It's been a weird day so far this morning. Trying to stay atop work, trying to breathe, trying not to drop things, trying to balance...
This morning, TuxRadar ran my piece on open source education in Europe (many thanks to Dave Neary for the pointers). I'm also now officially a piece of Purdue propaganda - my work with open source and education was featured in a "5 students who are example makers" profile by Sue Ferringer and also got picked up in the (Purdue) Presidents' Newsletter. This was, to employ a generic and overused phrase, "really cool." It also threw me off equilibrium a little bit (though in a positive way, I think) - I'm not used to that kind of attention.
I love how the photographer managed to capture me in can't-sit-still mode. But it's still a little weird to look at the website and go "wait, is that me?" It's fascinating to see how much gravitas a shiny website, good photos, and snappy text can add. I'm desperately learning how to combat impostor syndrome; I still get overwhelmed, confused, lost, tired - but I am doing awesome things, and I shouldn't forget that side either. The challenge is to keep my eye on what's important, following my own internal compass towards learning and doing excellent work, regardless of the circumstances. The more I charge forth into the world, the more important being grounded becomes; I'm trying to build a foundation of being centered and taking time to rest and renew and recalibrate.
And so I read, I stretch, I take the time to cook and eat good food. I'm about to do lunch in a moment, but before doing that, here's something else that gave me pause today - some folks made a couple comic strips about Hobbes (from Calvin & Hobbes) and Bacon (daughter of Calvin and Susie, named after the philosopher). It's a beautiful homage. This post has links to all four strips (use the alternate links), and NPR has commentary on them as well as a pointer to Gerry Canavan's collection of Calvin-as-a-grownup drawings from multiple artists (one is PG-13 NSFW, though if you get depressed at the last strip do see the sequel halfway down the thread here).
I loved Calvin & Hobbes as a child. I still do. And found reading the Hobbes & Bacon strips to be a lovely, bittersweet moment; time moves on and life moves on, and we see others walk the paths we once trod. I've been thinking a lot about the future lately, and how perpetual adolescence is no longer such a central part of my identity - I'm no longer everyone's kid sister, I'm taking on more complex roles. And that is strange and new, budding and unfamiliar - and wonderful. It's amazing how much you can grow when you feel safe, and when you channel your energy towards learning (and the associated discomfort) instead of defense mechanisms. Crazy.
To the people, places, and communities who make me feel safe and grounded, and give me a solid place to fly from and to come back to: thank you.