Last Year’s Letter

I hold it in my hands, feeling it, weighing it, thumbing the seal.
The light blue, greeting card-sized envelope bears no stamp and no return address, only
“Adrian Dahlin, 22 Keefe Avenue, Holyoke, MA 01040”.
I lived there last year, with my family.

I’ve had the envelope for ten days
And haven’t figured out how to open it.
When they gave it to me I immediately stored it away,
Not ready to venture inside.
Now I imagine the contents,
Trying to see through their still-sealed, paper enclosure.
Already I begin to roll my eyes,
Anticipating the words waiting within.
“No doubt it will be full of cliches,” I assure myself,
“Things we’ve all heard and some of us have said
So many times they lose their meaning.”
Sometimes I wish the Author would do more living and less preaching.
Sometimes wisdom is silent.

I wander back and shake my head
At how naive the Author was twelve months ago.
He was a different man, then, when they told him to write it.
Twelve months ago, when I wrote it.

I have more courage now.
Sometimes wisdom is silent,
But when it speaks you have to listen,
Regardless of its source.


Dear Adrian, June 2012 Edition,

This is the time. This is your time. A tremendous opportunity was given to you, and you made the most of it. From now on, however, you have to earn it; you have to earn everything. You must expect that nothing will come easy, and act as if this is the case even if great opportunities come up in the future. You must be grateful for the good received, and more grateful for the good you will be able to do.

As you embark on the “real world” journey, if there is such a thing, do not forget the most important things. When you see an opportunity to make a difference, you will fill that niche, for this is who you are. But do not forget to BE your whole self. Do not let the whole suffer as a part develops. Remember Angela’s injunction to give yourself time and space to BE. Remember Mackenzie’s advice to give yourself breaks. Remember how important it was for Cameron to fly home from Guatemala over Christmas to see his family. Remember to learn from other people’s lessons–for as much as you grow, the world grows more around you.

Remember to write, Adrian of 2012, because your self of 2011 learned much simply by writing you this letter.

Write poems,

Sing songs.

Tell stories,

Eat wisdom.


And in the doing,


It’s a pleasure to know you.


    Adrian of 2011


Perspicacity: 2011 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

GreenLink: The New Environmental Movement

This post originally appeared at Presented by the GreenLink team.

Welcome to the new environmental movement.

This blog represents the birth of GreenLink, a force that will change the way people get involved in the environmental movement. What is GreenLink? At its heart, GreenLink aims to connect people with enriching opportunities that will change their perspective of the world and help them discover their place in it.

GreenLink was conceived by Adrian Dahlin, a Tufts University student who got to study abroad twice and fulfill two internships at environmental NGOs before graduating from college. These programs left him with a desire to help other people find similar opportunities, so he built a team, and GreenLink was born.

Like you, we care deeply about our natural environment. We also care about the connection between humanity and its environment, and we know that this relationship is struggling. We see an opportunity, however, and this is where GreenLink comes in. GreenLink aims to accelerate change by educating citizens and equipping them with the power to make a difference. We’re the bridge-builder.

We want to help you study abroad, so that you can learn about other cultures and gain a global, holistic understanding of our environmental challenges. We want to connect you with an internship, so that you can develop your talents and find the kind of work that inspires and invigorates you. We want to help you find a job, so that you can use what you’ve learned to build a career within the green sector and improve our world.

We will help you become a globally-conscious green-collar citizen.

Want to change the world? We know where you can have an impact and find the partners and mentors you’ll need. Regardless of your interests, skills, degree or experience, the environmental sector has need of you. Let us help you find your place.

Visit this blog often for updates about the development of GreenLink. In addition to company news, we’ll publish travel stories, career advice, industry news and other articles from guest writers. If you’d like to write for us, email

Study Abroad → Intern → Get a Job        →        Serve the Planet

The Value of Imperfect Writing

Everyone says you need to blog regularly to get any kind of following. Business websites with blogs get somewhere between 50 and 90% more traffic when they publish a blog regularly (hosted at their own domain). As an emerging entrepreneur in the web-based business world, I can ignore this data no longer. I need to practice in my own life what I’m telling my marketing team to practice in my business.

I’ve had a hard time letting myself publish anything that hadn’t been written, edited and rewritten several times. I feel as though I can’t let myself put anything out on the web that hasn’t been thought through 100%. I labor on and leave many drafts unpublished for the sake of stringent thoughtfulness. The name of my blog is “Perspicacity”, after all. Webster defines this as “acuteness of mental vision”. If I do ever engage in truly perspicacious thinking or writing, it surely doesn’t occur regularly. Thus, if I begin blogging weekly or even more often, I must abandon the expectation that I might live up to my own name. I think that’s okay, however. Perspicacity – like all other such lofty concepts – is a goal, and writing more will, if anything, help me move closer to that goal. Hopefully the increased readers I’ll apparently get will help with that goal as well, by commenting on my writing.

So what’s the value of imperfect writing? It’s the only kind of writing there is, so I might as well get on with it.