The Millennial PhD: Creative Survival at Work & Beyond

Ep 33. From Brain Scientist to Multimedia Creative, ft. Dr. Christine Koh

September 28, 2022 Carmela Season 3 Episode 33
Ep 33. From Brain Scientist to Multimedia Creative, ft. Dr. Christine Koh
The Millennial PhD: Creative Survival at Work & Beyond
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The Millennial PhD: Creative Survival at Work & Beyond
Ep 33. From Brain Scientist to Multimedia Creative, ft. Dr. Christine Koh
Sep 28, 2022 Season 3 Episode 33

Ready to make room in your life for clarity and inspiration? Dr. Christine Koh talks about her journey from brain scientist to multimedia creative (+ the host of the awesome Edit Your Life podcast), and how to forge your own path forward. An amazing conversation about following your intuition, making a professional pivot, and building what you want to see in the world.

Connect with Christine @drchristinekoh on Instagram or at her website.

Interested in starting your own podcast? I host The Millennial Phd on Buzzsprout and I love it because, for me, it was the easiest and most user-friendly podcast hosting site. Follow this link to sign up, and you'll automatically get a $20 Amazon gift card included in your sign up; plus, it helps support The Millennial PhD. Happy podcasting!

Support the Show.

Dr. Carmela Muzio Dormani - aka your host, Mela - is a sociologist, dancer, and creative consultant.

Learn more about Mela and get access to creative resources at

The Millennial PhD is all about building community. Join the conversation:
- Connect with Mela on IG @melamuzio
- Follow @themillennialphd for up-to-date info on the podcast & blog.
- Email with feedback.

Show Notes Transcript

Ready to make room in your life for clarity and inspiration? Dr. Christine Koh talks about her journey from brain scientist to multimedia creative (+ the host of the awesome Edit Your Life podcast), and how to forge your own path forward. An amazing conversation about following your intuition, making a professional pivot, and building what you want to see in the world.

Connect with Christine @drchristinekoh on Instagram or at her website.

Interested in starting your own podcast? I host The Millennial Phd on Buzzsprout and I love it because, for me, it was the easiest and most user-friendly podcast hosting site. Follow this link to sign up, and you'll automatically get a $20 Amazon gift card included in your sign up; plus, it helps support The Millennial PhD. Happy podcasting!

Support the Show.

Dr. Carmela Muzio Dormani - aka your host, Mela - is a sociologist, dancer, and creative consultant.

Learn more about Mela and get access to creative resources at

The Millennial PhD is all about building community. Join the conversation:
- Connect with Mela on IG @melamuzio
- Follow @themillennialphd for up-to-date info on the podcast & blog.
- Email with feedback.

Speaker 1 (00:09):

Welcome to the millennial PhD, a podcast about creative survival and beyond. My name is Dr. Carmella Munio Domani, and I'm a sociologist, dancer and creative consultant from New York. In these episodes, you'll find inspiration, ideas, and actionable tips for building new pathways forward in work and life. You'll hear from artists, activists, creative entrepreneurs, PhDs, and professional pivoters. We talk about radical humanity and practical steps to follow your dreams, even in the context of challenging social conditions. Before we jump into today's episode, a quick reminder to follow the millennial PhD on Instagram. And to please take a minute to rate and a review the millennial PhD on Apple podcasts. Your rating really helps the show reach as many listeners as possible. You can learn more about me and get access to free creative resources on the millennial PhD Instagram page I hope you enjoyed the episode. 

Welcome back to the millennial PhD podcast. Today I'm talking with Dr. Christine Co, who is a music and brain scientist, turned multimedia creative. She's a fierce believer in the power of humans, small moments in actions and vulnerable, authentic storytelling. She communicates on these beliefs through her work as a writer, podcaster, designer, and creative director. So as a writer, she's a contributor at the Washington Post, Boston Globe magazine and cnn. She's the co-author of Minimalist Parenting and founder of the award-winning blog, Boston Mamas. She co-hosts two podcasts. One is Edit Your Life. The other is Hello Relationships. Her design company is Brave New World Designs, and she does Creative direction at Gavin Communication. You can find her at Dr Christine co on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, which of course will be linked, uh, in the, in the episode notes. So, Christine, welcome and thank you so much for being here. 

