Lately I’ve been thinking about multiple insecurities about myself, my life, who I am, where I want to go, and my relationships. All of these thoughts began while I was taking some vacation time…and I am sure they came about because I had so much time to think about these things. However, they’ve been bothering for the past few days.
I am usually a very secure person. I don’t let anything get to me and I’ve learned to develop thick skin because I am in a career where this is necessary. However, as I delve into my third year in graduate school and I begin to want to make plans for the immediate future, I am faced with multiple insecurities. I think that part of this insecurity comes from knowing that my project is not quite there yet and feeling the pressure to finish my PhD within the next 10 months. This also makes me question whether the hard work that I’ve been putting in for the past three years has actually been worth it and by consequence whether I am good enough to even get a PhD. I think that impostor syndrome is happening to me right now because I feel that no matter how hard I work, how accomplished I am, how much I know, I am not good enough to get a PhD. It might just be the nature of the project, my own belief in myself, and also the fact that my thesis advisor has always been extremely hard on me because she believes I can accomplish a lot. All of these things have been converging into this feeling of exhaustion towards graduate school. I love what I do. I don’t imagine myself doing anything else with my life right now, but I am beginning to wonder whether I am good enough to stay in this career and, if I am, if I should continue pursuing academic research.
This hasn’t been the only thing that has been weighing heavily on my mind. I’ve sacrificed a lot of personal relationships while in graduate school. My family is always there for me, but I feel like I’ve given up a lot of free time where I could have been having a good time with them, for graduate school. Additionally, my relationships to the men I have dated have not led to anything because I’ve always been very focused on my goals and on trying to really understand who I am and what I want out of life. I know that there is nothing wrong with this, however, I’ve been wondering whether all of this is worth it.
I think that going on this trip on my own was great because it gave me some breathing room and time to just be. However, I also reflected a lot on who I want to be going forward. In all honesty, part of me feels completely inadequate and somewhat lost. This is not something that I am used to. I think that moving forward I really need to examine what it is that continues to make me happy and how I can change the things that do not. Giving extra thought to this has also made me realize that I used to be such a huge dreamer. I dreamed about everything in my life and made it happen for myself. Lately, though, I haven’t had many dreams mostly because I’ve been trying to wrap one up (getting my PhD).
Maybe I am in rut?
Perhaps this is a transformative period in my life and all will fall into place like it always does. For now though, I wanted to give some thought to this because it is important for me to feel good about myself, about my work, about where I am going, and my relationships.
I think that because I am a big dreamer, because I want so many things out of life, I am so hard on myself when I don’t feel that I am living up to my own expectations of what happiness should be for me. Part of this is this feeling that I could have a more well rounded life. Striking that balance is going to be a challenge which I hope I can tackle.
Have any of you felt this way about different situations in life?
All I know is that, I hope that this period of insecurity gives way to something positive.