Approval, rejection and being noticed

The other day I found myself hunting around for somebody’s office to pick up a piece of paper. The piece of paper would have notes on the very piece of work that was the last tap needed to shatter my existing supervision relationship. The promise of feedback from a third party certainly appealed to me, even if it meant having to live with that ‘I am giving somebody else more work’ guilt. However, my hunting ended up serving no purpose other than achieving the not so simple task of locating the room. The person was out and had not left the piece of paper for me. These things happen, and I had already waited months for those comments so it really was not going to be the end of the world. However, any attempt at appearing resilient slid into self pity (with a side dish of ‘I am feeling self pity’ guilt).

In the fall out from my aborted supervision arrangements, I have found myself clinging to my project. Sitting at a table opposite my grandmother on the weekend with my attention turned towards my laptop was a little frustrating. But I suspect that was only because I was working on a rather dull task for work that had nothing to do with my project and trying with little success to edit an article that has to be sent off. Wanting to be left alone with my project seems to be less about taking pride in working it into something I will be proud of sharing and more that it is a very safe space that I only occasionally have to share anything from. Have you have heard the saying, ‘He is a legend in his own lunch box.’? Well, I get to be the performer and reviewer in my computer.

I did end up getting those comments that my attempts to hunt down had been unsuccessful. The enjoyment I found in reading them did disturb me a little. The comments did not rubbish my work, but they certainly pointed out that it was no where near presenting a coherent argument. I cannot even see a clear path towards fixing the piece of work. However, I can see that, more than approval or rejection, I have this need at the moment to be noticed. Perhaps it is a Gen Y thing.

The one domain in which this whole ‘being noticed’ thing worries me is what it means for my data. I do not think that it translated into me jumping around trying to stand out, and so only witnessing very particular situations that were very much of my own irresponsible making. What I have found myself doing is focusing a lot of attention on who is taken seriously or what claims are given air time; I find myself looking at who is not being noticed. Perhaps this is because I have been drawn to thinking about situations most like my own or, on the other hand, I might be paranoid now about not being noticed because I have seen how problematic it can be.

This is enough parading my angst around in this blog post for the evening. I feel like I have made myself noticed and so I better get back to that rather dull task for work.


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