It is all one big stupid game, isn’t it?
There are these moments where you think you almost feel quite comfortable. But then you can’t. You always need to be on the lookout for ‘something’, always on the move, always running. Otherwise, you’re out.
I thought I was in a good place when I lived in Wageningen as an entomologist. I had a great time studying there. Met my wife there, became a father there. Got married there. Wageningen was (is!) my family’s home. It was also the ideal place to start and further my career. Wageningen is home to one of the best universities in the field of agro-ecology. Certainly home to one of the most notable Entomology departments in Europe, if not the world. Fantastic departments on anything related to soil and plant physiology. If you work on the stuff I work on, there is really no need to be anywhere else in the world. Yet, I had to leave. I had no choice, really. Wageningen was a dead end street. Staying would be a career killer. ‘They’ told me*.
I still don’t fully understand why.
I am trying to get comfortable with not getting comfortable. (tough)
——————————————————————————————————————* ‘They‘ are seemingly everywhere. The people who seem to make the rules and seem to echo each other about how important it is to get ‘foreign experience’ and do X and then Y (while especially also focus on Z). And then start over from A, ideally again in another location, because otherwise you will never make it. And I am the Muppet following the advice…