I'm starting to realize that a big part of the feeling fraudulent I wrote about a couple of posts ago is about feeling judged. Sometimes I walk down the hall at Postdoc U, see people in my department and think I should smile and say hello quickly and keep walking because they are wondering why I am not in a cave somewhere writing my dissertation. And, now that I think about it, it is unlikely that they are thinking that. They aren't judging me. Its me. I'm putting thought bubbles over their heads and imagining that they are saying things to me like, "Why aren't you done yet, you're here?" "You should be a doc by the time you get to a postdoc."
There is this inner world where I am working and doing what I do and believing that it is worth doing, and knowing it is only a matter of time before I am done, actually a very short time. So why does the judgement loom so large? Its getting in the way of my being able to form relationships with the faculty and students here. I realize I have idealized bubble versions of the faculty from their writings, and I don't know them as people. Instead, I am afraid of what they think of me. And, in the meantime they don't even have a chance to get to know me because I've built a labyrinth around myself.