I don’t know what to call it

so I won’t give it a name

If I were to be brutally honest with you about what its like for me to be a geoscientist would you believe me?

As with any task I set out to accomplish, I had a plan for my blog posts. I was going to write to you all in chronological order about how I got to where I am, and then narrate to you the limbo that I am experiencing as someone who is in an administrative leadership position focused on increased equity in STEM.

Even with a plan and a detailed timeline, I have struggled to put my emotions to words. I’ve been caught up somewhere between : a) feeling a sense of dread each time I look at the unpublished manuscript that hasn’t made progress in the last two years of being out of graduate school , b) the constant shame I feel about deciding to step away from the PhD track of the geosciences and feeling like I sold out, c) not having the energy to try to convince others that my lived experiences are valid and are not up for debate and, d) fear of the potential retaliation that I would endure if I do put my thoughts into words.

In thinking about writing, I’d worry about all of the things that I did not want: I don’t want to be seen as weak. I don’t want to be pitied. I don’t want to be judged as less than. The things that I fear come to mind every time I think about sharing what my path has been like and why as someone who had intended to continue on the PhD track and who had been admitted to the PhD program at my school is now no longer on that path.

I’ve been reading a lot of social psychology, management, and leadership books and they all seem to say that the tasks that are most worth while are the ones that make you want to vomit, poop your pants, or pass out (my words not theirs). As a full time introvert, the list of things that illicit such a physiological response is long, but I will start.

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