Jump to content
Deku

Journey to my white coat

Recommended Posts

Hey Deku,

Great to hear some of your story. I really hope you're able to stay committed and focused on your pursuit for medical school. It is encouraging to see how much you can get done after giving up gaming. Congrats on doing very well in your classes. Props to asking Rachael out, you might be insecure today but in time and through being productive and not gaming I trust you'll build confidence and enjoy doing this sort of thing. Even if it might not be the greatest coffee you have, you're moving in the right direction. For someone to say that they are insecure but is able to ask someone they feel is 'out of their league' out is commendable. Be in your own corner and cheer yourself on. Cheers to more good stories and daily wins !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2018 at 6:40 AM, Deku said:

In all 23 years of my life I've never had a single positive experience with the opposite gender, and I just don't see how it could go any better with Rachael, especially since she's well out of the usual league I bat in.

There are no leagues bro. Looks & awkwardness/lack thereof are superficial things. Good relationships are built on things deeper than that and you seem like a good guy.

Having said that, you gotta be careful with building this up in your mind. If it doesn't work out, you don't want to out for the count for the next month.

I don't have a ready solution for this. I can say all sorts of encouraging things like "just focus on school, let this develop naturally", etc, but I know that doesn't really work. Can't turn emotions off.

But it might be a time for introspection. Why are you so invested in this girl? Why is it that you can't stop thinking about her? Not in the sense of "why is she so amazing?", but rather, "why do you have this drive to think about her?".

It doesn't happen for me with girls, but as I said in my journal, I'm currently in the phase of daydreaming, where my thoughts are occupied about future possibilities, etc. I think it's important to reflect on it and see where these feelings, thoughts, etc are coming from.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wrote a post this morning but didn't have time to submit before class. Might as well finish it now:

Weekends continue to be the bane of my productivity as I got literally jack done on Saturday and Sunday. It's honestly starting to get a bit frustrating. I could probably cruise for the entire week if I just had the motivation to get even one good day of weekend production in, and free up a ton of hours for bigger projects. Instead, I'm finding myself working late night after late night over the week in order to just keep my head above water.

It doesn't help that this week is shaping up to be an especially sh*tty one: three big labs for stem cell lab with notebook checks coming up, two stem cell lectures to prep for, another presentation for Understanding the Biotech Industry, and the shopping list for our stem cell project due Friday (which Shane and I did over the weekend--only to find that even just considering the cost of chemicals we're over 100 dollars north of the budget maximum). Not to mention all the stress of the Rachael situation, which has festered all weekend.

Starting to wonder how much money an espresso maker would save...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awful day in Mol Bio today. My partner and I made mistake after mistake, fought with each other, and ended up finishing last in the class again. Naturally I missed out on the chance to ask Rachael out yet again, but at this point I've all but given up on that anyways. The truth is I can come up with any number of reasons why I shouldn't date her. We're both really busy right now so it would be hard to find times to get together. She's a successful scientist making a shitton of money and I'm a brokeass student. I didn't sense a lot of interest from her today anyways, at least not compared to Thursday. And finally/most importantly, with my awkwardness, clumsiness, shitty attitude and general stupidity in the class I'm garbage that she doesn't need in her life. Maybe it's just the stress of this week but I just feel so unattractive right now. I honestly don't believe I have a ghost of a chance with an amazing girl like her.

Maybe it's just the fact that I'm having a really bad day/week, but I feel almost as depressed right now as I did a week ago, when Rachael blew me off and I thought it was over (perhaps even more so, it's hard to tell right now). I can't believe just a few days ago I was feeling the happiest I'd been in a long time. Those days just feel so impossibly far away right now.

For the first time in a month, all I want to do is go back to gaming again. I was a loser then, yeah, but where have all my efforts over the last few weeks gotten me? I still feel like the exact same loser now. 

 

Edited by Deku

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not been 30 minutes and I am double posting because I am fucking ashamed of what I wrote.

Did I really think that I was never going to have one bad day, or that all my problems would be slapped with a magic eraser, all because I made the decision to quit gaming?

Of course not. It's just the first step in a much larger process--the journey of self-improvement that will last my entire life. Yes, I'm still awkward now, and probably still a loser. That's nothing to be embarrassed about, though. I've spent so many years gaming and hiding from other people, and only a month working to improve my social skills. Other people might have learned social skills from their parents, or from growing up. I'm learning that shit for the first time right now. Of course I'm going to be bad. The point is that I'm working to get better.

Did I really think that I wasn't going to experience setbacks? That like the protagonist of a shounen anime I was going to be clad in invincible plot armor that would prevent me from experiencing failure or disappointment?

Of course not. Life is full of failures and setbacks. I'm going to fail a thousand more times before I can get my white coat. I'm going to fail a million more times after that. It's not a bad thing to fail. It is however a bad thing to be so scared of failure that I withdraw into the safety of my room, and waste my precious days away in a make-believe world.

