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Now, I'm confident...? (from the archive, 03/2017)

In a recent bout of painful/empowering existentialism, I’ve identified the main reason that I don’t always get things done: insufficient confidence. I’ll explore self-doubt and its overwhelmingly disabling influence on academics throughout my blog posts.

For now my example, and what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, is that I’ve had this website “under construction” for about a year… Just over a year ago I decided that I wanted to be one of those scientists that has an open line of communication with the ‘outside world’. I want to be someone who writes her thoughts as she explores new concepts and ideas for projects, someone who works through problems with outside input, and most importantly, someone who tells the non-specialists what she’s discovering about the world around us! So, I picked my website colours, I bought domain names, I asked my incredibly talented friend Dave van Beuningen if I could use one of his shark photos for my header image, and I was all set! Except for one thing: who am I? Why would I have a website? I haven’t even finished my Masters yet! Also, I have no idea how to make a website! These insecurities led me to procrastinate; I figured out how to put my wordpress page into “Coming Soon Mode” and left potential readers with the following message:

“Madeline and the sharks is Madeline Self Cashion’s soon-to-be online CV and research blog. In the meantime, visit the Sea Around Us website or her LinkedIn profile for info on marine conservation, fisheries sustainability, and shark science.”

For the following year, until right now, the only purpose of my website would be for back-of-the-brain sparking of anxiety about “posing” as a cool shark researcher whose calling is saving our seas. It’s time to face this head-on.

I have some momentum from the ego-boost I got by joining Twitter last week and discovering that it isn’t as horrendously shallow/quick-fix-y as I thought it would be and that some people are in fact interested in the things I have to say (note the ‘likes’ on my first post haha – YASSS!).

I now completely understand the appeal of Twitter and that it is distinct in one’s arsenal of social media tools. So, everybody starts somewhere and my hope is that I can look back at this first blog post and laugh about what a baby I was being. My website will grow into itself and I’ll learn as I go.

Now, I am confident! Actually, that punctuation doesn’t accurately convey how I feel as I write this, so:

Now I am confident…?

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