Saturday, 12.09.2017 - 12:38 pm.
Winter is coming in in full force. We've gotten some snow this week. It would make me incredibly happy, if it wasn't for the fact that there are so many homeless people. Andrew and I were discussing helping out somehow, there are a number of appeals going on. I was really happy to find he and I were on the same page about that. Andrew has a heart of gold.
Speaking of full force, this week I was also able to power through some issues of my PhD, and I'm even looking forward to doing some work over the holidays. The thesis writing stage is approaching, or maybe it's already here, and I love writing. I don't have anything to report, that's the problem. Most of the ideas I have don't quite come from my own research.
On this note, yesterday I went to London to present a poster at a very small conference. We were like 50 people. My friend Eric, 1st year PhD, attended too (I think it was because of him that I learned about this conference). We had a somewhat smooth train ride to London; we sat together for a while but I think I would have enjoyed more the trip if we had actually had our assigned seats together. Anyway. The conference was good, some very interesting research was presented. Eric stayed in London for the weekend, and while my trip back home was tense (nearly missed the first train, trains were running late, I was tired, and it was peak time), I made it home safely.
I was a bit proud of my poster. This is another piece of research that crashed and burned, although personally it prompted me to boost my learning on the subject. That's hardly a good argument for granting a doctorate degree, so I'm still not feeling too well about that study. Anyway, there was no designated space for the posters, and there were only five, so I didn't do much work. I did get to talk to some people who were interested in my topic but didn't get the chance to hand out my presentation cards. That was a shame, they are very nifty. I'm afraid I'll never get rid of them.
Halfway through the conference, they announced they would be giving out prizes at the end. I was sure my poster would win. I put a lot of effort on it, in terms of visuals and content. Making a good poster is hard, and I don't claim to have mastered such skill, but mine was certainly easier on the eyes than the other three (either I missed the fourth or the person didn't show up). Or maybe, story of my life, that was just my opinion.
I was surprisingly upset when I didn't win. Really, all that anger and disappointment I felt took me by surprise. Of course I had a part of me saying, "nah, you're not gonna win, you never win", but this time I felt I was just saying that to tone down my cockiness. I've started to try to act cocky to see if this attitude brings any positive consequences, as acting modestly and insecure, how I genuinely feel, has led me nowhere.
It looks like I'm just destined to be a nobody and not have my work acknowledged, most likely because my work sucks. This wasn't just about the poster, really. It probably wasn't about the poster at all. Or a bit, maybe. First of all, I'm no expert about anything. My research is so small and unimportant and with a bunch of negative findings. I mean, there's really nothing to see in my results. I see my colleagues from the PhD, not to mention some of the staff (predominantly among them, T), who use their online presence to disseminate their knowledge. I mean, I do that with my Psychology blog, I try to "translate" scientific findings to everyday language and applications, but who the hell reads that blog?
Furthermore, I look at my colleagues' profile/bios and they all state their expertise. Something something researcher and all that, and they can cite their own studies and retweet mentions regarding their own accomplishments. My online profile is like, LOL I like doodling. And I'm lucky if I get one like, comment or reaction to anything I post weekly on any of my blogs. And usually it's people who know me, who probably started reading only because they know me (not to undervalue such appreciation, I just mean, I'm not able to pull in anybody new based on content alone).
That, right there, is my second burden. Besides not being an expert, my content sucks. No one cares about it. I thought my poster would win because it was cool and interesting but obviously no one else, or at least the person(s) with the decision-making power, thought so. It's the same thing that will happen with the novel I submitted to the contest. I know in January I'll get my heart broken when they announce the winner and it's not me. And same with my blog posts/comics, they start sinking in the deep irrelevance of the hour-after-published, they go without glory, without being shared or commented on, and most likely without even being read.
It doesn't matter if I think what I wrote was smart or dumb, but it stings a bit more in my ego when I think it was good content. Like with my poster, like with my novel. In my head I go, isn't there any-fucking-body in this planet who sees what I see in what I just did?! Isn't it just at least a tad brilliant/funny/worth acknowledging it and showing it to someone else?! Am I the only one who thinks so highly of myself and my writing skills?!
I get so frustrated thinking of all the written stuff I've written over the years, and continue writing, for free. But no one would pay for reading it, or me for writing it. It's not good enough. It's never been. I'm not good enough. I'm not good enough of a researcher/academic (and perhaps don't care to be), not good enough a fiction writer. I am a nobody, and it does hurt because I've made the effort to do things well and interesting but they're just...not so.
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