Did I really think that I wasn't going to experience rejection? That by putting on a decent shirt and doing my hair for the first time that every girl I liked was going to like me back, and that I would find myself an amazing girlfriend instantly?

Of course not. As others have said earlier, the attraction that others feel for me is something out of my control. It's not a bad thing to talk to girls and get blown off or rejected. It is a bad thing to be so scared of being hurt that I never even try.

What's next?

I stop my crying and use the time/energy I'm expending feeling sorry for myself to instead get my work done. I bear with my shitty lab partner, prep even harder for Mol Bio to compensate for his sheer idiocy, get my A and never talk to him again. I ask out Rachael, take the L, and move the fuck on. Assuming I keep improving and eventually get my white coat, there should be no shortage of opportunities to date attractive women in the future. And finally, I keep using every day as an opportunity to learn and improve, no matter how much the day sucks. I'm not guaranteed success, but this is all I can do to ensure that I live my life to the very fullest, with no regrets.

Edited by Deku
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man for all my big talk I didn't really get a lot done today. Depression is a real bitch. It's only 10 pm but I'm making the executive decision to hit the pillow now and try again tomorrow, when I'll hopefully be feeling at least a little better.

Edit: Couldn't sleep, mind is too restless and thinking too much about Rachael right now. Turned on the light, got up and did some more homework. Barely carved a dent in the mountain of paper that I need to get through, but finished updating my lab notebook for Stem Cell lab for tomorrow, so that's something. Also finished prepping for the Flow Cytometry lesson tomorrow in Stem Cell lecture/lab. I will get better at being productive even while depressed over time, but for now these small victories feel huge. Focusing for even 15 minutes right now takes an almost superhuman effort.

Edited by Deku

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yo man, that was some powerful stuff. And those mental realizations are often worth their weight in gold (wait... they don't have any weight... you know what I mean)

I think this is one of the biggest advantages of writing a journal - it helps you reflect on your mental processes and detect problematic thinking, behaviors, etc.

But yeah... can't override emotions. But hopefully this newfound realization is going to make it easier to get through this low point and get back on track.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Officially a month in now!

Tough day, was in the lab from 8 am all the way to 4 pm. This grad program is so hard it's become like a full time job!! Even so, had a pretty darn good day today. The flow cytometry class was super interesting (the extra work I did to prep for it last night really paid its dividends in helping me understand the material), and Dr. Abramson once again praised Shane and me for our outstanding project proposal. Lots of warm fuzzies to go around.

As I've written before, maximizing my human interactions has been a big priority of my life recently, and I've noticed that a month in talking to strangers has gotten wayyyyyy easier. I talk a lot slower now and I can't remember the last time I stuttered over my words in a conversation. Self confidence plays a big part in that improvement, but one other thing I've found that helps a lot is just having a genuine interest in the other person and their hobbies, stories, dreams, etc. With this genuine interest I can think of question after question to ask, and in the process keep an interesting conversation going for quite a long time. 

That was the good, time for the bad. Depression still sucks and it's become a lot harder to sit my ass down and focus for long periods of time. My mind keeps wandering to Rachael and that just isn't a good place to be right now. I know it's stupid, but I keep thinking that I blew a chance to be with an amazing girl, and that sucks. I'm actively dreading going into Mol Bio tomorrow. I'll have to puzzle my way through a challenging-ass procedure, work with my monkey of a partner, and see Rachael again. The class has become a literal dumpster fire, and I just don't see it getting better anytime soon.

Edited by Deku
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read the stupid protocol for Mol Bio tomorrow three times, printed it out, pasted it in my notebook, and then reread it again. I could give less of a shit about asking Rachael out at this point, but I WILL NOT be humiliated again in that shitty class. I'm on a mission to get into medical school. I refuse to be beaten by a basic graduate course at a mediocre university.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Deku said:

one other thing I've found that helps a lot is just having a genuine interest in the other person and their hobbies, stories, dreams, etc

This is key, for sure. I've found that if you want the conversation to be fun and for the other person to enjoy it, ask them about them. I know I feel that way when a person keeps asking me about my life... I might feel bad about it being one-sided, but I definitely like the person a lot. Basically, don't be selfish.

27 minutes ago, Deku said:

I know it's stupid, but I keep thinking that I blew a chance to be with an amazing girl, and that sucks

I think that's a bit of an exaggeration - one pleasant conversation isn't basis to expect a relationship. You also don't know how amazing this girl really is... outward appearances often deceive. And finally, it's usually not a "limited time offer" lol. If she's interested, she probably didn't just lose that interest after a week. And if she isn't interested, she probably wasn't to begin with and was making polite conversation.

