Procrastination and lack of motivation… now what?!

Fair warning, this will be a huge rant…

I’m finishing my 4th year of my PhD and I’m scared. The closer I get to the finishing (self-imposed) date, the more I panic and feel blocked. And I’m not motivated at all.

For the past week or so I’ve spent hours in front of my PC, knowing that I have to analyze data, make statistical analyses, plots and then discuss them. I need to finish my part of a paper, 2 work reports, my yearly report of my PhD and start writing my thesis, and I did a grand amount of nothing.

All August my brain kept telling me “it’s ok if you didn’t do it today, you have tomorrow”, but then August ended – how, I’m still not really sure, September is here, one week gone and I still have nothing. I know I work better under pressure, so I know that I’ll have to finish each of these topics I just mentioned until the end of next week, but this time this is scaring the hell out of me.

I started my PhD on January 2012. The first months were a joke! I spent them in Portugal collecting samples and doing 2 term papers… oh, how I totally wasted those months… so my real work began on September 2012, when I arrived in Barcelona (yeah, almost 3 years here…). I knew right away that my project would be hard – the funding was cut, Portugal and Spain were in a huge financial crises, and to top it off, the main techniques used in my field of research changed drastically within a few years, so I knew from the start that no matter how amazing my results were, they would have to be taken into the light that it was done with techniques that are not the “go to” thing anymore. That’s frustrating!

Still, for more than 2 years I labored, with my 3-7 days DNA extractions, and endless PCRs without results, endless lab contaminations, whole days, weeks and months that went to waste because all of that… but still, I had some kind of hope that I would make it work, that somehow I would obtain enough results from my old old samples that I would be able to finish without a hitch. See, my PhD was never supposed to be the big thing, it was only just a step, to get to something better. I never liked it here, and it never crossed my mind to be here any day longer than strictly necessary.

But as a new yearly report and defense of my progress looms on the horizon, I have to take a look at my results from my samples and finally start admitting (at least to myself) that they won’t be enough. And that I’ll be lucky if I manage to get any kind of usable information for 10 of my 100 samples… and this sucks! It breaks my heart and I don’t know what to do about it.

Objectively, and rationally, I know that this won’t have to be a problem. I can spin my dissertation theme. I can go for why I had such terrible results, or I can expand the temporal and geographic scope to include other samples I worked on these past years that had far more promising results.

But still, I feel like I failed, and this realization, of the failure and everything it entails, it has left me unmotivated and dispassionate about something that was so sure was my future. Because what if I can’t do it? What if I’m not good enough? What if, because of the circumstances, I never get a post-doc doing something I want, or somewhere I really like?

I know I don’t want to spend much more time doing this, but actually taking a step forward and working on finishing it, no matter what I have or don’t have, is scary as hell. See, this is a “safe” place. I’m doing my PhD, I have a goal, I have a purpose, and even when my scholarship ends and if I have to get a job until I finish it, it’s ok, because I have a finish like to look forward to.

But then what? The finish line comes and what’s next?

Not trying is tempting. Because if you don’t try you don’t fail, it’s as simple as that.

I understand why so many people lose years on end on grad school, I understand why my best friend is still doing her masters, 8 years after getting in, I understand why my colleague took around 12 years to finish his PhD. And I never wanted that for me, but I understand the appeal, and that scares the hell out of me.

I always wanted to work in science, even in times when I was lost and didn’t think I could do it, the only future I saw possible for myself included handling micropipettes and eppendorfs. But after so many years of being sure, I find myself envisioning a different kind of future for myself, with a steady job, ideally surrounded by books and/or coffee, and it’s not bad, and yet it’s the worst thing for me because It feels like giving up!

I have the upmost respect for all the people who go to grad school and after decide to do something else entirely. I know a lot of people who have given up on science. I never wanted to be one of them, I still don’t. I don’t want to think that I’ve spent all my adult life in pursuit of something that I’ll just abaddon. It’s been 13 years since I got into college! 5 years of undergrad, 3 years of Msc, (one miserable year trying to get a scholarship to do my PhD), and now 4 years of PhD, with at least one more in tow… I don’t want to have worked so hard for nothing. And at the same time, I’m scared, oh so scared, that no matter how hard I try, this might be it for me, and it might not even be my choice.

I’m 31 years old. Since I was in my second year of my Masters degree, getting this Phd has been THE GOAL. I’ve put everything on hold – not entirely by choice, but everything became secondary to this. I left my family, which was never a problem, because I never wanted to stay in Portugal, but I moved to a place I hated, and that destroys me a little bit every single day. Let me clarify, I don’t hate Barcelona. I hate my place of work. I don’t particularly like the people and the way that things are done here. I don’t like the language. I hate that I didn’t make a single friend in the 3 years I’ve been here – I mean, I know I’m not an easy person, but this is just ridiculous. I hate my everyday life, and I’m always comparing it to home and I miss home every single day – which is funny as hell, because at 17 I was ready to move to London and I saw no problem with that (still one of my biggest regrets).

So it’s a horrible feeling, to think that maybe, just maybe, I’ve put everything else on hold to do this one thing,  that I might not even be successful at. And I have no idea what to do next…

I guess this is the end of this rant… I’m so sorry for the long (and pointless) post, I just needed to get it out of my chest. Now I need to finish all that stuff, on the 18th I’ll be back on a plane, so there’s that to look forward to.

Blast From the Past: 90’S Music (female artists)

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A while back I made a post about several iconic songs released in the 90’s, Blast from the Past: 90’s Music. Today I thought I would post some musics of the 90’s from female artists only. Recognize all of them?

