Thursday July 16th

Conversations at intersections

  • This summer has been incredibly meaningful to me. I’ve touched so many spaces. From Art to architecture, to building and Computer Science, to Economics, and business, it’s really broadened my world and forced me to think about things I haven’t thought of before. Possibilities of things I could pursue in the future. I feel as though I’ve been sailing on a boat to a strange land, and have just come back to shore to the dock upon which I first started my journey.
  • I joined an Abolition reading group, wrote in secret and for all to see, had dances in virtual spaces and became a virtual avatar. I asked strangers about their hopes, dreams and memories, their motivations, and tied for first place in a game of two truths and a lie.
  • It’s made me a lot more aware of these spaces, and to see the shortcomings of certain other spaces. And for that, I’m grateful.
  • I cried and shed my anger and frustration in other spaces, and received virtual hugs from strangers in other spaces. I received assurance that my feelings were valid, and that there were people out there like myself who felt the same.
  • I met a person today who told me that my background was unique, fascinating, and that I definitely have a lot to say. They encouraged me to write, saying that some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while are important. I write on this blog, but they said I should think about writing on Medium also. So maybe I’ll do that; we’ll see. For one of the groups I’m in, I do have to write a Medium Blog post.

Today stretched me

  • Today stretched me in a way that I would not have anticipated. I was around a bunch of very successful persons in the business AI space, and their mindset is incredibly different from the AI research (or research in general) space. All of a sudden, it made me think about things that are lacking in the paths that I am currently pursuing. It opened up my world-view. Similarly, as part of the Fellowships I’m doing, I am in one assigned a mentor who pursued a PhD and then started his own business, and in another part of a group where several persons have their own companies, or are thinking of starting their own. It’s such a different space to be in from both the software developer space (where the focus is on getting a job at FAANG) or the Academic space (where the focus can be either getting a job as a Professor or at an Industry Lab).
  • One of my mentors told me that his programme head once told him that their goal for his PhD was to make my mentor unemployable by the end of his PhD. That’s such an interesting way to think about a PhD. You set out to forge your own path, and if you are hired by a place, it is because what you do is so unique that it is just you who can do it, and so you have to be given the opportunity to start your own department or something like that. I think that’s awesome. You do you. As someone who has always been a bit of an outcast, who moves between spaces, this is super appealing to me.

A lot of this summer

  • A lot of this summer has been that of healing, but also of finding so much comfort in my skin, for who I am. At least one CEO of a major company told me today that I was a “rising star” and another of my peers who probably has a company in my Fellowship group has said to me that they were impressed with me. But I haven’t given myself room until this summer to feel that. I had not given myself the opportunity to look back at the journey, only to look ahead at all the things I haven’t done that I want to do yet.
  • Furthermore, this summer has given me an opportunity to get excited about the world again. You cannot imagine how many friendships I have made, how many people have touched me this summer with their words and kindness, and how many tears I have cried. How many virtual hugs I have wanted to give to all my new friends, who I hope I can cherish for a long, long time.
  • If I can describe it, this summer has felt like I stepped onto a Merry go round with a bunch of people, and we spun around and around at the highest velocity. It was wild, terrifying, and simultaneously thrilling. It’s been so much fun.

I’m grateful

  • Thank you for helping me see value and potential in myself, and for seeing value and potential in me. Thank you for taking me into this crazy journey of twists and turns, of art and poetry, a room to fail and try weird and crazy things. Of opening up with deep vulnerability and kindness, with human empathy and love for me as a human being, with all my flaws.

Thank you

Written on July 16, 2020