mental health

The power animal

Los Angeles has such a rich religious culture. From scientologists, through the Unitarian Universalists, to shamanistic associations. Every time you start talking to a new person, you can end up with a private lecture on a completely unexpected, spiritual topic in this place. This time, two folks whom I accidentally met at a cheap hostel at the Hollywood Boulevard, took me to some workshop on self-development. ‘Self-development in Hollywood might mean anything’ – I thought, and I was very curious about it.

Freedom

I could not understand how people can deliberately abuse their own freedom. I guess that people are naturally afraid of decision making, which might explain why reducing choices to the minimum might soothe them a little bit, and give them some comfort of not being obliged to take a decision.

Competitiveness

What does the competitiveness come from? It is not a very prominent feature of the Dutch society – this society is more about equity and cooperation. No wonder: once you look at the educational program at the Dutch primary schools, the first class they ever have is ‘working in teams’. Which is very much in opposition to Polish schools where they were always telling us to compete.

About the effects of living in a nice country

The doctors were truly confused; they knew about my previous records, but could not really explain what had happened to my body in the meantime. But I think I know why this is the case. Namely, my lifestyle, including too many activities per day, poor amounts of sleep, a tendency to drink coffee, coke and some booze, did not change since seven years ago. Only one thing substantially changed.

Second life

Current November is probably the happiest November by far, even after correction for the weather. You know, when you are a researcher, every happy day is a success itself. And, in addition to that, if you are an ex-depressed person, every happy day is one step away from death and one step towards life. You’ve got to fight for every single day, literally.

Imposter syndrome

I just had a really wild attack of the imposter complex. This is when you feel that others overestimate your mental and physical capabilities. Pretty much everyone is academia suffers from it, it is just that some people overcome this effect better than others.

Overcoming fears

Human brain can rewire so quickly… I remember the rainy days four years ago when I first came to Nijmegen and tried to survive at the very place. During my studies I hadn’t had too many programming courses, neither I had opportunities to present science. No wonder that programming and presentations were my two biggest nightmares. Now, they are my two favourite and most relaxing activities at work.