I should be working on powerpoints, data analysis, job applications, etc. It’s 10:40pm on a Sunday night and the lab is taking a trip to North Carolina on Tuesday for a lab retreat with some collaborators. 

I haven’t had a good week. I’ve worked hard, but still feel like it’s not enough. I did have a breakthrough with using the confocal- I get it now…a lot more than I did, anyhow. I actually got some quite good pictures, though one of them is puzzling and brings up more questions than it answers. I guess that’s just science. 
Job applications worry me and my barrier to getting them done is purely in my head. Impostor syndrome (common amongst academics and high achievers- a sign that we’re actually pushing ourselves)? a feeling like I’ve stagnated and completely messed up in life thus far and am not ready for the next step? Conditioning to my environment that says it will always be the way it is now? Doing the immediate work things to prepare for NC? 
None of that sounds very positive. I seem to handle adversity a bit better than I used to. and am more willing to engage with more new things that I wouldn’t have considered before. And yet I’m not changing fast enough. I don’t feel I know enough. I don’t interact enough. I think the former and the latter I can do something more about and yet I hesitate too much still. Part of it is having to do things at a distance. Part of it is that I am still shy (not introverted, though I’m that too) around people. I still assume things that probably aren’t entirely true- and need to unlearn. 
It’s after 11pm now. And I’m going to bed. Monday will be a long day, but the retreat should be interesting at the very least. I think I included some positives in this post. 

Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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