Academia breeds an inherent insecurity, a good scholar always feels there is more they should do, to meet some invisible standard of due diligence. No matter how many books or articles or how much thought has gone into something, how many footnotes or how long the bibliography, there is always more that could be done, always some way in which the scholar is failing. 

I don't need to appease anyone's guilty conscious for this that or the other, because I am not in the business of giving people guilt trips to begin with. But I am very annoyed at myself for being so good at appleasement (a word I just made up - do you like it? See, there I go again!). I am always doing things that I think are pleasing to other people, making one more suggestion, sending one more email, broaching an uncomfortable topic, etc.  Like a performing monkey. Trying to prove to the world that I have the intellectual acumen or emotional character that would mean I actually belong in the company of geniuses.

At some point in time, I will learn to just relax, and trust that I've done enough. I am also lucky enough to have in my life some people who let me know, in all honesty, that no more magic tricks are needed.


Jono said…
One part of me wants to offer you a banana, but the other part knows that you will learn to please yourself with your accomplishments and not worry about what the others think.
I do like the word appleasment. It is so appropriate to so much.

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