Presque vu junkie

March 28, 2022 12:24pm

presque vu

from French, meaning "almost seen" is the intense feeling of being on the very brink of a powerful epiphany, insight, or revelation, without actually achieving the revelation

I know of two things that generate this feeling - doing science and doing startups.

Both have the moment where a thing that has never happened previously is about to happen. In science, it's a formulation of a problem in a way that opens many new doors, dots connected that were previously unconnected. In startups... well, it's the exact same thing.

It's no coincidence that startups and doing science have so much in common and are frequently compared - they're both ventures into the unknown. You leave your comfort zone, dare to ask things unasked and propose solutions that you can spend your entire life on... and maybe it will all be for nothing. It's a risk. It's a huge risk! And there's a big dose of excitement that comes with it. And in the midst of moments of failures, grinding, barely making any progress... there're moments when hope floods the halls of your brain. What seemed impossible now seems even reasonable, what was the deepest mystery is now an obvious fact, and you standing right on the brink of its beginning can see it all unfold in front of your eyes. A mesmerizing, beautiful song whose melody only you can currently hear, singing about all those struggles and unusual choices you've made along the way, doubt that has covered you and your work for years and the loneliness that comes with it. All of it may be ending soon and a new, prosperous era might soon start. It's a fulfilled promise you've made to yourself a long time ago - that what you're doing is okay. That it will make sense at some point in time. And it seems that time might have come. All the worries are to be wiped away, and even you, as your own worst judge, can relax and once again trust yourself. Presque vu is not that just yet.

It's a moment before you can really see it unfold. It's not a moment on its own, it's a glimpse into what the next moment might be. What your future might become. But it's not quite there yet. Fate's still rolling the die and it hasn't yet settled on a specific number. It's a rush of all the rushes. There can be only two outcomes - both equally extreme. And your eyes can see both, and they rapidly switch between the two, process each of the outcomes in an instant, get both excited and devastated, get on the highest high and into the lowest low, and your hearts are about to burst, peeking at that moment in time that's just around this one, just one tick of the Universe away, to finally understand where your fate has led you and what's to become of you.