Here, let’s take a walk on this rickety bridge.
I have exactly 30% patience on any given day, especially for things that are out of my own hands. An experiment I am running? Grudgingly 75%. Waiting to hear back from universities as they process my applications? Trying to project that I am a rational human being while I pace a hole in my brain.
And as I pace, I have plenty of time to wonder about things I really should know better not to. After my nth cover letter, an awful thing on its own, my brain is left to walk in a daze like a freshly turned zombie wondering what’s for dinner. Dinner it turns out, is the remains of my self-esteem. With nothing else to focus on, say a thesis like it was the case last year, my brain chooses to turn inwards. I must say, one of the few perks of working to the point of burnout was being too busy to think about anything else.
So what does my brain think?
I don’t know what I am doing with my life.
You don’t know what you are doing with your life. It’s laughable that you ever thought you knew what you were doing to begin with.
Look at all the amazing people on Twitter in your age group. Now look at yourself. Now look at them. Now look at yourself and wonder “What the hell did you do with your life? What did you even achieve?” Repeated ad nauseum till I try to sleep my way through self-doubts.
It gets tiring after a while. Objectively, I know comparing myself to someone else is never the answer. They have their circumstances and I have mine. And it’s not like I didn’t achieve anything. Yes, I didn’t do all the things I wanted to do in my undergraduate years, and I did give away my ‘expertise’ for free most of the time. I tutored nearly half my class for all the genetics courses, but I didn’t translate that skill to something official or something I could add to my CV. And that’s my fault. But at the end of the day, I didn’t crash and burn despite everything so can I take that as a job well done and tell my brain to shut up?! Apparently no, because my imposter syndrome has imposter syndrome of her own and we all agree that I don’t deserve the nice things I sometimes blurt out to myself.
This isn’t a cry for help. If anything, it’s narrating my journey through life and the paths boredom takes me through. And I don’t know why I stopped writing my feelings down, but I am picking that habit up again this year, even if it’s to pretend to keep it all together. Here’s to pretending.