Today was lovely. I had brunch at Lone Wolf with Yasotha to discuss paramours, followed by an afternoon grading session where we sipped wine from tea cups and snacked on persimmons and pears. I went out afterwards for evening drinks to celebrate a dear friend’s successful defense.
I might dance like this after I defend. Congrats Colin!!!
So often in academia, we work in isolation. But every once in a while, we all gather. An incredible energy comes from being around a critical mass of really intelligent people. Suddenly you’re planning your fourth book project–a lofty anthology no one has done yet–with a friend whose work you admire. You start thinking about a program you might want to run. And everyone pitches in with titles of books you haven’t read yet, or different ways of looking at a project.
And everyone keeps saying, “you got this.” There is a hum of energy. A persistent murmur reminding you that you aren’t alone. You know exactly what you’re talking about, and no, you aren’t crazy.
Today was successful because I was surrounded with people who understood the challenges of my work and supported me as I slogged my way through it. I suddenly understood why companies want people to come into an office to work. We create knowledge collectively, not in isolation. I needed a community to listen as I articulated my thoughts. And I needed a community to tell me, “hey, you’re pretty smart.”
We all do. We all need people to say, “you got this.” Our families do, but it’s nice to have colleagues–the people in the trenches alongside you, suffering with you–to remind you that you’re smarter and more successful than you think.
In a world that is ready to tear you apart, it’s important to keep a team of people who can tell you the good about yourself.
You got this.