on belonging

the talk went well.
okay, the talk went really well. :)

i got a number of kind compliments afterwards, i wanted to tell them all it was my first conference talk ever but i didn't. a smiling "thank you so much" is the right answer. people want us to help them do what we're doing. sometimes i forget to remember that i'm part of something pretty cool...most of the coolness has nothing to do with my contribution but that's okay. i'll take the proximity.

i discovered that when you know you've given a good talk you get this warm radiating feeling, like everything is good and like you belong, like you deserve. before the talk i kept repeating my little mantras (taken from the advice of others) and sneaking looks at the affiliation listed on my nametag saying to myself "you belong here." not until after did i start to actually feel it.

the weird thing about all of this is you only get to enjoy achievements for about two seconds before the next impossible challenge looms and makes you doubt yourself all over again. so i guess i will just enjoy this while it lasts.