I think we should start from the beginning. But, I don’t know where that is.
My apologies for not posting since my last one a year ago. To be honest, this blog, which was my own idea, scares the living snot right outta me, and I’ve decided to be translucent and tell you why.
As a budding Astrophysicist and Cosmogonist (no, that’s not a typo for Cosmologist), every single thing I say and do is going to be judged by some of those who know better than me, are a little older than me, a little wiser than me, and have been at this for a very long time.
But then there are going to be those who know less than me but like to act like they know more, their blustery bravado overshadowing their lack of good sense that God gave a goose. It’s those people with which I don’t currently wish to tangle. Because if they hate me enough (and there will be those who hate what I stand for and what I’m ultimately trying to do), they just may have the potential to ruin me, possibly before I’ve even begun. I don’t want people to label me a nutjob before I’ve done enough to really prove that I am!
This dichotomy has been rolling around in my head all year and franky, kept me from posting. I haven’t stopped working and making connections that I think are crucial to where I wish to go in my studies, my research, and my career, but I’m now beginning to ask myself if this blog was maybe a too-ambitious idea. Was it even a bad idea altogether? Should I seek advice from professors and esteemed colleagues who have more experience with research in the public eye before I even continue? That’s where a good mentor would come in, but currently, mine is at a new school and too busy to even talk to me right now.
Do you, my readers and potential followers/supporters of my research, have an opinion on this one way or the other? What do you think I should do? Shut it down, or continue in small bits, generating conversation and open, honest dialogue within it, like I wanted to do from the beginning? How do I know if these nagging concerns aren’t something bigger than myself, trying to warn me to hold off?
As a Christian for most of my life, I’ve tried to listen to the small, still voice that resides in the heads of every person, and honestly, it seems to be the one thing I’ve had the most trouble doing. Self-doubt has and still does plague everything I do. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of my many artistic endeavours, or my work in Applied Mathematics and Astronomy. I’ve lived with that for most of my life as well. In fact, it’s one of the first things my professors and advisors noticed about me. “Carla, the information is in there. When I get you in my office and ask you this information, face-to-face, you know the answers immediately and never question that. But when you take quizzes and exams and are under pressure, you second-guess yourself, and end up undermining your own work.”
PhD work is nothing but pressure, and with my aspirations to work for NASA in the mix, well, that agency regularly employs people who hold the lives of astronauts in their hands every single day. Naw, that isn’t pressure, ya baby.
In light of that information, should these self-doubts instead be viewed as a product of my human condition, written off as just doubts, and simply ignored?
I wish I had the answer. The reason I began this blog was so I could meet other, like-minded colleagues and we could share ideas that would ultimately get us to the same place. And maybe that’s my answer right there. Maybe, for once in my life, I can proceed without caution and the pessimism that has plagued me, and simply start small, and trust that what I put out there and create will return to me with positivity and light.
A few months ago, a man whom I’ve come to regard not as an international rock star, but as a budding friend, posted something to his Twitter feed that has stuck with me (like so much of what he says), and it was something like, Change is coming. I don’t know what it is, but I can feel it.
I had to agree with him that time (I’ll explain why in a minute). I don’t usually reply to those types of tweets, firstly because if I want to discuss something like that with him I can do it in other venues, and secondly, simply because so many others will inundate him with their responses. I guess it’s their way of getting him to notice that they exist, I don’t know. They’re very sweet people who accept me as I am in all my very public and fabulous flaws, so I don’t want to speculate on that. But I know from my own experience of working in television, stage and film, that I’ve had my own share of that sort of thing, and it can be tiring. I was never internationally-known (although one of my NBC shows went to syndication in the UK and Europe), but having had two separate stalkers, one of whom still tries to gain access to me through my medical information, I can only imagine what he goes through, and it wears on a person’s mind and body. I’m purposely not using his name right now just so I won’t prey on his fame just to drive traffic to my own blog. If I have followers, then I want them here because this is a subject in which they truly want to be a part.
I’ve been at an advantage to these others, because I don’t get starry-eyed. If I talk to a person, or respond to your tweet or Facebook message, or send you a DM, its not because of your fame and fortune. I have plenty of A-list friends. But not because they’re A-list. If we talk, it’s because I genuinely like you as a person and want to get to know you in that way. You could lose all your fame and fortune tomorrow, and I would still be loyal as a cat in your homelessness. You don’t believe me? G’head. Miss a house payment.
He said he could sense a change coming. Just the day before, I, too, felt something different in that way, but couldn’t describe it. And it took a little while, but it finally occurred just last week. I got sick and tired and fed up with my pessimistic outlook on life. But I’ve never called it pessimism. I’ve labeled it pragmatism. Now, I’ve been fed up with myself before, many times, to the point where I was considering suicide with a butter knife and a shoe. But this time, I actually decided to take real steps to change it. Which meant I needed to actively stop myself from pessimistic thoughts or actions when I saw them happening. I see so many others around me that are positive, always living in hope. I’m envious of that relaxation. Hope is a word I’ve never understood and had little of, but now I see that it’s something we have to live in expectation of. It can’t just be something that we passively dream of dropping into our laps. Hope is a decision. And once we decide to live in hope, then Faith follows. But that’s another blog post.
So, I’ll start small and then see how things go. I’ll get my notes and thoughts together, and take time this afternoon or evening to make my first real post on the subject of Quantum Holiness. I’m actually quite excited by some connections and ideas I’ve had over the last few months. Now I think it’s time to ease you, the public, into them and open them up for dialogue. I need y’all to keep this Southern Belle honest.