Celebrate the small stuff

For the June edition of the Scientiae Carnival, rocketscientista is hosting a celebration! She raises the point that too often in STEM (or maybe just in life), we spend bundles of time dwelling on the hurdles, the failures, the bruises. She thinks it’s time we talk about the good stuff, the accomplishments, the hurdles cleared. I, for one, think it’s a great idea!

First, something to get you into a celebratory mood:

Now, to my celebration post!

Some of you who followed this blog at its previous locale probably noticed it’s been a little quiet for the past few months. And before that, there were some negative vibes. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but over the past few weeks, things have been changing–for the better. My PI seems to have a certain level of trust and respect for me that I had not felt previously. And I have been pushing myself to be more open-minded yet confident and assertive. Our conversations have become less one-sided, becoming more like discussions and less like assigning of orders. He has even acknowledged the technical challenges of the methods I’m using and that it will take time to get them to work.

After months of little progress, a side project–involving the dark arts of molecular biology–has finally started working. One element of my main project has shifted focus in a direction that I personally find more interesting and that I think would have broader impact and relevance in our field. Plus we’re now developing aims that tap into some of the expertise I developed in grad school. All of this culminates with me actually being tentatively excited about my work. I say “tentatively” because there are still some anxiety and trust issues there, but Paramed has commented that the fire is back in my eyes.

And the confidence is beginning to emerge outside of the lab as well. After a recent seminar, I forced myself to stick around at the reception until I had the opportunity to work my way into a conversation with the speaker and introduce myself. It’s a very small thing, but six months ago I would have simply run away, so it’s progress.

Oh, and there’s one other thing to celebrate. This week marks 7 years of marriage to Paramed. Our marriage has survived one round of grad school, so I think we can take just about anything 😉

What are you celebrating?

This entry was posted in advisor/trainee interactions, attitudes, for the love of science, Marriage, networking, Scientiae carnival. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Celebrate the small stuff

  1. Pingback: June Scientiae Carnival: We’re Having a Party « Rocket Scientista

  2. Dr. O says:

    Congrats on 7 years – quite the achievement!!

    And congrats on finding your confidence! I remember those first few months in my new postdoc when I felt completely run over, and the next few months when I started asserting myself. It’s a great feeling, even if things still feel a bit unsteady. I’m glad things are moving in a positive direction – not enough can be said about feeling like you’re moving forward!!

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