Lessons From Skye (Not Skype)


When I was a freshman in college, I made a friend named Skye.  Skye was not her real name, but rather the name she went by.  Skye once joked with me that her therapist and psychologist would have preferred she picked a more grounded name since her head was already  in the clouds.

Skye was certainly a troubled girl, but she was also one of the kindest people I have ever met.  At the time when I met her, I was a huge fan of the Lemonheads, and they had just released an album called Car Button Cloth. One of my favorite songs on the album was called If I Could Talk I’d Tell You which mentioned the act of flushing Zoloft down the toilet.  Back in 1996, the internet was not readily available on 6 different devices within 50 feet of me, so I chose to ask my friend Skye what kind of drug Zoloft was.  Sure enough, she knew.  In fact, I believe she actually had some Zoloft of her own.

As I got to know Skye better, I realized that the simple victories of my life that kept me smiling and happy on a daily basis were vacant from her life.  Many of my friends were not interested in getting to know Skye, and I recall that one of them referred to her as “crazy as the day is long.”

Puzzled by her angst, I went for a long walk in the quad with my friend to try and make sense of her depression.  It was then that I came to an epiphany that benefited both of us.  Skye was not depressed because she couldn’t get what she wanted in life.  She was depressed because she literally didn’t know what she wanted in life.  When I said this out loud, she said that I had provided insight that years of therapy could not.  Then she did something that no one had ever done for me before.  She called me her hero and swore her loyalty to helping me in life.  I don’t remember exactly what she said, but that was the jist.

The Lesson

That was 15 years ago, and we have completely lost touch.  It should come as no surprise that our dysfunctional friendship had to overcome many problems.  For one thing, Skye was an idealist whereas I was/am more of a realist.  But despite how things are now, I will never forget that fateful day that she told me I was her hero.   It is my hope that this story will give my readers some insight into why someone they know is always down.  Or at the very least, allow those of us with goals and dreams to appreciate that we are not stuck in the clouds with no compass like Skye was.


As we grow older, time becomes less and less on our side as it relates to fulfilling our dreams.  Many of us take for granted that a young and intelligent boy or girl would know what they want out of life, at least generally.  Back in college, most of us could be fulfilled by thinking about the weekend, parties, or a romantic interest.  For others, sadly, it just was not enough.  I foresee that the lesson from the Tale of Skye will again become applicable as many of us change careers, or begin again in a substantial area in our life.

Thank you Skye.  I hope the view is still nice up there.

Bright Lights, Big City.


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