and Cuties.

When I first asked her to do this with me, she immediately replied “I would LOVE to.” That’s the thing about me and Lennon, once we have a goal in mind, it gets done. Which is why I already started saving up my PTO to make sure I can spend every summer off Wall Street, and at Lennon Love’s Summer Camp.

Yours truly,



One response to “On Lennon: My Human Seatbelt”

  1. […] A photo diary to talk about the glorious time Lennon and I had dirtbagging around the Western United… […]


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