The Broke Researcher’s Monologue

I am broke… literally only a pound in my bank account, awaiting to pay tuition in about a month… and HOPING that I will eventually get the paycheck for all the stress and TA work I’d done over summer.

Of course it’s no one’s fault but mine… I have no publications to my name either. A certified academic bum… This PhD, not the research itself, but everything around it has been the most miserable experience of my life. And I am not sure if I see the light at the end… At least now, “i’m doing something”… when I am done.. what use will all of it be? After all, I am not exploring treatments for terminally ill patients, nor am I discovering the next source of energy… My research, well… It just expanded the hole in my pocket and the debts I owe people for helping me pay my tuition.

When it comes to the research itself, I am way behind… I have been procrastinating because I feel like my work has been a pile of garbage so far… The more I research the more I realise how messed up the world is and how useless research can actually be… You research not to better the world, which is what I intended to do… You research to appeal to what’s trending… you know, be in “vogue,” so to speak… what you do find out in the process is how bureaucratic everything really is… how money stays in the same pools, how some people’s roles involve money hoarding, others money spending, and finally, the majority are just money makers for the other two…  unfortunately, I belong to the money-making class that basically keeps pumping my institution with funds for exacerbated feelings of loss and confusion which is then applauded as the true outcome of the pursuit of knowledge! Hooray! At the same time, you begin to notice how opportunities are always assigned to the same small network of who-knows-who made up of hoarders and spenders, and the formalities (paperwork, rules, visa types, whatever) are meant to appease the money makers…

As an expat… if you really want to make it outside of your town, you have to know someone in another somewhere… or be white and happy to exploit resources in Asia or some other third world country because you couldn’t make it back home… how your “international” status basically is synonymous with economy booster…  and your privileges dictated by the type of your visa. I have been on the positive side of this… a.k.a the “rich” tourist type person from Canada… I have also been at the negative… like now.

Being an average citizen back home means you work at a supermarket, or as a pencil pusher at best (I am hoping beautiful man #Trudeau can fix this eventually). When I worked abroad that’s what I saw.. and that’s what made me want to go back to school. The honest truth is I didn’t really care much for being a doctor (PhD), or researching specifically,  I only wanted to escape the horrible circumstances I found myself in, in order to be able to help give back to the world somehow. Research, with its falsely advertised promises of helping the world progress seemed like a good idea at the time… Thing is, what I didn’t know is that I could have conducted my research myself without having to pay $30k CAD for an experience that isn’t worth much more than the privileges to use a run down research room, work double time to learn stuff you were already supposed to know, all for a graphically-designed printed paper with your name on it at the end…

I wanted something more for myself… I wanted what my parents had… they worked hard and got places… So I thought by doing the same I would to. So what would set me apart? Leaving.. getting a degree from one of the world’s top 50 universities… completing a hot degree on demand.. trying to reduce the pressure as I go… ?

The thing is… it was a hard lesson learned… because the pressure does not go down. It crushes you, and it makes you understand that fables of good vs evil does not exist. If you work hard you DON’T get what you “deserve.” Because you deserve nothing. This was perhaps the hardest thing I have ever had to accept. For years, I trained myself to focus on the goal. That if I work so hard… I will get “it.” It is not true…

I have no prospects for a job anywhere… not even a cashier at a supermarket anymore, because I was too arrogant to accept that. Now, I am “too over qualified”… My upbringing, as a third culture kid, with a multicultural ethnicity… well that isn’t a plus anymore either… you don’t belong anywhere… and where you don’t belong, like the cliched root of a tree, you get blown away.

I had mentioned that I quit smoking after about 12 years of chain-smoking… and nearly a year of quitting (today’s day 357!) I am battling the urge to smoke again… luckily I am broke and can’t afford it right now.. but being where I am at in life… I honestly don’t know how far down rock bottom will be, but it sure does feels like I crushed my face on it right now…

I suppose I should be thankful that I am at least on antibiotics, I don’t live in a shelter, that my family is relatively ok, and that I am still in school.

The thing is something deep down is missing.. that feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction… I say this because I have experienced it (fulfilment) once.. even though for a short period of time… so I know it exists… I just don’t know how to get it back…

For now… keep churning… keep burning… keep abxing.




Over all, you must wear overalls this summer…

Over all, you must wear overalls this summer...

Topshop v neck t shirt
£8.75 –

Frame Denim bib overall
£110 –

Superga sneaker
£40 –

Bling Jewelry beaded necklace
£22 –

Michael kors sunglasses
£87 –

Smashbox lipstick
£15 –

Montale fragrance
£125 –