A postdoc who beat me out on a manuscript once said, "You should never settle for the research projects you work on." He must've been a tenured professor in disguise, or the freshest of meats offered to the machine of higher education.
I'm not really sure why I keep pursuing things that constantly slap me in the face with reminders that I am powerless and alone. I hate being powerless and alone. I was hoping for (and probably believed in) a higher calling, but certainly it was not meant to be if I already have to make major concessions so early into my career. I am not working on a project that I want to, in an institution I dislike, in a city that might as well be Baltimore for all practical purposes except for those involving crabs. But on paper, omitting as much detail as possible, trimming away all of those protracted mishaps, the heartache, tedious thoughts, and humiliation, it looks like I have it made. Nobody knows that it's not what I want, and I might not get the "reward." Such is the beauty of life - you barely need to hide the darkness and nobody will see it.
Maybe this is what I get for settling during my entire career, from day one. I, as a beggar, thought I couldn't be a chooser, and indeed, I was only offered one project a year and took them because well, there was nothing else. Irrelevant work is still better than nothing. I took each of them hoping the next year I would have my pick. It never happened. Maybe I'm just not the type of person that others think is suitable for what I want to do.
Ah, I just remembered why I chose to join this grueling exercise. In second grade, outcast and miserable, I realized that life sucked because I was none of: pretty, popular, athletic, or smart. My parents had told me all my life that being popular or athletic are wastes of time, and as I can't change my looks, I decided that I had to be "smart." That is why I am where I am today. I have been trying to be popular, too, but it hasn't been working.
Anyway, I am alone and miserable in this crappy city, have dropped at least 20 hours over trying to get a home internet connection this week, been approached by many roaches, failed everything, and have no friends so I'm just being emo. Things are not looking up. They haven't for the past 5 years, and I'm out of energy for trying to fix it.
I wish I could transfer out. Sometimes I wish I were just hot and well-liked so I could tastefully whore my way to a cushy life. Sometimes it seems fun just to pretend, but I can't even enjoy that thrill because there are no hot or powerful men lying around here to play with. How bad would it feel to spend energy flirting with a filthy, unattractive, and unkempt man who lisps his "what are you doing?" I've tried to date ugly people; it hurts the ego so much more to be rejected by Frankensteins than by Adonis'.
This environment isn't even mentally stimulating; it's just a perpetual string of busywork. There's nowhere to get real food, and there are no amusements. I can't even get home internet. Nobody wants to be my friend. Etc. All I have to live for for the next few years is irrelevant busywork. I will regret this period of my life, but I'm not really sure what the way out could be. Can I reapply (I didn't get in anywhere I wanted to the first time so yeah right)? Can I get a job (surely it will be a dead end job)? Can I start a startup (that was never a possibility)? Can I marry some well-off guy (biggest no right there as an unconfident, ugly person)? What else is there in life. The rest are bad options (vagabond, nature preserver, criminal).
There isn't much to life then. I've felt this way most of my life and have been trying to find something to live for. Have I been trying very hard? Probably not. Every day I walk across a bridge or near heavy traffic I wish I could just fling myself in, but I never do and never will. I should have done that when I first had these thoughts, but I'm a sunk cost now and must do something with the resources invested into me. Though, I am doing exceptionally well considering the resources spent on me; I cost no more than 1/4 of what it did to raise other people in my position. The lack of investment probably shows through these mental health problems.
I think I finally got around to posting this because of inspiration by Amanda Rosenberg, lover of powerful men. From the reminders that Google would never want to hire me and that she's only pretty because she thinks she is. I could've been all those things. But I'm just a little poo and will probably never get to grow up into a big, strong, and powerful poo.