Recent events led me to think about how much my life has changed in the last three years. Last week I completed my first ever submission review for a journal. Since graduating in May, I think it was one of the first activities to make me really feel like a professional. Yes, there have been other moments, but in many ways I’d settled back to live as usual, so I’d stop feeling the wonder of actually being finished.
The other day I went to the library to pick up a book for a new project. I pulled out my school ID card and, before putting it back, actually looked at the picture. The picture has always been a little dorky. The day before I started work Ouiser’s cat scratched my eye lid, so I had an extra bag or two under one eye. Also, for some reason I wore my hair in a way that I almost never did.
It’s hard to get a decent picture of a picture of an ID card, but I think you get the point. Looking at that picture I was struck by the thought it was taken only three years ago. In many ways the last three years have felt like ten. I hardly recognize this picture.
For comparison, here’s a picture of me from today. It’s my post-hair cut selfie in the car.
The change is more than just the Ph.D. or the haircut. I probably can’t really explain it, because it is all of that and more. It’s the Ph.D., the hair, the tattoo, and even my willingness to take and post after haircut selfies. All of which are probably just expressions of how I’ve become more comfortable with myself.