Aaron Bailey is a remarkable man.

As soon as you meet Aaron, you understand why so many admire him and value his presence. His drive and enthusiasm is matched only by his charisma. He is a force to be reckoned with: when he sets a vision, he devotes everything to it and brings others along with him. Aaron is determined, candid, and unexpectedly thoughtful.

I met Aaron in his first year of university, flourished in his distinctive look: browline glasses, a patterned sweater, perfectly pompadoured hair, and a longboard that appeared surfboard-sized next to him.

He doesn't know this and it's a little embarrassing to write, but I remember thinking, "I hope he fails." Not out of malice or vindictiveness but rather, out of curiosity to see how he'd handle it. After all, it's when things go wrong that the shadows of our portrait appear.

In the 5 years since having that misthought, Aaron Bailey has shown me how to weave trivial and trying experiences into coherence. While everyone sees his achievements, few see his tenderness. Again and again, I admire how his basketfuls of accomplishments are stitched with a learning of mental health & a love of community. The more strained his strings, the louder he strums his guitar.

From chasing girls in Vienna to chasing sunsets in San Francisco, I love how Babygirl-Bailey is allergic to nonsense and follows his goals with a conviction that I haven't seen in anyone else. Yes, I'm one of Aaron's loudest critics but that's because I'm one of his proudest friends.

Aaron Bailey is the last cowboy in this town