I have long driven my parents and sisters to distraction by holding out on my adventures until I've had sufficient time to process them. At no time was this more true than when I returned from six months of full language-immersion study in Beijing. I left in June and returned in December of 2001; I kept my silence until April.* I like to take the time to absorb experiences before presenting my perspective on them to the rest of the universe, but somehow it feels necessary after this first week - only week - that we'll all be together to say something.
This week has been amazing. It challenged me, brought out moments of my worst (mostly in private, I hope!) and moments of my best self. I have so much to think on and digest, and I'm fortunate that I'll have at least a couple of weeks to do just that before I return to my own corner of library-land to see just how much my eyes have changed. I'm pretty certain by now that I chose the right field and that I'll be able to navigate my way through it, not that that removes the trepidation. There's nothing more I want than to do well, which more often than not means holding back lest I fail. If I've learned nothing else from this week it is that in choosing this field I'm promising not to hold back, not to avoid potential risk. That's going to be pretty damn difficult. But it's also going to be wonderful. So here's to the "end of the beginning of my library career" (R. David Lankes - class lecture July 22, 2011) and all that it may bring!
*It's well worth pointing out that being absent from the States when the towers went down had a major impact on my unwillingness to speak. I went to a foreign country only to return to one even more foreign and feel still the cultural divide of not having shared in an experience so fundamental to 21st-century America.