January 26, 2012


I feel a little lost in the world just now. I'm not sure where I'm going, what I'm doing now or whether anything I do is leading me somewhere better. That's probably not a shocking revelation. I've been more upbeat so far in 2012. And yet, I'm being tugged down by forces that have deep roots in my brain and can still be triggered by small events, or seeing a depressing headline regarding getting a job in today's economy. And I'm still struggling to get a work/life balance that's healthy. I'm still too work focused. I have made a habit of writing my to-do list for a given day on a 3x5 index card, and the space limits how much I can fit in. I cross things off and rip up the card at the end of each day. And today, I just decided to make Fridays my 'summing up' day of the week; I'll collate everything I did during the week, organize what needs organizing and write, analyze data and tie up loose ends, and then leave myself a plan for the following week. hopefully it works. 

So maybe I have one small thing figured out. I'm still bombarding myself with all the positivity I can (that's authentic, not false) and am trying to learn several new things; R, javascript, brewing beer, talking on the telephone (not learning, per se, just getting used to the idea- I still don't like the phone), and I'm still keeping up this lowly blog to talk about my life and experience as a postdoc (as if anyone out could care less- about me or how a particular postdoc's brain works). I keep taking small steps to pushing my comfort zone and change my patterns. And not worrying as much about being perfect. I'm still a postdoc, I still don't have any idea where I'm going to end up, and I certainly haven't gotten exactly what I want out of life yet. I guess most important, I'm trying to enjoy the journey. Hopefully being more engaged and taking more charge of my life will help me feel less lost soon. 

January 16, 2012

Fear. Two weeks into 2012.

It's just two weeks into the new year and I'm experiencing what can only be described as fear. It's a familiar feeling and one I should get past, but my introverted nerdy brain constantly projects what's ahead or what a given undertaking will take and I don't feel up to it. Take job hunting as an example. This is the narrative I have in my head that makes it hard to get started doing something:

I have to put together a perfect resume as an academic who's trying to switch fields into what? Can I do something else? How can I adjust my dream job to something that's not a professorship (Can I even get that?)? Can I convince anyone with my highly specialized skills that I can do anything else? Are there job postings that even remotely fit me? Will I make it through the interview gauntlet it seems to take to get any job now? I'm not perfect and that's what it seems to take these days. 

On the one hand, writing that makes it sound ridiculous. Of course, on the other, I have my times when I believe it. I know there's not much to say. I just have to try...and see what happens. I'll probably make every mistake in the book (and a few that aren't in there), but as I've told myself so many times, I've got to try and be optimistic.