We have just passed Halloween and the Day of the Dead when I believe part of the idea is the dead come back to roam the Earth and pay a visit to the living to hang out and chat about life and such.

I am finally getting to addressing the review of my CV I solicited a week or so ago. I am exploring beyond the academy. To what, I don’t know. And ti took a lot of share my CV with the world for review. It calls up personal ghosts.

Reviewing it calls up struggles with depression and the fact that I could have easily done more and didn’t…because depression. Because reasons. Because I’m weak and susceptible to depressive forces. It’s painful to re-hash.

I’m healthier now. I write openly about depression. But that does not count as ‘career accomplishment’ (it certainly is one, and I recognize that not everyone is as stupid bold as I am in talking openly about it). I got to speak about strategies that work for me last week in a webinar for Bitesize Bio, a nice culmination of what I’ve been trying to cultivate in myself lately. Amongst other things, academics can get into less productive mindsets (that can certainly take root as mental illnesses or simply less productive/engaged work). And it may be a truism, but I believe better science gets done by engaged minds.

I still feel scattered though. Still working to come to some sort of integration of self without the cloud of depression. I’m learning again…lots of computer and data analysis adjacent things. I find I love it even if I’m still novice. And I hope to make it some part of any career I get be it marketing, education, science, or other. And of course, I like to write. I hope I’ve become a better writer over the last few years, I at least have overcome the fear of putting words on a page and really built a habit.

And as good as my writing has been for me, I hope it helps others too. I write in part so no one else will have to experience what I’ve been through.



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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