Hello and sorry for the lack of posting but I have been dealing with some personal as well as professional issues. Nothing critical but all adding up to create some added stress. Thankfully, I have an excellent support network to help me through turbulent times.
Had my first real setback of my PhD journey, most likely will not be the last. I moved the research in a direction that it was not supposed to go in and this meant that multiple aspects of the project just did not click together. Essentially, I fell into some of the cliched traps of PhD writing. The feedback I received was much needed to help me get back on track.
I will admit that initially there was some pretty negative feelings though through the help of some excellent colleagues, friends and family I was able to reset and get back to the task of fixing my project. My supervisors gave me two weeks to fix the problems. I was able to fix some of the problems and distill my research into its purest form, while not perfect it was a far cry from what it was before. Much tighter, sharper and most important of all much more suited to my personality and interests.
Data, and privacy are essential concepts as we move into the age of smart cities. Concentrating my energy (and research) into this triangle is a much better use of my ultimately short time on this project.
I learnt some really important lessons from this setback and how I eventually fixed it. The major one being that this journey is not a simple smooth ride but a bumpy one. It is best to ride the bumps rather than trying to fight them. When you include a strong support network to help you when you are struggling then your life becomes much easier to keep on track. Another major lesson is that some problems are outside of your control, others are – but most of all is that I have the power to fix those problems. Nothing is insurmountable.
A highlight of the last couple of months was certainly my first academic conference. The unbridled joy of pure research is something to behold and truly was an amazing experience. Met some really cool people and I definitely would attend another AoIR conference. Please see my post dedicated to the trip (Here!!) with some photos.
Other than the setback as mentioned above, the project has been fairly straightforward. Some personal issues including some semi-serious medical concerns with my partner have all added to the stress of the last 2 months or so. I definitely need to work on my ability to separate and segment my life to help manage stress. I think this is going to be an ongoing learning experience throughout my PhD journey (and beyond).