This will be my 403rd blogpost on this blog, and honestly it get’s harder and harder to think of a title when each one comes around! I mean basically this is my 403rd blogpost with content that is the same thing as it always is; my everyday life, struggles and nice events. “The aftermath” felt appropriate in reference to last post’s dreary story of events, so “The aftermath” it is because that is in fact what these last days have been about! Not to worry though, as the aftermath has only consisted on positive actions and series of events!
The following day I went to see my adviser Jenny, which ended being the most helpful and productive meeting I have ever had in my life. It was constructive feedback, sorting out concrete problems and mental therapy, all wrapped up in one. We discussed my worries and struggles with the projects logistics and came up with concrete actions and decisions to deal with them. She reassured me that I was doing everything right and that all my thoughts were valid, but could be dealt with. And the one’s that couldn’t be dealt with could be structured as constructive criticism and discussed in my paper with future applications and modifications in mind. We looked at the data and made plans for modifying the work load. She also gave me a uplifting pep talk about the challenges in research, and that I mustn’t think I am alone in feeling not good enough or a failure because everyone who has ever done science have gone through similar things to what I’ve been going through. She said a good scientist is not one that get’s it right the first time, but rather the ones who make mistakes but can bounce back, persevere, and adjust and learn from those mistakes. And she’s right! She gave me credit for for picking a topic I had had very little knowledge or experience in previously, and for learning completely new techniques, teaching myself to ID a previously unfamiliar group of organisms, and doing it all on my own in a different country! She also pointed out that this project isn’t really about doing groundbreaking new research and getting tidy results, but rather getting first hand experience in research and embarking on that learning curve that follows with it. She said, some thrive under these conditions, and others find out that this is not the thing for them, and that that’s good too because there is so much more out there for us to do than just being researchers (I can’t seem to get across how understand she was, because reading what I just wrote she sounds a bit condescending, but I assure you she was the complete opposite). As she said all these perfect things I couldn’t help myself from sighing a sigh of relief. It was so comforting to have someone completely understand my struggles, and even though I hadn’t said anything, picked up on the self doubt and worries of personal failure I was feeling, and talked to me about them like she knew exactly what it felt like! We made a plan for me for over the weekend, and arranged for another meeting on Tuesday.
Felt like such a long paragraph needs a photo, but as I don’t have anything appropriate I’m going to include a photo of our house I took the other day, which I really like!
After leaving that delightful meeting I spent the rest of the day powering through, not doing much apart from staying awake, as I had barely slept that night following the meltdown. By the late evening I had successfully completed a day of uni and could enjoy a well deserved weekend. On Saturday I went into Norwich to do some errands. Before all of that though David and I went for lunch at No 33 Cafe after walking into town. We went for our traditional goat’s cheese ciabattas, and were unsettled by the discovery that the goat’s cheese, pesto, honey and rocket ciabatta heavenly recipe had been changed, replacing the pesto and honey with sweet chilli sauce. Luckily it still tasted amazing, although I wouldn’t be upset if they changed it back to the original recipe. I had an amazing chai latte too, the best Chai in Norwich! Afterwards, David left to go see his rowing team race, and I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Norwich and ticking off on my to do list. Norwich was busy, but still peaceful to walk around, and I escaped into cute little shops and explored anytime the busy streets got too much.
Back home I carved a pumpkin with Luke, in preparation for the pumpkin competition hosted by Angeline (Paul’s girlfriend) after she won the poem competition on our beach outing a couple of weeks back. The theme was scary, and I must admit I was pretty proud of my efforts being that I haven’t carved a pumpkin before (at least not that I can remember).