My Tree of Insecurity

Eliot Hall“I sat outside John’s office today for half an hour. He was inside talking on the phone and would not answer the door even though we had an appointment. Then I went to see Suko. He threw my paper in the trashcan and told me that it was amateurish. Then I went to pick up my paper from Marcus. I could barely make out any of my original work in the sea of red. Don’t even get me started about Norman. #$%@ Norman! I can’t do this. I cannot create new knowledge.”

I unloaded all of my frustrations, doubts and anxieties on James and David. Emotionally exhausted I hung my head.

We were in our sixth year of graduate school together. We had made it through our prelims, second-year papers, and dissertation proposals together. Indeed, we were three of only five remaining students in our entering class of fifteen.

James and David did not miss a beat as they took their dutiful turns building me back up. This was our rhythm. We each took our turn to rant and to build each other up on a regular basis. As I apologized for busting in on them, David’s girlfriend Brie, who happened to be in the office this time, says gently “You just needed to get talked down out of your tree.” I still find those words comforting.

I had a post for this week started. As I worked on it for the past few days it turned into three. However, instead of shipping one of them out into the world, I decided to climb my tree of insecurity.

I am going to stay up here for a bit. I will talk myself down in a couple of days.

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