I feel like I have had a helluva past couple weeks.  The combination of the imminent departure from Nashville of two women who are super-inspiring to me both scientifically and as friends, planning for and giving two presentations (one on my research, one leading a discussion for a first year grad course), my despair at things happening in the world, and hormones have made me feel INSANE.  Sad and crabby and seriously hungry (have I mentioned that I eat my feelings?).  What made it all worse was that the research talk that I gave on Monday basically reinforced an idea I’ve been having for a while that I’m on a directionless path to Science Nowhere.

This morning, this post appeared on one of my newly found favorite blogs, and it just feels perfect to share.  April of Blacksburg Belle uses a vivid “elephant and rider” analogy and says that in order to stay motivated, we have to celebrate each small thing that goes in a positive direction for us (or each tiny step the elephant takes).  So rather than dwell on my first paragraph, I want to share victories that happened this week:  On Tuesday, I met with a PI that I really like in order to plan a course we’re teaching this summer and the minute he asked how things were going I couldn’t stop crying.  He provided a paper towel for my tears and supportive listening ear for me.  I got to see my counselor on Wednesday, which is almost always amazing.  Thursday, I presented for my lab’s group meeting (super informal) and they gave me great advice on where to take my project so I can go toward Publicationville, which is on the way to PhD City.  But the best part about this week is that I feel elated and ecstatic because the discussion that I prepared to lead for the first year course happened today and it was AWESOME.  I felt well-prepared, the students were engaged and fun, we covered the material we needed to cover, and at the end of it I felt energetic and ready for the next challenge.

Sometimes the paths we’re on feel wrong, but I think that when we most need a nod that we’re going down the right one, we get it.  It also doesn’t hurt to motivate your elephant by celebrating the baby steps along the way.

One thought on “Celebrate!

  1. Friend! I know just what you mean. I just met a supercool woman at a new Bible study last night (who went to SGHS and lived 5 minutes from my house in G-town) and who lives in Nashville. I’m totally hooking you up.

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