Novel Ideas : Things I’m Afraid to Tell You
A long time ago (like, this past summer) I read a post on Red Lips and Academics called “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You: Academic Edition.” She borrowed the idea from the Creature Comfort’s Blog, and it started as a sort of meme for crafty (like, Pinterest-perfect) crafty folks. The idea is that bloggers remove our air of confidence, the facade we wear that says, “We’ve got everything figured out. We’ve got our shit together. We’re so together that we blog about our amazing lives.” Okay, so those are my words, not hers. But today I’m going to share with you some of my vulnerabilities as an academic. I certainly have shared some of my insecurities along the way, but these are the biggies:
1. I’m a 95%er. Meaning, I’m not a perfectionist. I don’t have time to be a perfectionist. You can probably tell by the number of typos on this blog. I believe that perfection is terribly inefficient.
2. I was not a fabulous teacher. I wasn’t terrible, but I certainly wasn’t the teacher of the year. No one is very good in their first few years, so this isn’t surprising. However, I sometimes feel weird talking about all these ideals and theories of teaching when I look back on my experiences and cringe.
3. I get jealous of my friends who have lives. When I look at all my friends having babies, buying houses, going on vacations, getting married, I often feel stuck. Like I have this one thing I can do well (academics) and I’m a one trick pony. I regularly remind myself that things will look very different ten years from now, and I just have to be okay with that.
4. Now that I’ve started my Ph.D, I don’t know when I’m going to have children. My life will only get harder when/if I get a tenure-track position! There will be no good time. It’s just going to have to happen anyway, and I get tired just thinking about it!
5. I rarely miss teaching in the public schools. This makes me feel super guilty and I don’t really like to talk about it. However, I just love being treated like a serious adult and a real person. I like being able to go outside at various points in the day, eating lunch without being interrupted, and being able to walk out of class when I have to go to the bathroom. The introvert in me is loving all of the time I have to hyper-focus on things.
6. I have zero experience with research. And I desperately need some. And I will get some (I am already getting some), but right now it’s a huge deficit in my education that constantly stares me in the face.
7. I don’t talk fancy. I mean, my vocabulary has already changed a lot being in this academic wonderland. I’ve never been against jargon and ed-speak and fancy words because they are usually efficient for describing ideas. However, most of the time I just talk like a normal person. This may change over the next three years (…it will likely change over the next three years…), but for now I’m better at writing than talking.
So there you have it. Things I’m afraid to tell you. I know I’m not alone in these, and I know many of them will work themselves out over time. I’m generally a very confident, optimistic, person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my fair share of insecurities from time to time.
Also, please note that I’m not asking for solutions from anyone. I’m handling things very well in school and I’m very happy! I’m forging my own way and figuring it all out along that path. I’m fine with some stumbles and questions as I go, that’s life! The purpose for sharing this is to put a little bit of myself out there. It’s about transparency and realizing I’m not alone (and that you aren’t alone!) in the self-doubts of life.
Do you share any similar insecurities? What is one thing you are afraid to tell people?