Caitlin Lightcap as a graduate student.
(personal commentary under the cut)
I imagine she struggled a lot in private more than in public. Her anxieties might lead her to stay up all night, working and reworking her models and running her data through script after script. This is very different from the way my anxieties manifest, but that long hard slog through the valley of shit is lonely and often feels entirely hopeless.
Actually, it’s funny, the text in this image “keep banging your head against the wall until you break through”… it was my mantra for a year during the very worst of my slog. I even adopted Cranidos, the head-butt Pokémon, as my mascot. I would wear this necklace with a Cranidos charm on it, and I carried some small figurines, just so I could remember to keep my head down. It seems silly now, but I actually still wear the necklace when I’m feeling scared and I have to go out in public.
Anyway, the point is, this is sort of a self-portrait, in some ways. Sloppily draped in a big chair, in the middle of the night, tappa tapping on the computer. Maybe she’s writing a paper, maybe she’s running simulations (or statistics in R — yay social sciences!), or maybe she’s scrolling through her tumblr, reaching out into the void looking for a hand to hold and to hold hers. Grad school is so lonely and so expansive.
I have complicated feelings about Caitlin’s relationship with Jasper Schoenfeld, but I hope it helped with the inescapable loneliness. Everyone needs a little help.