Madonna – Vogue (1990)

Cher – The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) (1991)

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up (1992)

Mariah Carey – Hero (1993)

Des’ree – You Gotta Be (1994)

Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet (1995)

Céline Dion – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now (1996)

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn (1997)

Meredith Brooks – Bitch(1997)

Brandy & Monica – The Boy Is Mine (1998)

TLC – No Scrubs (1999)

Ignite Me (Tahereh Mafi)

>>>>  Nº32 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A Trilogy #3  <<<<

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.” 

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.


*** Warning, there will be lots of SPOILERS ***

I am obsessed with this book! I started it on Thursday night (actually it was friday already, around midnight or something), thinking I would read a couple of chapters and head on to bed… yeah, that didn’t work out. I stayed up until 6 a.m. reading it and only stopped because I was conscious that I needed to get some sleep before sunrise – by this time I was also fully aware that there was no way I was going into work in the morning. I finished it as soon as I woke up on Friday… and then I re-read a few chapters… several times during the whole weekend.

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So as you might have figured it out by now, I absolutely loved this book, it’s definitely my favorite of the series and I don’t understand why it isn’t longer, because I needed more of it. I have so many questions, and I don’t understand why this is only a trilogy, because I could have had more (or at least some more novellas to keep me tight up).

Warner + Juliette

Have I mentioned before how much I love Warner? Yes? No? Oh well, I love Warner, a LOT! I loved that he finally explained everything to Juliette and that even extremely heart broken, he still did everything in his power to help her and gave her everything she wanted. He was so vulnerable throughout some parts of this book and that was such an interesting thing to read, given how he was always so in control in all the others. I loved all his moments with Juliette, and that what’s kept me awake for the whole night!

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Juliette grew so much in this book. I loved that she stood up for herself and those she loves!

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I also liked that she took her time figuring out her feelings and that she only went to Warner when she knew that she had all the choices but all she wanted was him. But it was hard! He was in so much pain and she wanted him and didn’t say it… oh…. my heart was in physical pain throughout all this.

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But people… the sex! OMG! The sex! If their scene together in Unravel Me was hot (and it was), it doesn’t hold a candle to everything that goes on here, just… wow!

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By the way, “Lift your hips for me, love.” will forever be etched into my brain…

(Also, why do I keep imagining him slightly british when he calls her “love”? I keep going to Tom Hiddlestone accent… don’t know why…)

Juliette + Kenji

This was my second favorite thing about this book: Kenji and Juliette’s friendship. I want a best friend like Kenji! He’s hilarious, so damn funny, and I loved all their talks. I loved that he took the time and had the cool head to actually listen to her. Even if he thought she was a bit mental for trusting Warner, he still listened and understood. Such beautiful moments there…

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Adam vs The World

When I started to read Shatter Me and loved Adam, I talked to Kat @Life and Other Disasters and she told me she didn’t like Adam, that he did something bad. I couldn’t understand, I believed I could never hate him, ship Juliette with Warner, maybe, but dislike Adam? Not possible!

Then I read Fracture Me and my feelings for Adam started to change very drastically, and then I got to this book and I wanted to kill him each time he opened his mouth! It’s not that I don’t understand where it’s coming from, I can understand that, but what he said to Juliette? Some of that stuff is unforgivable in my book.

But I did like that Juliette stood up to him (you go girl!), but this Adam?! GOD! By the end he seemed a bit more mellow, but he was just so stupid throughout everything… I didn’t like it, and I didn’t like him! 😦

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What I loved:

I really liked that ending. I liked that Anderson died with 2 bullets to the head – though Juliette, love, it should have been “One for Warner. One for Adam.” and not the other way around… but hey, I forgive you.

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I loved all the powers and projections and stuff. I’m a huge fan of Warner’s power and how quickly he was able to control it.

I loved Juliette’s relationship with Warner. I loved that he respected her, her powers and her opinions. And that she did the same regarding him. They ended up being a perfectly balanced couple, and I couldn’t have predicted that on book 1.

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WHY I WANTED MORE:

I wanted more of Juliette and Warner. I wanted more of them as a couple, I wanted to know what happened when she took control, I wanted to know it all. I also wanted more bed, tables, walls, bathtubs and disrobing scenes… seriously, they can’t even keep their clothes on!

I also would have loved to have a double POV in this book, I wanted to know what Warner was thinking for most of the book, especially during all those weeks when he couldn’t even look straight at Juliette.

More Kenji! More Kenji with Juliette. More Kenji with Warner. Basically, more Kenji.

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I wanted to know more about Winston and Brendan and all of the gang. I wanted backstories and the works. Novellas, maybe? Can a girl dream?

I wanted Warner bonding with Adam and James. I absolutely loved that Warner was the bigger man and showed interest and getting to know his brothers, but I wanted to see him actually interacting with the both of them as brothers. Also, James would be confused as hell…

I wished that Anderson would have been aware that both his children were against him – not that it would have mattered to him… he was a monster.

I wanted to know all the secrets that Warner was still not telling. Come on, we just know that there’s a lot more stuff, right? I wanted everything!

Rating: 4.7 Stars

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PS: to everyone that told me that Warner would win me over and that I would change my opinion of him from the first book on… you were so so right!

PS2: I’m so unwilling to let go that I actually went looking for fanfiction last night… I never ever read fanfic before…

Shatter MeDestroy Me – Unravel MeFracture Me