I have had a revelation, so far I've not been a phd student. No, seriously. I've been going in every day but not working, not thinking. I've been reading the minimum and avoiding any real work, that's not doing a phd.
The problem is, I've not been sure I want it. I kind of defaulted into a phd. I finished uni, I didn't want to go home, a phd seemed like the logical next step. After all, phds are what you do after an undergrad and I had everything I needed to get a good phd. So I did. But, for the last few months, there's been this voice in my head asking me if this was really what I wanted, if this is really what I think I should do with the rest of my life. I was enabled in this by the fact that the project was a little stalled, and the things I could do weren't so vital either. I told myself there was no need to push.
In my lab meeting on Monday my supervisor turned around to me and told me I need to start taking control of the project, start making it my project. At that point, what I knew all along came into focus. So far, I've been failing. I've been coasting along on the bare minimum work and that is failing.
So, there was the choice. Start looking for a job or pull my act together.
I'm going to get my act together.
I've thought long and hard about it and I WANT this PhD. Not just in a vague way to give me some income and time to stall but I WANT a PhD. I want to be a PhD student, and then I want to go into research. I want this to be my life. This isn't some kind of half-assed declaration, it's like a switch was flicked and now I realise what I've got to do. I want the passion for science I had a few years ago, before being in a lab where I was ignored and achieved nothing crushed my hope. I want to think about what I'm going to do that day on the way into work. I want to find things out and enjoy it. I want to think all day and byh busy doing research. I want to design experiments and perform experiments and I want to really make this project into my own project. I want to live it and be it.
I'm aware that this is going to require determination and sacrifices, but I think I'm ready now for that. I think this is the time when I need to step back and realise that I can't get a PhD like this, and getting a PhD is what's important.
I guess I've not been paying attention to Avenue Q for all these years, for some reason I thought the hard part was over. Now I realise it's only just begining. It's going to be a fight from here on it, but it's a fight I'm willing to take part in. It's a fight for something I want, something I need. I won't give up, I won't fail. I will give everything I've got to this project and I WILL suceed.