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Archive for September, 2008

Sly side effect

BS (before stroke), I knew how to just casually chat with people – I had an idea of what questions to ask and was very interested in other people’s lives. In my (very biased and self-centered) opinion, I have misplaced this ability. I feel as though the stroke really forced me to study and analyze everything I could or could not do. This forced self-centeredness lasted for as long as other people seemed to be more interested in me than I was in them. At first, it was very confusing. I am not a fan of having the spotlight on me. No matter how much I thought I deflected, I was still looking more inward than outward.

I have become selfish and I hate it terribly. I recognized this a few months ago and am actively trying to turn it around so that my true interests are clearer. I am so interested in what others have to say but seem to lack the knack of asking the right follow-up questions. When someone else is around and they ask questions, I am forever grateful and recognize the follow-up question as ‘duh, of course that is what I wanted to ask!’.

I suppose I can blame a lot on the stroke. I want to. I don’t want to think that I have become more selfish as a natural course of action. Bah! That would be terrible if true.

I got the opportunity to visit with people who mean very much to me. When I am on my own, I want to hear about so much and forget about asking what I want to hear. Maybe this is the shy nature showing itself, not stroke or selfishness? Eh – it all sounds like shifting the blame from where it should be – squarely on me.

Now that we are moving to VA (yay! Bob is moving with me!), I got to say ‘see you later’ to some really neat people. I was (and am) at just as much a complete loss of words to somehow show my appreciation to people who helped me in dozens of ways as I am at asking appropriate follow-up questions. My advisor didn’t seem to treat me any differently BS or A.S.S. (after stroke symptoms) and pushed me equally hard. What words can be used to show how much that meant to me?! Friend of Survivor who was interminably supportive throughout the entire dissertation progress. A simple ‘thank you’ seems so paltry. I hope they know somehow in their hearts.

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Fit to be Employed!

Negotiations with NASA have been rough going and clumsy but I finally received their final offer letter today and I will be moving to Hampton, Virginia to start working on 29Sept.

I am excited and a little anxious. I know that I will be conducting research in aeronautics but the specific project hasn’t been revealed just yet. It sounds as though the PI (primary investigator/boss) will be in California – Ames. This should be interesting.

I truly hope that this will be smoother than my last position. I was so . . . desperate then. Desperate to seem normal. Desperate to prove that I could get a job and be productive. Desperate to show that I earned my education. Just . . . desperate.

Now, I feel that I have more control. I *choose* this position. I am not taking it out of fear or desperation. I am taking this position knowing that I have wanted to do aviation research for 8 years (since my internship at NASA Ames).

I will be moving away from Bob again, but I feel more sure this time and less rebellious (as though I had to prove I could do it on my own).

I am so happy to finally feel comfortable in myself – in my abilities; both physically and cognitively.

I’m going to rock this.

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