Thinking About SXSW
It is nice to get to speak in my own voice after so much of the last week was saying what was said and offering a take on someone else’s point of view. It feels good to get to put my thoughts down on all that has transpired this past week.
SXSW was a tremendous opportunity to learn how to do my job, and the experience of meeting some of my heroes was a terrific treat. I also got to see some of my old friends from the Johnson Space Center and people I had the privilege of working for at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
I listened to many different ideas; many I agreed with, while others I had issues with. Everyone managed to exchange these ideas in a civil manner. I also got to chat with people from the Kennedy Space Center and the Marshall Center where we are developing the largest rocket ever. There was even the opportunity to talk with Astro Teller about fusion energy for a few minutes. The largest takeaway from these interactions is the hope that they will bear some fruit in the future. All I want is to return to the cosmos. I hope my time here and the lessons I am still internalizing will help give me that chance again.
Mariann Budde said, “No one goes to the moon alone. No one accomplishes anything of lasting value in any realm of human endeavor alone.” I don’t know if all of this will have lasting value, but I know it will for me personally. The other thing I know is none of this would have been possible without the team I was a part of. Each one helped me in one way or another many times throughout our preparations and while at the conference. There are many other people that have supported me and helped put the pieces in place so that I might take advantage and create opportunities.
The last, and the most important, person is my mom. On January 18th three years ago I was humming the tune to the theme song from Episode II, my mom’s favorite Star Wars movie. I know, don’t judge. Little did I know this is how I would be saying goodbye to her. She passed away in the middle of the song. In no small way, she is the one person who put the largest pieces in place for me to get all the opportunities I have gotten to take advantage of. My thoughts turned to her in the last day of SXSW. I hope I have done well, I’ll keep trying to do so.
I miss you mom and I love you.