Shooting Your Shot
I've been in the process of applying to jobs and post-doc opportunities. All that to say, the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of documents, edits, and long days of revisions. In addition to this whirlwind of work (yes alliteration), it has been cyclones of self-doubt (close enough). And with this self-doubt of not feeling good enough, prepared, or ready, I found myself deciding not to apply to several positions.
I'm lucky enough to have friends and fem/mentors check in as I was doing this. They reminded me how privileged counterparts didn't even hesitate and were still applying– that these feelings of being an imposter or "not being good enough" are often intersected with gender and race (as well as class, first-gen status, and more). To that end, their advice was simple and sharp:
As a note, I want to clarify that we should be discerning about applying to positions: don't apply to places you have no intention of accepting. (That wastes everyone's time, labor, and mental energy in an already stress-filled process.) But I do think this advice is helpful: the notion of just going for it.
I think I've spent much of my time in graduate school underestimating the ways risk-taking feels overwhelming. I am, by nature, already risk-averse. The doctoral journey has been, if not anything, an intimate and incredibly vulnerable time of putting my self, my work, and my very ways of knowing out there. I've learned to respond to critiques, move beyond rejections, and try not to take things personally. But none of those lessons have made the risks feel any smaller or less scary. Instead, with each bridge I'm expected to bungee jump from, I'm still nervously (and anxiously) forcing myself to trust the process and rope that is holding me, which is likely a metaphor for the community that keeps me grounded.
I have a fear of heights. I also get motion sickness rather easily. I don't know how the "no" extends to my bungee-jumping metaphor, and I'd rather not think too closely about it. But the overall message is one I'm trying to embody in this application cycle: to discern, but to also stop stopping myself, and just apply. Let them tell you the no, don't tell it to yourself.
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In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).