Anyway... I know it's not a rational thing and I don't got much advice for that. But you might want to think about what it is that really drives you to want to be with someone - not specific to her. Because many of the things you get from a girlfriend you can fulfill in other, easier to obtain ways. Figuring that out may help you be a bit more balanced about this stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. I enjoy reading your journal, partially because I used to research in molecular bio, so all this stuff you're talking about isn't foreign language to me ? I don't do anything related to bio anymore, so it's kinda fun to relive it vicariously through you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stayed in the library until 10 pm finishing up my presentation for Understanding the Biotech Industry. Once I get to my computer I will upload screenshots, I really am quite proud.

@karabas I did think long and hard about why I wanted a girlfriend, and I realized that I quite frankly don’t. I’m so busy right now, and my life is going to be in so much flux in the next few years, so having a girlfriend would actually be a big inconvenience. I don’t really need a partner to do stuff with, I have plenty of friends I can hit up and I don’t mind doing things alone. And finally I don’t have a lot of money I could spend on her. But Rachael is just...really unlike any girl I’ve ever met before. I’ve never met a pretty girl who wasn’t basic, and on top of that she’s kind, intelligent, independent and very mature. She really is the one-in-a-million kind of girl a guy is only lucky enough to find just a few times in his life. I just can’t let her slip through my fingers.

Goddamn, that hurt to type out knowing she probably won’t ever be mine. But at least I’ve managed to put my thoughts into writing. Maybe someday I’ll look back upon it and laugh at how stupid I was. But right now this is what I honestly believe to be true. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Rachael has a boyfriend! I know I should be more upset about it, especially given all the words I've typed about her over the last few weeks, but to be honest I'm okay with this. It obviously isn't my preferred outcome, but now I know that there was nothing I could have done. I can also finally focus in Mol Bio, which was a godsend today. My partner and I did the whole experiment efficiently with no mistakes, and while a lot of that was due to our improved communication I could physically feel the difference when I didn't have to worry about impressing the girl across the table. I only wish that she bothered to mention her boyfriend at, oh, any point over the last month. It would have saved me soo much thought bandwidth and mental energy.

Maybe it's because I'm so busy all the time now, but the usual heartbreak I go through isn't so bad this time. I've really only been rejected by girls, and sometimes I would stay in bed for weeks on end from all the depression. This time I really do feel fine. The hurt is there, but it's nothing I can't push through, especially with all the work I've got.

That was the bad for today, now onto the good. Obviously Mol Bio went extremely well, and I actually found myself actively engaging with the material and having fun for a change. In the stem cell culture room, Shane and I found a huge surprise--the heart cells that we've been making out of stem cells have grown well, and are now beating! (Video to be uploaded once the beating becomes more prominent). It felt amazing, but at the same time kinda wrong. Weren't we kind of playing God by creating a beating heart in a petri dish? Where does the line end as to what we can and can't do with our knowledge of how life works? If all we are is a bunch of cells being supported by growth factors and differentiation signals, then what's the point of life? Do we matter at all? All food for thought for when my head hits the pillow tonight.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have about 3000 calories of Steak N Shake and an entire season of My Hero Academia that I plan to greatly enjoy tonight. I'll see you all again tomorrow for the beginning of the post-Rachael era, and the start of my next story arc.

 

Edited by Deku

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exciting news--I'll be running a marathon for charity!

An old friend now in medical school is putting together a marathon team to fundraise for ALS treatments, and when he called me I jumped on the chance. (Honestly, I even surprised myself. The last marathon I did was the single most painful experience of my life, and I swore never to do another since. I guess I'm taking this self-improvement thing more and more seriously by the day). The marathon is the SF Biofreeze at the end of July (one of the most difficult courses in the world and a bitch by any standards) so I'll have to utilize my time wisely to get my fitness up to snuff.

It's been a hot moment since my first marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival in the Fall of 2016. I remember that I barely trained at all for that marathon (was going for Gold at that time in League, so of course I had bigger priorities on my mind ?), and ultimately went too hard on the first half, causing me to viciously cramp out on mile 16. This time I'll do things differently, and hopefully I'll blow my old time out of the water. And even if I find that the training schedule is too hard, I'll just shoot for 4 hours again like last time. The more important part is the 1500 bucks I'll have raised for ALS by then.

Can't wait to start working!!

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your bio-project. It sounds soooo weird to "grow" a heart in a petri dish - but also fascinating. About the point of life, I think it wouldn't really mean that we don't matter if there was no initial "point in life", but rather the opportunity to make your life matter in a way YOU want. Nothing predefined but a choice ?‍♂️

Good luck with training for that marathon ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Days until SF Biofreeze: 309

Fridays are the easy day of my week, but today was definitely a good day by any standard, as Shane and I took care of business in Stem Cell Lab and Stem Cell Project Seminar. We’ve definitely established ourselves as the group to beat in the Stem Cell program, as our progress on the semester project has begun to vastly outstrip all the other teams. While our cell cultures aren't always the best, our team communication and commitment are on another level from the rest of the group. Lab starts at 9, but we're both in the tissue culture room almost an hour before looking at our cell cultures, updating our notebooks, sharing information and discussing our plan of attack for the day. It's amusing that a few weeks ago I absolutely hated working with the guy; now that the trust and synergy is there it's become one of the best work environments I've experienced. I'm definitely going to miss being his teammate once the semester is over. 

