Thirty Nine

As a Pisces,

I need to work on my feelings before I can manage my logic. So when I face a difficulty, I usually wait out my moods. I calm down, feel the danger disappointment fill up and then drain out of me, and with some step by step coaxing, I recover on the reassurance that everything will work out.

Sunday, I avoided opening an e-mail from my PI about my unfinished draft of my research paper. I spent the morning buying Victoria’s Secret bras and in general, used hanging out with my best friend as an excuse not to check my PI’s corrections. Night comes, and I’m happily Skyping my boyfriend about how life is great and how research is going well. I check my e-mail, saw the crossed out paragraphs and the “wrong” this, “wrong” that, and my mood plummets.

My boyfriend notices that I suddenly went quiet as I thought about how stupid I must seem to my PI and to the rest of my lab now, since my PI told me to ask peers on the same level as me for help. A grad student himself, my boyfriend tried to comfort me, telling me how his first drafts were covered in cross outs and red marks as well, but he is well, a little more stable and logical.

At least he stayed with me, watching my grumpy face think about how to get myself out of this funk. I looked at the paper again and thought about the specific changes I can make on my own and listed out the questions I can ask the grad student and PI for those major points that I missed. I pieced my sanity back together piece by piece, and he is there with me, watching me bleed and heal. That’s the best we can do in this long distance relationship, and I am so grateful for him doing his best.

Everything turned out fine in the end. I got most of my draft done and my PI and grad student answered my questions without making me feel stupid. In fact, I am finally having intelligent conversations with those lab bosses, and I finally feel like I have the right to call myself a research assistant, or a “research” anything. I’m pacing myself, stopping work by five or six, and going home every night to eat with my family. Everything will be alright, my dear.

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