Confidence boost

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Guys, I know (I’m saying ‘guys’ as if I still have more than one reader), I’ve been absent forever. But unlike my students, I’m not gonna try to make up a pathetic excuse for not being around. The truth is, I’ve been busy: I took an important exam (and passed it), I went to a conference, and now I shouldn’t even be here. I have three final papers due next week, so I should probably be writing them, instead of telling you about my life. And yet, here we are.

Where should I start? Probably by telling you that in the near future, I’m going to TRY and post more, because just by opening up the WordPress website, I could tell that I had missed it. And also, I waste a lot of time looking at reviews for every single episode of every single TV show I watch, so why not use my free time to write instead?

So, what’s up with me, you ask? From my very presumptuous title, you can probably tell that things are going pretty well. I told you about my impostor syndrome before, and it hasn’t gone away per se, but the recent events made it fade a little bit. For one, I passed my candidacy exam, which means that my committee members are essentially on board with my thesis proposal. After months of self-doubt, hearing that I have a good project made me feel extremely light, and even if I have a shitton of work to do still, I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel -the tunnel didn’t have an end a few months ago, so I guess that’s progress.

And then, I went to a conference, for the second time in my life. It was actually the first time I ever presented on my area of interest, specifically on a novel that I will analyze in my future thesis, so let me tell you, I was shaking in my boots.

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I went to the conference with two friends, but my advisor AND my former advisor were also there, so yeah, I was pretty nervous. What if I tripped over my own feet and fell over? What if my nervous sweat formed a puddle under me? What if I accidentally said ‘penis’ instead of ‘colonization’?

What if what I have to say sucks?

When I found out I wasn’t gonna be able to sit to present -my last experience with conferences had more of a roundtable kinda vibe-, I freaked out: everybody was going to see that my hands were shaking, because I didn’t even have a podium to put my paper on. At the end of the day, it went well. I was scared for the first two minutes, but right after that I started making jokes (well, not hilarious ones, and not ‘that’s what she said’ jokes, but, you know, things that make academics laugh) and feeling much more comfortable given the situation.

This semester has been a huge confidence boost, so far. I’m saying ‘so far’ because I still have a few assignments to complete, so who knows how much I could screw those up. But really, even if I still feel like a failure most of the time, I know I can do this.

On a different topic, I bumped into one of my students at Target as I was buying tampons, so there’s that.