It seems I have passed the crossroad. I look ahead of me, and see a winter path through the woods, trees barren of most leaves, brittle detritus on the ground promising to turn leafmold in the spring, nourishing the soil that gives life to the verdure. I know the chill wind will warm, the sun will tarry longer each day, as we enter more into the spring, then summer. I step lightly, but determinedly, not quite sure when I will encounter a fallen trunk, or the charred remains of what once was vibrant, left behind by a fire recently burned. Not quite sure how I will handle each obstacle to my forward journey.
Paul seems excited by the prospect of my starting a consultancy. Rocket is delighted as well. For me, it is the path that lies ahead. I have two papers accepted for upcoming conferences in May & June. I submitted another paper for the SOD conference coming up in November. I'm not sure which if any of those I will attend. The work I am most committed to just now lies in a somewhat different direction. If I can figure how those papers would move me along this path, I will do them. If not, perhaps, I will simply let them go. There are the schools to which I have already sent applications (and a few more with upcoming deadlines that still sit in the job applications folder on my laptop). Otherwise, I am free. Only a few objects mar the perfect line of horizon before me. The sail awaits it's lifting.
Yesterday I began work towards a consultancy. One of the contacts I made at [Industry Conference West], the CEO of a leading company involved in [Particular Aspect of Applied Research Field, let's call it forgery] allowed me access to some of their technology, in the form of software. Donating it, as he put it, to my research in [Field 1] & [Field 2]. Let's say that [Forgery] has come a long way in the past couple decades, but it's still far from convincing. My role in all this is to help make it better, more real.
What I've begun to do, is analyze the products, comparing them to the real thing, in hopes of uncovering some points where I can make suggestions for improvements. In a sense, it's as simple as that. It's time to put my potential to the test, to ground my ideas in practice, find applications for the hypotheticals. That is the road ahead.