The art of losing

Jan 10 2018 Published by under Decisions, personal posts

This morning when I cycled to work I listened to this Hidden Brain episode about making fresh starts. It ends with Amy Mann reciting the poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.

This year, I've lost quite a few things: my kids are both in school so I lost having really small children. I left my old apartment. And even though it is not my loss, when Little Brother recently lost his favorite stuffed animal (a monkey he received as a present three years ago) at school, it definitely felt like my loss. Coming from a family of hoarders, I am quite bad at coping with losing things. Little Brother on the other hand seems quite undisturbed. The stuffed monkey is still lost, and every now and then he asks whether the monkey is still hiding, searches for the monkey and concludes the monkey is not back and that seems it. At the same time I am heartbroken about the monkey and I picture him laying in the cold on a muddy playground somewhere.

I am also slowly losing my identity as a scientist. Or perhaps I'm not losing it, but it is no longer my main identity, which I think is a good thing for me. As they say in the Hidden Brain episode: "when one door closes, another one opens". That is definitely true for the scientist identity loss, but I'm not sure which door opens for a lost stuffed monkey.

2 responses so far

  • Jim Woodgett says:

    I very much doubt you will lose your scientific mind, your scientific way of thinking, reasoning, etc. You are still Doctor of Philosophy - no one can take that away. Nor your experiences. You probably don't notice it (as a skillset) but others will and will value you for those skills. You don't stop being a scientist because you aren't doing "science" in the way we tend to lazily think of it academically. Rejoice, real scientist!

Leave a Reply