The first time I fell in love with a project was during an undergraduate internship. I had interned in four other labs before, so I knew that it was the one. Still, it was not at the institution I had planned to attend, so after two internships at this lab I decided to try out the other institution before taking the big step and committing to the Ph.D. thing. In the end I chose love over prestige.
Part of me wished I could have continued working on that project after I graduated, even though I know I had to move on. There are so many loose ends that I wish I could wrap up. So many unanswered questions that I wish to address. I keep trying to go back and pick up where I left off, but it keeps meandering away. In the end I have not enjoyed my two postdocs as much as I ought, I keep thinking about the project I cannot work on.
A few weeks ago I was approached by a professor who is leaving my current department and asked if I would like to work on his new grant. He is still seeking approval from the funding agency to transfer this grant to another institution here in town. As I read through the proposal, I keep getting more and more interested in the project and this new job opportunity that is still not quite real. While I was musing out loud about trying not to get too excited about this homeless project that might not materialize, my colleague asked me if I was trying not to fall in love... If only I could...
It has been so long since I have fallen in love with a project that I thought I had found and lost the love of my life. But now I am confused... Maybe that was not it, maybe this new project is it. Or maybe I am trying too hard to forget the old project and am building up hopes that will not live up to their expectations. Have I healed from a heartbreak or am I headed for another? Why do I get so attached?
Maybe I should watch Drew Berrymore's Ever After movie again. Da Vinci had some good advice for the prince when he started rambling about how to tell who was the love of his life... something like "snap out of it".