Oh, and here's the video of the beating heart cells that I promised:

 

Edited by Deku
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Days until SF Biofreeze: 308

Went to the lab at 8 in the morning today, passaged some cells and went home. Decided to take a break today and spent a lot of time driving to a very nice running shoe store and getting a solid pair of shoes picked out for marathon training. The expert was incredibly nice and spent a good 30 minutes trying out 6-7 different pairs of shoes with me; she even threw in a pair of running socks for free at the end. Turns out all the recent pain I've been getting in my shins/knees isn't all in my head, as she told me I've been using a very high impact stride with a no-cushioning minimalist shoe for some time now. Ended up switching to a high-cushioning sole, and will make efforts to adjust my stride to extend my longevity. Can't expect to live my life to the fullest if both my knees are blown out by age 40.

Marathon training starts tomorrow. Can't wait.

Edited by Deku
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Days until SF Biofreeze: 307

Another early day--got up at 6:30 and hit the lab at 8 in the morning again. Finished around 11, got an early lunch, and made my marathon plan for the next week while waiting for the library to open.

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 12.46.01 PM.png

Going to try and pace slow for the first few weeks while I acclimate my body to the increased workload, and develop my new running form. 

Largely over Rachael now (thank goodness). While I'm super relieved that my mental health wasn't compromised for a long period of time, I'm also a bit nervous about how close I came to ruining what has thus far been an excellent semester. While at first I could use Rachael as a tool to improve my productivity, the situation ended up festering poorly, to the point where I had a very hard time getting things done due to depression. If I'm going to seriously make a bid for my white coat, I can't let that kind of thing happen again.

As a result, I decided last night that I won't make any more efforts to date anyone for the next year. I have to have solid control of my mental state, and that's something that simply won't happen if I'm making some random girl the centerpiece of my life.

Edited by Deku
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double posting with the results of Friday's pop quiz in Stem Cell lab. Feeling pretty good about my performance in that class right now ?

3BFB0EA4-F96C-4851-BBBB-1ECA35F36BC0.thumb.jpeg.18a34679daa02c84e562d1582c67b963.jpeg

Edited by Deku

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience, de-sexualizing(for a long period) is not a good way to go, although my situation was probably very different. Anyways I have a lot to say about your obsession with the girl, but I don't want to be too preachy and I've already spent too much time on this forum today ? So I'll just copy-paste this video from MY MAN RSD Max: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1fAWT6eRWA. The title is cringe, but keep an open mind and you might find wisdom. "Step 3" is the one relevant to this situation. 

I really like your journal by the way, keep going ?

Edited by JustTom
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Days until SF Biofreeze: 306

This week is going to be roooough.

Shane and I lost every single one of our stem cell cultures to a lab-wide contamination, which will set our project back by at least half a week. Marathon training is starting, and there’s yet another annoying presentation to deal with in Understanding the Biotech Industry (budget and P&L statements). I’m starting to feel the weight of every one of my 16 credits as the work is piling up to a ridiculous degree, with midterms just around the corner.

Espresso maker is starting to look like a great deal right about now....

@JustTom I've never actually done anything sexual (or anything at all really...), so it's really a "can't miss what you've never had" type thing with me. That being said, I did watch all 20 minutes of the video you sent and I like it a lot. I know you said step 3 is the one that's relevant, but I really feel like I'm hardstuck step 1. I don't love myself unconditionally, I don't think of my self worth as very high and I don't have the life I want yet. Maybe one day I'll be able to check all those boxes and move on to step 2.

Edited by Deku
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Days until SF Biofreeze: 305

1611373892_Screenshot2018-09-25at7_35_26AM.thumb.png.3f55087d81115478fa27fefc5f034932.png

Got up at 6:30 this morning and pounded out the first run in my training plan. Overpaced and did not feel good right from the start, possibly from dehydration and lack of a good warmup/stretching routine (it was cold as nuts this morning so I wanted to start running as soon as possible). Hella not looking forward to the 5 mile run tomorrow.

On the bright side, the new running shoes I got are insane, there's so much added cushioning that it feels like a set of springs on my feet. My knee was barely bothersome and my shins didn't hurt at all. 100% great investment getting them.

2130674767_3miSept25.thumb.PNG.01ed120e9bc12a2e436d9d478860c42f.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×