Research-and careers therein-rarely follows a linear path. Instead, it is often a long and winding road. These are stories about science and my personal experiences on this road.
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
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Life has a way of interfering with your plans. Or at least it does mine. Looking at where, a year ago, I expected to be now and where I actually am is like looking at two completely different stories. I had planned to continue with my running and weight training schedule, but I allowed other things to squeeze out my time. I thought I had a very clear idea of what I wanted my career to look like, but I have begun to wonder just how much I'm willing to commit to that path. I certainly had no idea that I would be moving to a different lab.
With the exception of the first item, it's really not as bad as it might sound, though, because these deviations either signify or have initiated consequential changes for the better. To start with, I'm far less timid than I was a year ago. I have insinuated myself into conversations and initiated introductions--instead of running away. I have tapped into my network of peers and colleagues and, with some help, have even expanded it. In many ways, this was triggered by questioning my career path and deciding to survey other options. I have rediscovered my voice--or perhaps more accurately the courage to speak my mind to someone other than my spouse (this change has not been universally appreciated). I was very recently reminded of the reason I started this career in the first place. I know what I love to do and what I'm good at. I am starting to rebuild my confidence, which has taken a rather brutal beating this past year. And I have found a surprising source of community in the bloggosphere and Twitterverse.
Even though it's clear that things rarely go according to plan exactly, it is still important to look ahead and think about where I want to go. What do I hope to accomplish in the coming year?
There are other things, more specific things that need to go on this list, but it's a start. Importantly these are things that, for the most part, I can acheive regardless of the monkeywrenches life tosses in the cogs. And as I'm learning, not all monkeywrench tosses end badly.
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