Saturday, July 05, 2008

No reply necessary

A couple of my informal mentors emailed recently to ask how I'm doing, how things are going, and so on (they don't know I have a blog!).

In both cases I responded pretty openly, saying

yeah things have been nightmarish but a couple of things are better, even though I'm still not where I want to be with my life.

And you know, I'm just trying to keep a sense of humor about the worst parts.

Neither one replied. It has been, I don't know, two weeks.

I want to email them and say

um, guys? Why bother emailing to ask how I'm doing, if you

a) don't want to know?
b) can't be bothered to tell me how you're doing or actually give me any advice?

And does it actually, I don't know, assuage your guilt to at least check in? Or was this to settle some kind of bet about whether I've quit science yet?

And then I realized, actually I don't need these people to reply. If they have no advice, that's fine.

I get plenty of advice and support from the blogosphere.

To those of you fellow bloggers who are always telling me to keep going, thanks. I've learned a lot from reading your blogs and comments here.

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At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My own journey has convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that not all who wander are lost. I might not be exactly where I expected or wanted to be, but I'm still on the academic path. My "detours" have proved to be useful and opened up where I am today. I find that I get the most frustrated when I allow myself to get back into the what I had hoped versus living today with active hopes and dreams.

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for candidly sharing your experiences! I've appreciated reading your blog and comments over the past few months. It lends perspective on the personal side of struggles in science.

I hate it when important emails I send go unanswered :( Hooray to the blogosphere!

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Dr. MCR said...

As a mentor, I've found I can always find something supportive to say, as even though I may not have been through precisely what my colleague is dealing with, the venn diagram of the academic and personal experiences of women in science always provide some overlap. It's great that you do not feel like you need feedback from them on this, but whenever I've shared those kinds of feelings with friends or mentors, I've hoped to get some support of some kind. Glad you feel like you're getting the support you need from the blogosphere- if you end up feeling like you need more, you might think about getting an external mentor for your academic world who can commiserate a bit when and if you need that. Hang in there and take care!

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate you for telling it like it is. I hate when advisors, mentors, etc., give advice from fantasyland with sprinkles on top. You aren't alone in what you are going through and I think many women read your stories and see obvious similarities to their own lives. I have had a few A-HA moments reading the blogs of you, profgirl, Zuska, FSP, mommyprof, etc., and I'm SOOO glad you all write down your experiences (sucky and not so sucky) to share with total strangers. We are all pulling for you.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Psych Post Doc said...

I've experienced the exact same thing not too long ago. Although I did eventually get an "if you need to talk we can set up a phone meeting" but I never followed up on it.

Rehashing all of what I was experiencing over the phone was just not appealing.


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