It is the name of a famous book, and the thing that comes in my mind recently. We meet many people and handle numerous things. Particularly, as someone's experience, expertise, and influence grows in their own field, we encounter various decision calls as we need to lead people.
Unfortunate but obvious truth in human resource management is that we cannot be friend of everybody. I meet and work with a lot of people as I am playing in interdisciplinary field and I am getting more and more busy to do many things all myself. Unlike sol0-play in early years, this increasing managerial role occasionally require the art of human handling. I generally try to be best fiend in initial stages, but sometimes it doesn't work out. It's been quite a question for me that how I need to react when things become toxic. I find that reconciliation is generally cosmetic treatment and can never be true solution. It looks like the wisdom that the chance of adults being changed is very slim in most cases. Then I come to think myself - what we do when we find weed in a garden? We never try to reconcile with the weed as its nature as weed cannot be changed - rather we eradicate it. Maybe this is the solution? It may need the courage to be disliked.
In my teenage and early 20s, I cared a lot on other people to judge how I was doing well. It made me frustrated as well as excited, but retrospectively, it was a totally unproductive practice. But also retrospectively, I understand old myself as we did have a lot in common to share in that age in terms of life courses and choices indeed. We all lived in the same environment and walked the same road.
Nowadays, I am getting more and more indifferent (or apathetic badly speaking) on other people's business. Life has taught lessons (mostly in hard ways) that someone's life is short and intense to care even oneself. Also, our life choices have departed our courses fairly far away each other, unique to each one's own fate.
Maybe this is feeling of being an adult. It's very much mixed feeling. I am being my own, so feel more complete and solid. But, I feel more lonely in treading my ways ahead. No agony to watch others success in front of my failure. No exhilaration to experience my triumph over others collapse. I am recently living mundane life of just saying congratulations to others success of any kind, and saying oh... poor boy for others misfortunes. Satisfaction and frustration in my own outcomes are just short-lived self-consumptions, not anymore shared with others except family.
All old-days jealousy and schadenfreude were such a vivid feeling of being alive - which I now see as immature but unique luxury for younger ourselves. Aging and maturation make people less vivid but more stable - like boring but sturdy gray rocky mountains. I start to understand the commencement song in western countries which starts "Gaudeamus igitur, Iuvenes dum sumus" or in English "Let us rejoice, while we are young." It is sad fact to face that I will better understand this in the future.
For a while, I thought my research focuses have been fairly random exploring many sectors of interests without much connection each other, including hydrogel adhesion (mechanisms to applications), 3D printing (mechanical isms to active materials), and conducting polymer hydrogels (materials to fabrication).
Interestingly, I find that all these scattered topics are now covering into one place under relatively well categorized forms. With this, getting new ideas and writing papers become much easier than before - I already submit two papers in the last 3 weeks, two more in next two weeks, one more before this September, and maybe one or two more before this December, all first authored. It is unexpected, but enjoyable development after all. All these laborious exploration and meandering in my early grad school days probably be finally paid off. Hopefully, this converting theme can be long-term one to fuel my curiosity and career in the future.