I have had this website since October 2019. Considering the number of months that have passed since then, I haven’t posted much on this website. The reason always was that I didn’t want to post personal stuff here, but I also didn’t have anything else to write about. I always wanted to make this a useful site instead of a personal one. Now why am I talking about that while writing a personal blog post? It’s because even today, before I started writing, I thought for almost 5 minutes about whether I should write about personal stuff or not. I am still struggling to write on personal matters. It’s hard to tell people that I am a piece of shit.
Writing about ourselves is hard and it gets even harder when we know that other people are going to read it. Now, I know that no one is going to read this sentence or this post or the upcoming posts, but still, I am making myself vulnerable by writing publically. Potentially, people can discover this website later and they might scroll back and read through the older posts if they have got nothing else to do. Once they do that, they will know what a piece of shit I am.
I think there are a lot of people who fear of getting exposed as being not so good or whatever. And I think that’s the reason for why people are so different in their “internet life” and their “actual life”. On the internet, everyone is happy, funny, activist, and what not. Pretending is easy, especially over the internet. People pretend to hide their true selves. They pretend to look cool.
These masked faces of the internet are doing no good to anyone, not even to themselves. They might be depressed but their “happy posts” and smiley faces are not going to inform other people about their state of mind or their problems. Moreover, we live in a day and age where we are influenced by other people’s activities on the internet. Now, if another person sees the “happy posts” and the smiley faces of all these “fakingly happy” people, she is going to want to do something of that sort just to look cool and happy. That’s not good.
I went through a lot of mental troubles in the last academic year. In my opinion I was worthless, incompetent, fake (physicist), and all the bad things I could think of. I was trying to be an “ideal physicist”. This “ideal physicist” is just like the “absolutely happy people”. Both of the kinds don’t exist.
I came to realise this the hard way. I became so depressed that I just couldn’t do anything productive. I thought about quitting physics because I didn’t think I was good enough. I had lost all the self respect I had. I shared what I was feeling with my project advisor and he told me where to look for the maskless people.
Science and Nature are among the most popular magazines for scientists. There is Careers section in both of these magazines where scientists of all scale – students/PhDs/post-docs/professors/anyone-academic can write about their stories. In these magazines, I have read stories about almost everything I was worried about. It was reassuring to read that there are students who are just like me – not perfect, that there are professors who don’t know everything, that I am not supposed to have everything on my fingertips, that Googling stuff is okay, and a lot of other things which made me feel bad about myself.
But why did I think all about the crazy things in the first place? I think, it’s because of the community. In this day and age of social media, everyone is talking about the “great” things they have done. Everyone wants to be followed. Everyone wants the virtual wealth of having some hundred thousand or whatever followers/likes/comments. Naturally, they want to be as pleasing as they can. They won’t say that they Googled something or they don’t know what they are talking about or how much they care about the number of their followers or how big a piece of shit they are.
This realization brings us here, on this blog post. As I said in the beginning of this post, initially I didn’t want to write about personal stuff on this website. But very recently I decided that I should write about myself. Highs and lows are part of life. Everyone has them and I should not be ashamed of being in the lows or being imperfect.
Moreover, being real and making myself vulnerable like this will keep me from being one of those “fakingly happy” people. Infact, seeing me in my lows might even support someone who is feeling even worse. Who knows? It might sound like I am creating a depressing atmosphere but I am atleast not making that person’s situation even worse by pretending to be having a perfect life when it’s actually not.
Well, whatever. This post is just a long rant. Also, I don’t even know if “fakingly happy” is an actual phrase or not. It just felt natural for me to call them that.
I didn’t plan to say anything I have said until this point. I just wanted to be sad about me not working on my project whose deadline is July 15. All of this just came out because I felt so bad while publically admitting that I am not being productive.