Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This blog isn't about being in graduate school anymore because, as of December 11, 2011, I have a Ph.D. But don't worry your pretty little head; my imposter syndrome is still going strong! It turns out that no one knows you have a Ph.D. unless you announce it, which I did not realize until I had one. Boo. More forms should have a "salutation" field. Validation, people.

I'm still at the university where I did my Ph.D. work, now a "Research Associate IV". THAT'S A FOUR. And it's not like golf; higher numbers are better. I'm an associate to research, technically, but not literally. I'm not in a lab anymore. I'm not designing experiments. I'm not reading papers AT ALL. And I love it. I am still trying to figure out what my projects are, maintain my own schedule, finish papers from grad school and successfully avoid panic attacks, and other things I didn't really like about grad school. However, I realize that many people in 9-to-5 grind jobs wish they could have more autonomy so I should quit being such a whiner.

The struggle to be ambitious and impressive in the face of my self-doubt and laziness continues. I want to DO things, GREAT things that amaze everyone and show initiative and make a name for myself. Things that will get talked about to colleagues and get me handed up the ladder until I have an awesome business card title, like "Executive Innovator" or "President of Creativity". Instead, I sit at my desk, making lists of ideas with reasons why I shouldn't bother. Someone else is probably doing this. I don't want to annoy so-and-so with questions. My friend is already doing it better. No one will notice. Someone will notice and think it's stupid. Everyone will notice, and I'll realize it was stupid.

So I plug away at the few projects I've accrued in the last two and a half months, always feeling like I should be doing more, thinking more, trying more. But deep down, I know - I'm waiting for a life-altering, mythological event that inspires me, when I know that I've BEEN inspired and I've argued it away.