Bit better now that I’ve had some feedback and guidance. It didn’t hurt that badly after all.
I’m still far from confident that I’m not going to make a big fool of myself at the presentation in a couple of weeks. But one supervisor has offered to help me prepare it (I guess it’s in their interests that I get through this too), so I stand a better chance… assuming I have the courage to just lay it all on the table as far as my thoughts and struggles. That’s what this whole episode has been forcing me to do. Which is probably why it’s been so painful. But I suppose at the end of it my supervisors will know me better, and I will be more acclimatised to what it feels like to be real with them, which can only be a positive thing. There’s something to look forward to.
Ironically my biggest flaw seems to be how desperate I am to be flawless. This is not going to be solved overnight. I will just have to be patient on this one.
I did have a bit of a rest yesterday afternoon. I feel much better for it.
Today I have finally bit the bullet and started reading again, for background information on the next part of my project. I started with an undergrad textbook on physical chemistry. What a joy to read something aimed at a lower level! It made me think, though, I have definitely increased my stamina for learning since being an undergrad. I am facing concepts head-on now and not shying away the minute it gets confusing. I am finding out for myself that they are not that bad. It makes me wish I had had the courage to do that during my undergrad studies, although I didn’t realise at the time that I lacked courage. I just got frustrated and put my head back in the sand. I don’t know how I came away with a first, but if nothing else it points to what I could perhaps achieve if I engaged with the work. (A PhD, an academic career…?)
I have learnt such a lot about myself lately. I have finally learnt, after 10 years, that things will never again be easy like they were when I was at school! “Will I ever find anything I can be confident about doing?” NO!! Not using the old school-time definition of confidence as excelling without even trying. I have to redefine confidence. I have to get off my butt no matter how pathetically frightening it is. And I am glad that I have been forced to do that.
In my defence, I think I felt quite heavy expectations when I was younger. The ones I was sure I could meet, fine. The ones I believed I couldn’t, I hated putting to the test. I tried my best to avoid it. It was – and is – more fear than laziness.
I am quite pleased with myself facing these fears over recent times because it is something other people haven’t had to deal with and I have been dealing with it quietly, refusing to be limited by it (although at times severely tempted to). I no longer think I have been dislodged from my earlier life; rather, that I’m finally learning to inhabit my life for real.
I’m like a headless chicken that just can’t stop running around, at the moment. My Monica-style organisational obsessions are in full swing.
Yesterday I sprayed that Mr Muscle stuff into the oven and a few hours later it had morphed into this disgusting mess that looks like the spawn of some freaky bog creature!!
It will need a second round, it was that bad.
This morning I made bread, flapjacks, bolognese, mung bean chilli and soup. I really don’t know how I did all that.
I wish I had something else to write about, I really do. I like myself better when I’m living on a deeper level, a thinking level. I have all these lurking ideas just waiting for a chance to germinate into thought. I just don’t know how to change gear and slow down. Because I know that I will probably crash and burn.
I have to go to work tomorrow and work hard… work is one place that I often have the chance – and am encouraged – to indulge in thought and imagination, but not right now – right now it has to be structured, and considered, and planned, and ordered, and regimented.
I feel so arid.
It’s that I don’t deal well with pressure; I react to it like this – trying frantically to get things ticked off well ahead so I can feel better. I can’t exist comfortably with stuff to be done. It’s like an itch I have to scratch. But the list never goes down to zero. I will have to try and find the stop button, somehow. Even if it means I have a couple of crap days. If I don’t get as much done at work as I wanted in the end, I will just put it into the “future work” section of the report.