Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still waters don't always run deep!

When I was a kid, stuff on sun signs was a big fascination among my friends. And everybody loved it that I was a Capricorn. For several years I was told that all the traits a Capricorn is supposed to have (and which they are impressed by) are traits that I possess. Apparently, my friends thought I was practical, rational, independent and basically the "strong and silent" types. They were spot on about the "silent" type! But one key adage associated with a Capricorn was... "Still waters run deep". Nope, still waters don't always run deep. They sometimes "stagnate" and its been a key feature of my life for some time now.

The first person to use the word "stagnate" to describe something about me was.... eek!... my boss!!! That was a nightmare in its own right! Well, here is the background story. I manage 3 projects in lab and I love 2 of them to bits! But the third one is a bit iffy.... its a left-over project from an old collaboration we had on a protein that I do no believe is responsible for affecting neurogenesis (the topic our lab focusses on). Now our collaborator lab is closing down and is destroying their transgenic mice. I needed tissue from them to complete the study which obviously, I don't have anymore! So excuse me if my enthusiasm for this project is not very high!

Ironically, some of the best data that I have collected since I joined the lab was on this one project that I am so resentful towards. My first committee meeting focussed on this project and a ton of questions were asked that I could not answer. This was 4 months ago. Now 4 months later, I can kinda sorta answer my committee's questions and concerns, but the care factor is still pretty low. So its not surprising that  my boss pointed out (and rightly so) that my knowledge in this particular protein and its relation to neurogenesis is "stagnant". It really is, I haven't bothered to study it, I am guilty of what she accuses me of.

Its almost time for me to go to India. In 48 hours, I will be at JFK, waiting to board my flight back home. Its been two years since I returned. As excited as I am about going back, I have been forced to stop for a minute and examine myself and how far I have come. At this point, I found the word "stagnant" pretty descriptive of the situation I am in.

Here is how I should have progressed over the past couple of years - after an initial bumpy stage of settling into a new country and a new life, I should have gotten a handle of how things work in life, how to live on my own, how to cook and provide for myself, how to be strong and courageous, be there for the few friends I have here and overall, be a good person.

Here is how I really am - Still settling into a new country but am in denial that I am still figuring things out, I want to believe that I know what I am doing, but I have no clue. I still have no idea how things work in life, I live on my own but I haven't figured out how to be strong enough to enjoy it, I barely cook and barely manage to take care of myself. I am not strong, I am not courageous. I have been a good friend to the few friends I have here but not a perfect friend. Am I a good person overall? I dunno, I feel like I am still the same person who set foot outside her home in India for the first time, 6 years ago - an angsty teenager who is bitter about how life is so "unfair" and whining about how it sucks to be alone and wallowing in self-pity.

So have my travels made me grow? Am I returning home to my family a better person?

Even today, when things go bad and I feel depressed or lonely, I can't seem to take care of myself. I need to call my mom or dad or Clueless and talk to one of them. I still need support to lean on. I never figured out how to apply the single best advice I have received ever... and its from clueless... she always says... "Don't think about it".

Four simple words, one profound truth. The more I think about things, the more terrible they seem. The more I brood, the more hopeless the situation becomes.

Well, hopefully when I get back after my vacation and start life here again, I will make some progress and change into the person I want to be. Life is not so bad. I am blessed. And someday I will learn to derive happiness from this knowledge :)

No comments: