In about a half-hour, I’m going to an awards ceremony.
See, the thing is, I’ve been trying to hide from this for a couple of weeks now. I was nominated for an award about a month and a half ago, and tonight is the ceremony. These sort of things make me uncomfortable because for me, any sort of competitive setting stirs the ol’ spirit.
I didn’t dare hope to win, but what if I don’t win? What does that mean about my work? Immediately, I began to hide as best I could. If I don’t move, if I don’t make a peep on the Interwebz, no one will know, right?
Last week, in the midst of harnessing my prana, I thought back to growing up. There is a person who was very influential in my life for the antithesis of who he is. Every year that passed, I swore to myself I would not resemble this person in any way. Which, maybe, was lucky because it made me explore interests outside of science, math and technology (the first two are not my strong suits anyhow). I didn’t consider state schools and certainly not any in the Bay Area. I don’t know what would have happened if I had chosen computer science as my undecided, like the rest of my high school, or if I had stayed in California. But I do know that what I’ve learned from taking this path, I use everyday.
Since then, I’ve really come around. So I’ve decided – this is my immutable conclusion based on self-observation: One way or another, every person from Silicon Valley comes full circle, right back to technology. As I slipped and slid on my mat, I had to ask myself, why let this person define what technology means to me? Then I realized I had already emotionally peeled myself away from that before those thoughts assembled. After 25 years, I’m finally starting to grow up here, too.
And so, in the hour-eve of this awards ceremony, I’ve made the connection: Why let whether I receive this award define what my work means to me? While it would be an honor to be recognized by my peers – by people who know all the behind-the-scenes work that happens to put forth a product to be proud of – ultimately, I don’t do it for them, and whether I win won’t change how I go about it.
“Duh,” is probably what’s thrumming through your mind right now. Easy conclusion, I know, but it wasn’t for me (give me a break – I’m Asian. Yep, that card.).
So I’m sitting here, all dolled up, or at least as dolled up as I get. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’m feeling a little lighter, no longer embarrassed. And I’m really excited now to be in the company of my peers. They’re cool peeps, these nominees and attendees. And I’m lucky to be with them.
Oh. And I also heard there will be free food.