Sea-Tac airport, post AAG annual meeting (Association of American Geographers), waiting for the redeye to suck me into the sky, take me safely home to Montreal, my two cats, my lovely future wife, my life.
During the AAG conference here in Seattle I made a breakthrough. I got an interview, and I learned the value of relationships. I’ve never been much of a people person. A bit like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, I sometimes make human interaction out to be a necessary evil.
I have been disabused of that notion over the last four months, but especially over the last five days in Seattle.
At one point I ‘found’ myself on the 22nd floor of the Hilton with three very elite individuals from a very prestigious institution. They were interviewing me. But rather than let it remain a one way grilling, I turned it into a two way discussion. My interviewing and people skills are improving!
I followed up on some contacts with book publishers (I have submitted a book proposal based on my dissertation) located in the exhibit hall of this massive conference.
Any given hour at least 20 concurrent sessions, 5 session times per day for four and a half days. This was an incredible chance to meet a whole lot of people.
Attending the annual AAG meeting this year was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. It has wiped away the self-doubt that was accumulating since my transcript read “degree granted.”
I don’t even have the piece of paper yet (for the PhD). Convocation is late May. I think that will be a great day. My Dad is coming from BC to see his son don the cap and gown. Through all those degrees I’ve never bothered to attend convocation before. This time we’re going to celebrate it, and toast to our future success and health.
In Sea-Tac airport I sit and think about these things, about the Pike Street market and the lovely little map store beside it, about eating salmon fish and chips with a view of Puget sound, the cool bookstores, and the visit I made to see my brother in Vancouver with him and his wife and their baby boy only 1 week old, I sit here and I do not feel old. I feel a tiny bit wiser, but mostly like I’m finally gaining the confidence in my own life that seemed to elude me for so long before.
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