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. And I always love talking about PhDs and what you can do with them or not do with them, and so I'm really excited about our conversation today. Yeah, definitely. I was saying to you right before we hit record, I'm so excited to have you on. I came across your Instagram page while I was looking for prospective new guests for season three of this podcast, and you had me hooked at a neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. Yeah, it's a weird, weird world <laugh>. Uh, so I knew you'd be really wonderful to have on the show and provide a really valuable perspective. And then I, I poked around a little bit more on your website and saw just some of the amazing projects that you work on. So very excited to 

Speaker 2 (02:58):

Chat. Thank you. 

Speaker 1 (03:00):

Um, so we can start, I read off your bio, but we can start off with just, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Speaker 2 (03:06):

Sure. I am, I guess I like to call myself a Boston lifer. I, I'm the sixth of seven children in a traditional patriarchal Korean family, and most of my family's still local. Um, but I went off to, I did my undergraduate, uh, with a double degree in music in psychology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. And then I went on to do a master's at Brandeis in cognitive psych while working there as a lab manager. And then I went north to Canada for my PhD, which was in the brain behavior and cognitive science track at Queens University. Uh, specifically, there's an interesting proliferation of music cognition researchers up in Canada. So that's what took me north. And then my last academic station was back here in Boston, and I had a very fancy sounding, but highly challenging post-doctoral fellowship, uh, with a triple appointment at Mass General Hospital, Harvard Medical, and mit. So it's been a ride. Let me <laugh>. Yeah, that's, that's the really quick broad strokes 

Speaker 1 (04:10):

<laugh>. Yeah, definitely. And, and that, that last bit about very impressive sounding, but, um, maybe highly strenuous or, uh, not necessarily as advertised post, I think probably resonates with a lot of people in different ways. Um, so what, can you talk to us a little bit about what brought you to the decision to pivot away from academia or to not kind of going into the full-time tenure track game? 

Speaker 2 (04:35):

Yeah, it's, it was so interesting because I will say that I felt so just incredibly committed to academia based on my experience at my undergraduate. Wheaton College is a very small liberal arts, teaching only college. And I had the most incredible mentors. I mean, truly formative supported me as a full circle human being changed my life. I'll just, that's, that's what it was. And so my dream was to go back and, you know, teach alongside my mentors. I had this very lofty vision of it. And it's funny because the whole way through, I, I should back up and say I was not a very good student in middle school and high school. I had terrible grades. I didn't really thrive and find my academic side until I went to college. And so because of that, I felt a little bit of imposter syndrome kind of through the entire journey of getting my masters and then my PhD. 

And I actually really liked my PhD and I hear that a lot of people that post let down is a real thing. You know, all of a sudden you're not doing your own project, you're under somebody else's thumb, et cetera. And the postdoc was hard that way. I was ready for that to be working on somebody else's terms, but I just wasn't super happy there. Um, I was a good scientist, but just felt like it was a real struggle to kind of, um, not have a lot of immediate positive feedback. You know, the publication loop obviously is so long <laugh>, and especially if you were like me in in r rather in experimental fields. But I think the really big personal moment was that as I wrestled with this imposter syndrome, I kind of think I needed to get to the most terrifying, scary, intimidating place on the planet. 

Like, I had to learn how to code at a lab in MI at mit. I mean, that's absurd in order to run my experiments. Yeah. So I think I needed to get there to realize that I was smart enough to do it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, these were all just people, very smart people, very wonderful people, but just people. And that gave me the freedom to say, Okay, I'm gonna figure out what I wanna do next. And I also had the personal, uh, pivot points or reflection points that I became a mom. Uh, my father was also dying, so I just had this real culmination of self exploration where I was like, I love working, but if I'm going to spend time away from the people I care about, I really wanna love it. You know, I have a lot of friends in academia who really love it. And so <laugh> and I didn't feel that way, and that was troubling to me. 

