Not a response to anything, just a post.
Today was, despite all my venting yesterday, a pretty okay day.
My student is improving. That is fun for me and saves me work and time, so it feels like progress. It almost feels like I am getting twice as much done (although the reality is probably not... but I am about 25% less tired).
I am, despite myself, getting some ideas for Christmas presents for people. Some years I am very inspired about this. I don't know why. This might be one of those years. Maybe it's because today I both
a) did an experiment and
b) got data that advances my project.
That always makes me happy. In fact, I can't think of a single time when I got useful, progress-provoking data and thought "yeah, whatever."
Nope, that has never happened.
Not to jinx anything, but I have been on a bit of a data streak the last week or so. I am hoping it lasts. I am trying very hard to enjoy the science part of science for science's sake. And it is mostly working!
It helps that we haven't had so many meetings of the lab. Lately I hate meetings of the lab. Maybe because we have a lot of arrogant little fuckers in our lab right now. I'm waiting for them to realize that arrogance gets you nowhere. It could be a while.
Oh and to answer the person whose comment I deleted (again, this post is really not a response to comments), re: telling people not to join large labs with 20 postdocs. I TOTALLY see where you're coming from with this. I used to think this, too, actually. But it's not that simple. In some fields, there is nowhere else to go from which to get a job.
In fact, there are some fields where the ONLY way to get your papers published and get a job is to go through certain gates, and those gates happen to be guarded by two-headed dogs .... and they are labs with 20 postdocs (or more).
Meanwhile, my visit with my therapist this week was helpful, and progress was made, in the sense that I FINALLY got through to her -although apparently not to everyone who reads this blog- that
a) Most days, I just really really want to keep working on my project.
b) I can't take my project to a "smaller" place, because there are a limited number of places where I could actually do it.
c) Industry is non-appealing first and foremost because I would have to give up my project, and the trade-offs are not worth it to me (more money, but other than that I have a hard time seeing how it's going to be so much different). So that's what I mean when I say lame-ass. Sometimes.
And my therapist was like, OK, I think I finally get it. You don't want to give up your project!
Aha! Houston, we have signal.
In other good news, I am making some progress on networking, I think. In theory I am still kind of on the neverending hunt for a 'mentor', although I have to say at this point I think the likelihood of finding a soulmate type of mentor is about equal to finding a unicorn in the chemical hood, but I guess you never know.
(aside: I think the unicorn reference came from the pegasus skit in Robot Chicken this week. Anybody catch that?)
To answer JaneB's question (although this post is really not a response to comments), no, I am still not applying for jobs.
I am trying to rationalize this by knowing that there's no point in applying until my CV is competitive (I did that experiment already, see the earliest posts from the archive, obviously it does not work or I wouldn't be blogging what I'm blogging...).
And I rationalize waiting because continuing to cultivate my network in the meantime means that I will maximize my chances when/if I do apply.
And maybe the economy will be on the upswing. Or something.
Re: setting a deadline, that has already been set. Not by me. I have been working with a known expiration date for a while, which is, yes, adding to my stress and general state of mind (or lack thereof).
However, I don't see any viable alternatives at this point but to soldier on and try not to worry constantly about what happens when we get to the point of lemming-ness and have to say "What next?"
Today was, in fact, such a good day that I was seriously wondering if there's something to this Positive Affirmation stuff. The idea of changing your negative thought patterns, I can kind of understand it from a cognitive science perspective, that replacing pointless worrying with positive sentiments could be very uplifting.
So I have been practicing my positive affirmations. Want to hear them?
Of course you do. They're things like this:
I deserve to be heard.
I make important contributions to science, and I feel fulfilled.
I floss, and it makes me feel virtuous.
There are some more, but I can't remember them right now. I guess I better practice until they're ingrained in my ears, on my tongue, and the inside of my eyelids.... and to try to shut up the little font person who says yeah, but nobody cares.