The last 24 hours have been full of good conversations, which I will be vague about now. First with my aunt, then with Melanie. Then I went to Olin for Arbitrary Hour and wound up at dinner with Yifan and Nikki, then with Hari, talking about whether universal education and healthcare are actually human rights (neither of us are entirely sure), and whether the hypothesis that you can either have control over your message or rapid proliferation of it (but not both) is actually provable or correct. Then Colin, on acoustics. Then I discovered that I'll have to miss Sylvia's lecture concert because of an early plane flight (but she's taping it, so I'm ok).

When I am a professor, I will have an online presence like Matt Jadud, with reflections on the classes that my students and I co-create.

I don't want to learn how to approach investors or apply for grants or hire people, at least not now. Money and man-hours are not magic wands; you need something to use them for, and I will figure that out first. What are the priorities and how much in the way of resources will they take? What can't you do yourself?

There's a difference between working on something bigger than yourself and becoming something bigger than yourself to do it. The latter way may actually be the best way to serve your cause, at times. I need to make sure I make my decisions based on what's right, not on what I want to do. I tend to be incredibly shy and averse to any sort of publicity, so if I speak or teach something it means I really love it enough to overcome that.

The Matthew Effect. Another thing that you have to buy into to counteract. One corollary of this, as pointed out in Good Work, is that early career ascendancy gives you more of a chance to influence your primary field, and to also work outside of it - both things I enjoy doing. I'm slowly bringing myself to believe that I do deserve the ability to do great things, to try my hand at those responsibilities. That I should not stop myself, get in my own way, hold myself back. That the only way to learn how to control - and find the limits of - whatever power I might have - is to let myself use it.

It's scary, though. I shake - I actually physically shake with fear - after doing something really well. It happens rarely. A few times a year. The times where I forget myself and lose the reins - I'm usually teaching or speaking or something - and something comes rushing through me and everything flows in a painfully acute balance and then... the muse is gone, the vessel breathless, and I'm scared to hone myself as a possible receptor for that more because it's wonderful and what the hell is going on this scares me because I don't understand it.

I want to open myself to being able to really serve in the way I was meant to (semi-Catholic-ish phrasing; I don't know any other), and take whatever comes from that. I will shepherd and manage my own life and talents so that they can be used in service of Some(one/thing) Better. I'm a normal human being with a lot of flaws, and I can't settle for anything other than the best of what I'm meant to be - and so a lifetime of Hard Things and Fears To Face awaits.

Pentecost must have been terrifying.