Speaker 1 (07:22):

Yeah. I think that that part about kind of having to, or wanting to kind of, um, wanting to give it a real go or wanting the PhD e or the postdoc or the tenure track position to come to fruition, I think is a really strong sentiment. And I know a lot of people feel the absence of that if it doesn't work out mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, or feel that same way. Like, Okay, I got to what's supposed to be the pinnacle. And then maybe some, you know, some of these personal points come up or draw our attention to the fact that is this, is this for me? Like, is this the way that I wanna spend my time? Is it, you know, giving back to me in the way that I had hoped that it would? Um, 

Speaker 2 (08:01):

For sure, for sure. And I think the added layer that you, and I'm sure many of your listeners will understand is that I, I also felt it was, it was not an easy, in some ways it was an easy decision because it was instinctual. I was really suffering in my PhD, like my hair was falling out and I was like, Okay, time to jump. But on the other hand, like as a woman and as a woman of color, I felt a little bit like I was letting, letting down <laugh> my, my fellow fellow slogs in the midst, like that I wasn't, I was ready to represent mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then I wasn't. So it was that that was a, maybe the most challenging piece of it. Like I just really, as a feminist, I just felt like that was a real hard thing for me. 

Speaker 1 (08:42):

Yeah, definitely. I, I could feel that, for sure. Can. So how did you come to then, Can you talk a little bit about how you came to the work that you started to do? Sure. Maybe even just saying multimedia, creative, like what does that mean? How did you decide to kind of move into that field? What do you, what is it 

Speaker 2 (09:00):

That you do? Yeah. Well, I made that term up because it was becoming very difficult to encapsulate the different projects that I have. But it kind of started at, at, in the last year of my postdoc. Um, so I'd become a mom and because I was sort of a researchy na nerd by nature, when I started needing to like find a stroller and do all these things, I would research things at nauseum. Now, I would never research things that deeply, but I, at that time, I researched things at nauseum and I would find that friends who were having babies at the same time would ask me for my recommendations cuz they knew I had done all the legwork. And I remember at one point I was talking to a tech friend of mine and I said, Oh man, so this is 2006. I said, Oh wow. 

I just, I wish there was just an easy way I could put all this stuff on the internet so that I could just refer people there and I wouldn't have to keep emailing these sheets and whatever. And my friend Andrew said, You need a blog. And at that time I didn't even know what that was, but within a month or two, he helped set me up on movable type and I started my first blog Boston Mamas. And I will say, given our understanding of academia in the long, long road of publishing, to articulate something written and then go boo and hit publish and have it just be out there, it was a little exhilarating <laugh>. It was really crazy be I bet. Yeah. I mean that, that's just the opposite of the, the traditional publishing experience. So I, and the, the blog took off like all of a sudden I was like, who are these people that are finding me and writing me? 

This is crazy. So it wasn't making money right in that first six months, but it was definitely picking up steam and it just started to gimme a glimmer of a different way to do things. I will say I had the privilege of a husband who was working a job and he could see how much I was suffering. And he encouraged my jump. He said, Christine, you have always figured out how to make money. You will figure out how to make money. Like don't worry about that. Just go like, if you wanna do it, go. So that was amazing. But, you know, the, so the blog was the foray. And then, you know, not long after that I did start thinking, Okay, well how will I make some money? And so I started a design business and then I, you know, just started doing so much writing that it eventually turned into a book deal and then podcasting. 

And somewhere along the way I had just mostly based on instinct, been giving some people some feedback about interesting ideas on social media and social media consulting. That's when it wasn't even really a field. And it turned out I was pretty good at it. Um, so I was talking to a friend one day, my dear friend Mora Aarons mealy, and I said to her, Yeah, I'm thinking about like, I just, I need to be making more money and I think, think I wanna do this a little more officially. And she said, I need some help on some clients. Do you wanna work together? And so we started working together and my very first client to build clever social media campaigns for was the American Cancer Society, <laugh>, I mean like, Go big or Go Home. Right. Lo lo 

Speaker 1 (12:09):


Speaker 2 (12:10):

Lobar. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 (12:11):

Low key. 

Speaker 2 (12:12):

Yeah. So from there I just, you know, started just discovering this beautiful intersection between storytelling and causes and how to make people care. And it was all playing out kind of on the internet, and it ended up being this perfect marriage of my skills and my creativity. And so that's, you know, how I became a creative director. And, and now my, the firm that my friend Mori invited me into, uh, last year was acquired by Gavin Communications. So I'm retaining my title there. I'm, I'm still creative director, but I do all manner of creative concepting and design and writing and all sorts of things. 

Speaker 1 (12:54):

And can I just ask, is, is that something that you do, uh, with sort of like a full-time schedule there? Or more, is it more like a freelance type setup? 

