And then there’s trying to figure out if all this thinking and feeling is typical, if I am alone in wondering why all of this seems so confusing.
Whether spending a week in bed means I’ve developed a remarkably sophisticated premature disillusionment with the publishing oligarchy dominating academic politics, or if I might just be depressed because I’m alone as would a normal person.
That feeling of royalty when stepping off a plane in a foreign land to address to an adoringly naive, intellectually starved audience satisfied only by the acute physical apperception of soul-quenching speculation leaving your lips one syllable at a time. Sometimes I think my experience in academia would be easier if I could better ignore how the intellectual stimulation of discovery or pride of publication doesn’t quite mask the loneliness of being the only one who understands what you do at your institution, or drinking alone at a hotel bar because everyone else at the conference was meeting up with old colleagues.
I sometimes wonder if imposter syndrome is specific enough a label to cover feeling out of place not because of skills or reputation, but by having too many feelings or thinking too much about them.
Feeling shame when facing unmistakable consequences of choosing your career over your family does not make you special.
Wondering if you’ll ever achieve a level of success where you won’t feel like an imposter is so common they’ve had a label for it since like the 70’s.
That heart flutter of excitement when opening a conference notification email.