I’m sorry for going dark for awhile. Things got a little hectic around here. I’m finishing up my thesis and riding as much as possible (to stay sane for my thesis). I really enjoy writing for this blog, compared to the deeply technical writing required for my thesis this writing feels easy. It just flows out of my fingers and can help get the creative juices going.

I should make more of a commitment to working on this blog. Even if I can’t always get to a book review I’ll try to do a more personal update (which if anyone joins Patreon you’ll be charged only for book reviews, not personal updates like this). So, I may as well do a personal update right now while I’m thinking about it.

I’ve begun the job search process in earnest now. I can’t afford to jump right in with a horse business so I need to find something to pay the bills in the meantime. At first, I was feeling sick with anxiety. I had some really bad laboratory experiences during my master’s degree which has left my confidence as a bench scientist (ie. someone who does the actual experiments) totally shaken. I was picked at mercilessly and not in a constructive way. You know those riding instructors that manage to make you feel like a terrible rider, instead of one who’s building you up. I feel like there is some key difference in their underlying attitude that makes even the same criticism land completely differently.

It didn’t help that this person pontificated on my personal choices as well. So it began to feel like I did literally nothing right. My feelings and reactions were wrong. My handling of lab equipment, wrong. My struggle with note taking (ADHD) was my fault and wrong. My questions were being argumentative. My trying to explain how ADHD and anxiety work? Combative. It was a nightmare. I cried and shook before going to work. I feel like a raw nerve. And then she’d call me too sensitive. Ha.

So, now I am out of that space. I’m able to write at home and run my writing through my actual advisor, who is wonderful, rather than his laboratory manager. But, even thinking about working in a lab now makes me sick to my stomach. It’s not what I really want to do anyway, but before it wouldn’t have felt so completely off the table. I used to take pride in my work, even when it was hard. I’m going to try to change those negative thought processes. But right now the emotional reaction is pretty automatic and currently outside my control.

What this means for the future? Well, unless I can get a handle on the anxiety around labs I’m somewhat limited in what I can do. It seems like most jobs for a MS in biology are going to be lab work, particularly clinical diagnostic labs.  But I found a job that has me genuinely excited. It would be doing research for a public radio station. You’d write blog posts(!) and more formal briefs. It’s not just going to be for the radio station either. They hope to disseminate them to the public and politicians. They’ll be written in a non-partisan way. This is the part of research I like the most.

Regardless of the day job I get, I’m going to start working on my more creative outlets. I’ll try to build this blog. I’ve also been designing shirts that I’ll sell via Redbubble and Amazon Merch. I’m going to keep riding and may start doing resale projects. And start building a savings account for a future horse business. As well as try to get my student debt eliminated so that any business debt I take on isn’t competing with my student debt.

The way I visualize it now is I’ll breed a handful of mares a year and have some sales horses, either homebreds or resale. But the bulk of the income will be from hosting clinics, schooling shows, and non-equestrian events. I may also have professionals board their string and perhaps have clients, although they’d be responsible for their owns chores (either staff or themselves). If my friend is still game, we’ll partner up so she can have a human and equine chiropractic business that she runs out of the same facility.

So, it’s probably time to sit down and work on some SMART goals. For those who aren’t familiar SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive. I’ll need them for my riding and for my future business.

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