To a beginning. Any beginning really, so long as a I begin.
I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready to start a blog where my struggles of grad school are discussed. Not until I’ve overcome them. All of them.
And I’m certainly not ready to muse about theoretical computer science and math and academia and teaching and life. Not when there are already poignant and funny and impactful and poetic and brilliant people with far more clout already musing with much more eloquence and insight. Giants.
I’m certainly much more ready than I was a year ago. But that’s still not at all ready and I know I will be much more ready next year. In fact, I know next year I won’t be at all ready either and the following year will prepare me much better. It will prepare me to better talk about complex things without sounding like an idiot and it will help me avoid the even more heinous act of mistaking trivial topics as complex ones and pontificating deeply about things that everybody already knew. If I hold off for a few more years I’ll be able to get a much better start. Of course, we know the same reasoning will apply then too though. And I’m sure most years will find me surrounded by giants doing everything much better than I could offer.
So why start a blog if I have nothing new to offer? Why start a blog if I don’t have a masterplan of how to be original or insightful or helpful? Why start a blog if I’m not ready? Why start a blog at all, really?
Do I saintly just want knowledge and to learn? To clarify my thoughts through writing and to be the beneficiary of the wisdom of commenters? Or, even more saintly, do I want to impart what knowledge I have and will acquire, giving intuitions and connections I struggled to attain?
Or do I, less saintly, want fame and recognition? To have a chance to display my humor and cultural awareness and humanity? To show off the intuitions and connections I struggled to attain that are generally esoteric and long-winded enough that force me to be isolated in my exultations? Do I want to gain confidence that I do know what I’m talking about and have insightful perspectives? Validation? Ego?
Or do I maybe, more neutrally, want to commiserate and help others commiserate in the human journey through research and ambition and disappointment? To be part of the community and to interact with our tiltings and aspirations?
Questions. Questions are all I have.
Most curious, though, is that, while I have very poorly defined reasons of why I should do this, I have very well defined reasons why I shouldn’t.
I don’t know enough of what I’m talking about. I don’t have time for this. I should wait until I have my PhD to have the right to do this. I may not be able to understand some of the comments on my own blog. I don’t have time for this. I will often say things that are incorrect or misinformed. People may not like me. I don’t have time for this. I might offend people or violate decorum. I don’t have time for this. I should be working I should be working I should be working.
So I’m not ready for this, but I’m going to start this. I’m not ready and I’m scared.
I’m scared people may find me ignorant. I’m scared I have nothing new to say. I’m scared what I say will be derivative. I’m scared that my opinions will be out in the immutable internet. I’m scared I will be considered vain. I’m scared I’ll start this and not follow through with it. I’m scared that I’ll be openly critiqued. I’m scared I’ll be critiqued behind my back. I’m scared of coming off angsty. I’m scared of coming off naïve and idealistic. I’m scared of coming off spoiled and too crass and ungrateful and too proper and cliché. I’m scared of being discovered as an impostor.
These fears overpower my acknowledgement that I do have some things worth saying and that I am hardworking and smart. Despite my self-deprecation, I do have confidence in my abilities and give weight to my ambitions and actively try to grow with those around me. And I have faith that this blog will evolve into something that can answer some of my above questions and enrich me and others in the process. But these positive thoughts are all drowned out by these fears. So how did this blog even start then?
The reason I’m doing this blog is because all of these fears pale in comparison to a bigger fear. The fear that I should fear.