Thursday, July 9, 2009

I have arrived?

Its quite out here. I am sitting on my screen porch, the only light is from the glowing laptop screen. The hubby is in bed and the kitty has resumed her post as the guard of the night on the beat-up file cabinet placed next to the windows. It, I think, has finally hit that I "made it." That I got through all the bullshit from grad school, that I somehow survived and came out stronger, tougher and smarter- OK, maybe not smarter, but you know what I mean.

Then I realize that that yeah, I made it through grad school, but now I have to make it through the post-doc (much much much more enjoyable for several reasons), then make it through the job hunt, then make it through tenure or promotions or whatever the hell else I plan on doing. Right now, though everything is wide open.

But when is it done? When can you finally sit back, sigh, and say "I have arrived"? Is there one culminating moment that defines the hours at the bench, the days in the library, the years tapping away at the keyboard searching and hunting for that one elusive idea, the one hair-brained experiment, the onepiece of data that not only finishes the story but tells it far better than anyone else has? When, as the average scientist who loves toiling away at the bench, who does basic research on, some would say, not so hot and sexy systems, but who slowly lays the foundation for others to jump off and run with the newest buzz-word laden research, can I say I have finally arrived?

Not yet and maybe not ever for me, because in my humble opinion, thinking I have arrived means that I have reached my ultimate potential- and I don't want to think about that. I want to think that I can keep getting better, keep learning, keep growing as a scientist and researcher. I can never fully understand everything, but I think that I am going to damn-well try.

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