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To be honest…

I suppose it’s appropriate to do this on Easter Sunday. There are elements of rebirth in the air, right? Spring-time, squirrels maniacally chasing other squirrels, I’ve spotted a few pairs of jorts… It’s been a year and half since I’ve posted anything on this blog. I guess I got busy. I guess life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Those other plans included a lot of work. And many long days. And equally long nights. Personal and professional. Epic triumphs that overshadow just as many failures, personally and professionally.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday. Rebirth.

I do have something to say now, I think. Over time, folks reading the blog have reached out and asked what I’m up to since dropping out of a Phd program. I didn’t make the time to respond and I’m sorry. Maybe I was waiting for the right moment to write again. 18 months passed by and here we are. I realize that I need to get back into this. This blog is who I am and I need to retrace my steps. It’s my foundation, and it’s not just about who I am, it’s the self-reflection and introspection that I’ve been lacking that’s beckoning to be unearthed and brought back. I realized this week, in rather harsh manner, that there are things in my brain that need to escape, otherwise I’m a deluded prisoner in the solitary confinement of my own thoughts. And that’s not a good place to be. Ultimately, I’m a writer, so I’m gonna write.

Hi my name is Igor and this is from an epic New Year's celebration

Hi my name is Igor and I get into weird situations. This is a New Year’s celebration in Miami.

Also, for those more interested in less of my own BS Psychology (I carry a Psychology degree) and more real world advice, I think I have a story to tell now. I say I think because you see, I’m very unsure about all this. I can’t make promises. It feels weird opening myself up again. I’m gonna take it lightly with the writing, one day or week at a time. I want to see how I feel and I won’t force it. I’m pretty busy these days, bla bla, but I’ll make time. I hate it when people say they are busy. There’s always time to make time for someone or something.

But for anyone expecting IGORoamandreport 1.0? Nope, this blog won’t be the same. I’m not who I was two years ago. Maybe none of us are. Expect the topics I write about to be more random. For starters, I’d like to add some comedy. I like funny. I’m not that bleeding-heart liberal preacher I was back then. Also, going against past convention, screw the squeaky clean shit. Yes, I’m open to cursing, so cover your eight year old’s eyes if they’re reading. Don’t worry, they’re probably too busy watching the Kardashians to read anything worthwhile. I won’t be cursing much because I don’t curse much in real life. But I will, a fucking little bit at least. You see, to me it feels like release. I’m over the politically correct bit. This is my voice. And fortunately, I have more freedoms as an individual to be able to publish this and get away with it. I’ll explain all that later.

Maybe this sums it up nicely?

I like to operate on instinct. This photo felt right in so many ways.

I won’t be self-editing like I used to either. A lot of this stuff coming out will be first draft. Maybe the quality will suffer, but the content will be rawer than before, which I see as a good thing. I might do some SEO, I haven’t decided yet. So what will I do, you might be asking?

  1. The journey is the journey. There’s something to say there. I went from a vicious combination of blogging, unemployment and depression to co-founding and running an exciting startup company in my field of interest. For me, it’s already been a somewhat long and winding road. You’ll get a ticket to ride.
  2. I will be more personal. I want to unearth a deeper psychology. I get happy about stuff. I get bitter about stuff. Maybe I get happy or bitter about the wrong stuff. I want to explore it. These days I have a bit of public figure status and maybe I need to be more careful. Whatever. Fuck it. I’m living a fast life and I want to talk about it. I talk about it because I don’t want to crash.
  3. I will share career advice. Okay, the truth is that I’m really trying hard these days to stay humble. So let me preface this by saying, what the hell do I know? I have, however, at my young age, been published in magazines, been featured in the papers, I’ve spoken at conferences at the world’s leading universities. It’s all good. I’m not trying to brag. I’ll just share what I’ve learned and if you want to listen that’s cool too.
  4. Environmental stuff. The answer is yes, I’m still concerned about the health of our planet. Look, it’s what I do for a living. I’ll write about it.
  5. I should probably update my About page too. We’ll get to that. Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.

I can’t think of anything else right now. The above list is not a guarantee. These aren’t promises. This is just a rough sketch of what’s to come. Or maybe not to come. I hope this is the beginning of something. In many ways, personally and professionally, I was once a baby, and maybe I’m becoming an adult now. I’m hoping these are my first steps. We’ll see where I can go.

igor

This is me on the right. A youngin’ growing up in Munich, Germany. Go FC Bayern!

 

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Leaving a PhD Program: Part 3 – From Stress to Success

It wasn’t too long ago when it felt like my world was spinning out of control; when the pressures of life turned the mumbo-jumbo in my head into a full fledged jambalaya.  It happened when the initial rush of leaving my PhD program subsided and my eyes got tired of staring into the unknown.  It happened when I spent two long and lonely months in my apartment updating my resume, filling out endless cover letters, and writing freelance while coming dangerously close to developing a mild case of agoraphobia.  It happened when my stint working part time with the Census was over and the reality of my empty piggy bank confronted me; or when I realized I was alone in my journey and

“Standing on a hill in the mountain of dreams, telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.” – Robert Plant

the problems I would have to solve were my own.  I made the decision to leave grad school so I lived with the consequences.  Still, the instability I lived under was threatening my sanity.  Here I was, in Boston, barely covering rent, without a job, and few friends to turn to.  The pressure was slowly building upon me.  I wondered, was I heading for a catastrophic collapse?

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Leaving a PhD Program: Part 2 – Pursuing the American Dream

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve left neuroscience graduate school to pursue a new career.  My journey is currently facing the double edge sword brought about by change.  Early on, I quickly realized that with avid support comes great cynicism.  Handshakes and hugs are equaled by looks of misunderstanding and intimidation, and admiration is met with jealousy.  And yet every morning I face the world with a smile, my head held high as I keep on truckin’, because after all, America assures us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Bobby Kennedy

My biography is about as unorthodox as the trail that I’m currently blazing.  Born in Moscow (Russia), my family and I moved to Munich (Germany) at the age of 4.  I spent my golden years of childhood there, years that pass too quickly we can all agree.  Before my 10th birthday I was back in a foreign land, finding myself outcast, deaf and mute to my English speaking surroundings – welcome to America! Continue reading

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Leaving a PhD program: Part 1 – Are you crazy???

On March 19th, 2010, I finally parted ways with the world of science and academia.  After 8 months of doubt, deliberation, and debilitation, the chains of an unpleasant and unhappy future were broken.  For the first time, I find myself in the great unknown, but my dreams are in sight.  I hope my story inspires lost souls to look up at the stars and believe it’s possible to pursue their passion.

Flash back to spring 2009.  I am 21 years old, about to graduate college, and I’m looking ahead at the fork in the road of my life.  Where to go?  What to do?  At the time, attending graduate school in neuroscience made perfect sense.  I was graduating from Indiana University with a degree in psychology and a certificate in neuroscience. I worked in a cocaine addiction lab at IU, and I also interned in the pharmaceutical industry at Eli Lilly.  I had the experience.  On top of that, graduate programs in medical sciences typically pay PhD candidates to go to school.  It’s a great deal; they pay full tuition, offer a healthy stipend, and provide free health insurance.  Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I needed financial stability because my girlfriend and I decided that we would remain together as we moved to a new place.

I never did much soul searching in college.  Maybe the social life of a Big 10 school kept me distracted from figuring myself out, maybe I wasn’t far enough away from home Continue reading

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