Speaker 2 (13:03):

I'm technically a contractor at Gavin, and, you know, I'm on retainer for a certain number of hours a week and it's, it's more than part-time, but it's not full-time, which is what allows me to do all these other things that I do <laugh>. Um, so it's really great. I mean, there's, there's not a lot of boredom in my corner because I just, and this would not work for all people, but for me, I like switching between different projects and thinking about this and then thinking about that. So it works for the way my brain works and has proven to be really pretty amazing. And even though it gets a little stressful at times, I've been able to be present enough for my kids. <laugh> just gotten it <laugh>. 

Speaker 1 (13:44):

Yeah. No, thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Um, because I think sometimes we look at people, especially on the internet or on social media, and one of the questions is, you see people doing a bunch of amazing projects or a bunch of amazing different things. Yeah. And it's like, well, how, like, what are the nuts and bolts a little bit? Sure. Yeah. Um, and of course that's different for everybody, but it's always, I think, helpful to hear a little bit about how people have these different configurations, um, from how they do work. Yeah. Can we talk a little bit, you mentioned kind of pulling in some of your skills and your creativity in your work. Can you talk a little bit about what, this might be kind of a broad question, but what kinds of skills do you feel like you draw on most frequently in your day to day work that you're doing? 

Speaker 2 (14:28):

Yeah, I mean, I think if we think about pulling, So let me back up and say that one of the number one, and I'm not advising people to just leave academia. Academia is wonderful and necessary and yay science, but one of the questions I get all the time from people is, Oh, you know, do you regret, like having spent all that time doing all that training and now not doing it? And I, I always say absolutely not because I think leaving a field, whatever it is, can be a source of shame for people. And I just don't believe in it. I think that truly every path, you know, is there, it's there for a reason, and that skills that you develop there will translate elsewhere. So when I think about my time in academia, what I got really great at, because I was in experimental psychology, was basically project planning. 

You know, developing experiment, like figuring out a plan, how to execute, how to make all the pieces fit together, um, how to deal with people. Cause I was running human subjects, all, all of that stuff, it all translates to my every day all the time with clients. Um, and then otherwise, I think that I, one of the big things that I do when I, when I refer to creative concepting for my clients is I'm thinking about, I mean, ultimately the through line is how can we say what you wanna say in a way that is meaningful, will make people care and listen and perhaps do something, especially in this very crowded, noisy, short attention span world. Sure. So that's, that's kind of the, you know, the big deep thinking part of my work. And then I also, you know, can do fun stuff like design, cool graphics and little animations and whatever else. And these are just random things I've picked up along the way as I've needed them. 

Speaker 1 (16:19):

Yeah, definitely. That's, that's really helpful. I think that kind of project management or project planning, kind of taking a big picture, figuring out who's, who are the stakeholders, who's involved, how do we navigate with both sort of, regardless of your field in academia, I think that a lot of people develop those skills. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So being able to utilize them and leveraging in different ways, um, is really helpful for folks who are either pushed out of academia or who are thinking about leaving or who are staying within it, but trying to do things, you know, maybe a little bit on their own terms. 

Speaker 2 (16:51):

For sure. And actually, you're reminding me that one thing I didn't mention at all was, you know, depending on how much you might be in the classroom or presenting at conferences or whatever, but I often have people tell me, Oh my gosh, you're such a great public speaker. Like, how do you do that? How do you connect with people like when you're, or clients or whatever. And I think part of it is personality. Yes. Like some things are like warmth and a little bit of magic. You, you can't always like teach those things, but you get a lot of practice with that if you're in front of, I mean, I would we agree that perhaps the toughest argument is the classroom full of 18 to 19 year old who you're trying to teach. So if you can keep those kids engaged, like you're, you're gold. Like you're good <laugh>. 

Speaker 1 (17:37):

Yeah. And you were talking about, you know, taking a big idea and making it really tangible for a quick attention span. Yeah. Which I think a lot of, 

Speaker 2 (17:45):

There you go. Yeah. Let's put it on TikTok. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 (17:48):

<laugh> boils down to as well, like, how can I, how can I get this into simple terms, straightforward, um, hold that attention. Yeah. Um, so that's great. Um, so pivoting a little bit into a little bit more of those nuts and bolts questions. Um, can you talk to us a little bit about what does a typical day look like for you right now? 

