“Heroes” might be too strong a word, given your aunt hesitates putting people on a pedestal. Let’s say people she admires instead, people who are in the same field, whose books she has read, and whose career trajectory she’d like to emulate in her own way. I admire a lot of people and it occurred to me on my way back to my Airbnb today how lucky I am to be able to have the opportunity to work with them face to face.
What spurred this: as per usual, your aunt has bad timing and raises her hand when it’s time to go. As per usual again, she shrugs it off because it’s not a thought she’s deeply married to (it wasn’t important, really). But one of the people she admires, the one who’s facilitating the two summer institutes she’s attending, approached her at the end of the session and wanted to hear her thoughts. My heart was going “OKAYWAITAMNOTREADYFORSENSEITONOTICEME.” There’s a part of me that’s thrilled to know, “Ah, I exist for this person,” especially since yesterday I was already very realistically, albeit cynically, going, “There are a lot of people, everyone has their own lives, and I’m not so remarkable to be worth remembering.”
But this is your aunt’s low self-esteem talking. On the other hand, while there is a small part of her that wants to be “seen and remembered,” that’s not why I’m attending these workshops. I’m here to learn, not only from him, but also from my peers. It’s just been two days, but I feel very, very full.
I’ll write something more cohesive on Thursday. At the moment, all my writing energy goes to the more academic side of things.
A dear colleague, S, brought me to an open space today to watch families play. There were young people who reminded me of all of you. On the way home too, there was a young girl eating candy from a ziplock and for some strange reason, I wanted to cry because I thought about everyone and just how much I always miss you.