37

I turned 37 this week and I guess it’s time to think about my last year and just how I’m doing in life.

In a lot of ways, I’ve built momentum and life is getting a bit better.

I am getting myself out into the world more and slowly bringing projects to fruition even though it’s frustrating at times. I’m getting really impatient with having ideas, wanting to do them, but then thinking about them so much that they just never make it out of my own brain.

I have had my writing posted on blogs that are not my own. I have moved further into the digital realm of learning some of the graphic design tools like Adobe’s cloud software (very expensive, but fun). Speaking of, I’m investing in myself a lot more; I’m giving myself permission to access tools that I find useful.

I’ve been trying to learn statistics and R a lot better…with some small successes. I don’t have the chance to really do a lot with it, but I’ve discovered the Swirl package that teaches you how to use R within R. And there are lecture slides associated with it that explain the statistics models in detail even though I haven’t been able to follow them much…still learning.

I am taking steps to market myself more, getting the ideas I have out into the world. I have ideas. Things I want to help build. Like the best platforms for the scientific community to best get our ideas across to each other (across disciplines) as in mentoring, fostering collaborations, but also to educate people into the process of science. I’m OK with the fact that there are a lot of people who already do this and do it better than I do. It really does take a large village. Science succeeds over time as a collective…most of the individual contributions made are small pieces of a whole and often not fully correct.

There’s been a lot of trial and error, it hasn’t been easy, and I have a long ways to go still. And that’s scary since I am starting to feel old. However, My imperative is to do my best to do things now. Not delay and simply put myself out there in the world, not inside my own brain all of the time.

So there you go. I acknowledged my birthday. I have no idea what my next trip around the sun will mean for me (I’ll sit down and make some goals/plans for myself soon), but the fact that I feel ,my brain is operating without the oppressive cloud of depression really is something amazing. Something I probably couldn’t rightly say last year.

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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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