Speaker 2 (18:09):

Yeah. Well we are recording this. I don't know when we're going live, but we're in summer, so if it's not in summer when it goes live, add on a little bit of back to school chaos or what, what have you. But uh, typically I'm up around six 30 I will say, well, I'll get to that in a second. So up around six 30, usually connecting with family, all important coffee. I read the newspaper headlines, big fan of the paper newspaper. I just need to call out supporting journalism <laugh> to anybody who might be considering a subscription. Uh, so I re read the headlines and then I actually am usually doing my first kind of big picture work check in by around seven ish. And I just always like to get a big, I run through my to-do list. I'm deeply wed to my app Todoist, I, there's a free version, I use the paid version, but cuz you can attach Google Docs to different tasks and it just makes life easier. 

So I do a high level on my day, make sure I'm synced up with my calendar and what my meetings schedule looks like. And then I engage in some form of movement, uh, whether it's running yoga, um, so that might be around seven 30 or eight. And then after I do that, that is essential, truly, it sounds completely trite, but a hundred percent essential to my wellbeing and not being a totally grumpy arse. So, um, yeah, that and then I dig in and you know, I get to work for the day and as you can now tell, that will be any mix of, uh, client stuff for Gavin. Or I might be recording a podcast episode like we're doing right now, or I might be, um, you know, doing any number of of things, writing an article for something. I'm actually like kind of working on a book right now <laugh>. 

So like it kind of, it's not in secret but it's not official yet. So anyway, I'll be toggling in task switching really probably until five 30 or six. Probably a full full day. Just different things. And then the biggest thing I could recommend to your listeners, I know it's not easy, especially in academia, but I do not work in the evening. I do not, I did for a long time. It almost broke my marriage <laugh>. Uh, cuz if given the capacity to work, I will fill the time and I will work. Um, Sure. Yeah. So, um, I don't work in the evening and I use that time to connect with my kids, play with my dogs, see my husband, and then I'm usually, I know this sounds so boring, but I'm usually in bed with a book by nine 30 or 10 because I love sleep so much. 

Speaker 1 (20:44):

<laugh> it sounds fantastic. 

Speaker 2 (20:46):

Eight hours minimum nine hours would be ideal. Yeah. But sleep solves problems y'all, so I cannot recommend it enough. It is great. 

Speaker 1 (20:57):

Yeah. This is the boundaries around the evening time. Oh, hard. The weekend time are so really challenging. I know a lot of people are trying to reimagine how we relate to work in academia and other fields I think as 

Speaker 2 (21:09):

Well. And it gets, it gets, it got sticky during the pandemic, right? Yeah. It got blurry and difficult. And I do often push a few work things along and over the weekend, but that is within the context of a lot of fun with my family and you know, just goofing off and making food and just doing the everyday Monday mundane, necessary things of life. So, um, but the evenings I think are, are really precious cuz our bodies and our brains, we need time to unwind. So that's why I really advocate to people to give yourself that space. 

Speaker 1 (21:45):

Yeah. And I'm, I think, I'm sure a lot of us need to hear that over and over again, 

Speaker 2 (21:49):

Over and over takes time. It's a journey. <laugh> 

Speaker 1 (21:52):

<laugh>, um, I love this the typical day question because I always get all different types of answers from folks. Sometimes people are just like, well it could be anything <laugh>, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, which is fascinating and some people have really regimented time schedules set up. So it's always, I always think it's a great window into what something can be like, what a particular setup can be like. 

Speaker 2 (22:15):


Speaker 1 (22:16):

What would you say is a rose and a thorn about the work that you do right now? So something that love and something that is maybe not so fantastic. 

Speaker 2 (22:26):

Yeah, I think I love, I think the rose would just be that there's a lot of autonomy and creativity in what I do, which is wonderful. I mean, you know, when you're working on client stuff, obviously they have goals and you know, you wanna help them meet those. But, um, I think being able to be cre creative every day is really quite a gift. I don't even know if I've ever said that out loud, but it is really a gift. Um, I think the hard thing about it is that I wish I spent less time at the computer <laugh> I, that just the nature of what I do, writing everything and I'm not, one thing I wish if I could have anything perhaps in addition to great eyesight would be the ability to write in a journal like by hand. And my penmanship is terrible, so I can't do that. So literally everything I'm doing, if I wanna type down thoughts, write an article, whatever, I have to do it on the computer. So I think that's another reason why movement and that form of self love is really crucial as a counterbalance to how much I'm on the computer. It's probably not enough, but I'm working on it. 

