Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Too much potential

It's been a strange few days. I've been up and down. Not too down, I admit, just a general malaise. I'm working, but oddly, it doesn't always feel like I'm getting much done. When I look back on the days, I can account for my time, and much of it has been productive. But productive in the sense of getting things started, or analyzing data -- general middling work, that has to get done, but that doesn't really satisfy much on its own.

The research website is up and running. I'm adding bits piece-meal, and beginning to send out announcements of its existence around, mostly to individuals I know. The novelty of it has worn off a bit. It's somehow established, not pending (though it's still very much in development). I guess I still feel my career is pending; I'd like it to feel more established. I want to hear the satisfactory hum of an engine in motion.

I realize I've got much work to do. My biggest problem (always) is focusing, narrowing down my range of things to just get going on one or two. I tend to have 15 irons on the fire... so many that the flame often goes out... then needs to be rekindled. Maybe having so many ideas is my defense mechanism. I can feel like there's so much potential. I've grown tired of potential. I want a bit more actualization.

It's a strange feeling to at once be excited by one's own contributions (or potential contributions), and on the other hand feel inadequate, ignorant of so many things. Of course, recognizing one's own ignorance has been said to be a sign of wisdom, no? Maybe that's why so many of us PhDs feel this way.

Sure, I've accomplished some things. But it ever feels like they count for nothing. What's past and done is over. There is no resting on laurels here. I fear to coast. As they say, you can only go down hill in neutral.

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