Being a researcher is about working at your project, chipping it away one tiny piece at a time, talking about your day to day activities and the failures. Every week, one research group meeting.
Let’s say the group meeting is on Tuesday from 7 pm to 9 pm. So, my week would start from Wednesday after thoroughly crying away all the negative feelings from the meeting the previous night. Thursday, to Sunday are the most productive days of the week without the threat of a looming meeting. Sunday is the panic day as Monday is the next day. Monday will be anxiety attack day as Tuesday is so close. Finally all day Tuesday is unbearable, anticipating the beating that you’ll take.
Working in a lab = conducting experiments and getting results. Everything is supposed to be new. It’s not like a desk job where you make a bunch of documents. Your presentation in the group meeting will account for every single second of the previous week. It’s dangerous and monstrous for a soul to bear.
Yesterday, in my group meeting, I heard this quote for the second time in my life. “We make our own luck”. This five word sentence makes me very angry because it is not true. I wish it were true. I wish I can make my own luck. I wish that my cloning works after the millionth time and after 4 and half months of working my butt off. But it doesn’t. You can’t make luck. There’s something called destiny which likes messing with people. Fate. Karma. Curse. Whatever you might call it!
And willpower? Please! If you had to be in my shoes for one day, you’d beg for mercy and escape. I’m still alive. I still persist. I’m failing at work not because I’m not making an effort. I make an effort just to breathe, just to come back to this hell hole of a life, every damn single day. I work and work like a crazy person, faced with failures other people can never face, go through the most random traumatic incidents, and give the best damn seminar talk my department has seen in my year on a broken foot and a suicidal mind. Honey, you don’t even know the amount of will-power I have. So, no, asking me to hang in there is like asking a seasoned pro to learn the basics.
So NO! You can’t fucking make your own damn luck. Ask the homeless man about it and then talk to me. And you don’t tell a farmer who works day and night to produce crops to have will power. His entire existence is because he’s bent by fate to have it.
I hope you like today’s lab life story.
More tomorrow. Keep in touch.