Perhaps the existential crisis can be blamed on the catapult into winter, on not being ready for the cold, a lack of chickens in my life or a sudden change to working out of town for half the week ... but I realised today on chatting (whingeing) to a fellow student that expressing self-doubt with vocal regularity creates two distinct outcomes:
a) Nobody really feels sorry for you, because they know you are quite capable of clawing your way out.
b) Sooner or later you will get so sick of yourself that you give up saying "I can't do it" and just get on with the job.
For vindication of section b) please see section a).
MF sent me a link to "The Valley of Shit", after my winedark moan about the thesis blues. Here is an excerpt:
The Valley of Shit is that period of your PhD, however brief, when you lose perspective and therefore confidence and belief in yourself.
There are a few signs you are entering into the Valley of Shit. You can
start to think your whole project is misconceived or that you do not
have the ability to do it justice. Or you might seriously question if
what you have done is good enough and start feeling like everything you
have discovered is obvious, boring and unimportant. As you walk deeper
into the Valley of Shit it becomes more and more difficult to work and
you start seriously entertaining thoughts of quitting.
In the meantime, thank fuck for bicycles, good friends and a boat with a motor that starts every morning.