The motivation to start a PhD is often driven by curiosity, idealism and optimism and this was certainly the case for me. My initial ideas and dreams were big and my goals were lofty. Why would you pursue a long and tedious PhD without a big juicy carrot dangling in front of you?
There was a certain point when I realised that running fast toward the dangling carrot doesn’t mean you’ll ever reach it. The more I prepared, planned and dreamt the more I saw these big boulders in the way that weren’t budging. The realist in me started to talk the optimist out of our big dreams. It was a sad day when I accepted that I should be reaching for the achievable not the carrot.
Full of resignation, it is up to me to focus on what is both realistic and achievable. Perhaps I can lay the groundwork so that the next researcher can step closer to the carrot. I should be happy to contribute to the world of evidence but instead I feel a little bit like a….. hungry donkey 😉