Speaker 1 (23:38):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. And definitely, I, i second the movement piece, we don't know each other, so, um, but I'm a, a dancer in my other life. 

Speaker 2 (23:45):

Oh. So yes. Yes. I did know that. iTalk you a little on I Yes. I saw that. 

Speaker 1 (23:50):

<laugh>. Yeah, absolutely. I think it's, it can, you know, it can provide so much for us physically, mentally, emotionally. 

Speaker 2 (23:57):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, for sure. 

Speaker 1 (24:01):

Um, so if somebody came to you today and asked how to get to do what you're doing or something like what you're doing, what are some first steps you might recommend? 

Speaker 2 (24:12):

I think that one of the most important things, I mean, I think if you, if somebody comes to my website and is like, wow, what are these like things that she's doing, why is she doing all these things? The unifying, well there are two unifying principles to it and, um, they're both related to answering your question. And one is that I really do just have this kind of like, wanting to be helpful and useful <laugh> kind of mindset about things. I mean, I think that's why the pieces that I write for media are, they're in the service journalism way. And like, I'm trying to help people solve a problem. You know, I, I feel a pain point. I'm living a pain point now. I talk to experts and provide my own insights on how to solve that problem. So figuring out what your big picture goal is and how you best wanna show up in the world, I think is a really good like, overarching thing to think about. 

And then the other thing is that it occurred to me at some point that everything I've done, every project I've started has been because there was a hole that I wanted to fill. Like when I started my blog, I started it, I, I realized, okay, well Boston has a lot of like kids' calendar sites. That's not what I wanna do. I don't wanna populate calendars, but there's no kind of lifestyle editorial site in Boston that's kind of weird. Like this is a city that should have that. So I started it. Um, you know, so each of my projects has kind of filled that some kind of hole that I didn't see and created something that I wish I had <laugh>. So I think if somebody's thinking about, I think it's definitely difficult and I sort of gag over the word influence over a little. But if somebody is like, I wanna be an influencer, I mean, that's gonna be tough unless you figure out what your niche is and what you care about. So that's, that's, I mean, I think that's the very first place to start. 

Speaker 1 (26:06):

Yeah. I love that idea of, um, creating the things that you would like to see or that you would've liked to have access to. Um, I think that's, that's great. Do you have any general kind of parting advice that you'd like to share? Um, and if you have any particular advice that you feel like would apply in particular to women or people of color or other people have been traditionally marginalized who are trying to build maybe their own less traditional freelance type career path? I know that's a big 

Speaker 2 (26:40):

Question, <laugh>. Yeah, absolutely. Well, absolutely. I mean, I think that the biggest, it's not gonna sound like rocket science, but it's everything is that don't go it alone. You know, I think that because of the way that I grew up, uh, and because of the different traumas I experienced in life, I had had and still sometimes have a lot of trouble asking for support or leaning on other people for anything. And it just, it just makes it a lot harder or even to just talk creatively with. So one thing that has been really crucial in this sort of next phase of my life and career, and actually in academia, it was kind of weird cuz you'd sort of talk to people and there would be journal club, but it was also competitive. It was just, it was a little, like, it was difficult and, and, uh, that particular environment was also difficult for someone with imposter syndrome like me. 

So anyway, in this next phase of life, I've really leaned into being okay with being a little vulnerable and saying, I don't know if I know how to do this. I don't know if I'm good enough to do this. And I have a few sort of professional colleagues who I like rely on, I call them my life secret squirrel squad, where we'll just kind of, I can text them anytime. I can ask them a question. I, and I know they will be brutally honest with me. You know, they can say, I love you to pieces and I think this is a terrible idea and it's all good. Like, we all need those people in our lives who love us unconditionally and will support us unconditionally. So I think the more that you can do that and then find those support, you know, supportive people in whatever community that you I identify with is really important. 

I mean, for a long time it was hard for me to, this is gonna, for people who don't know me, this might sound a little wild, but it was really hard for me to be around other Asian people because it made me uncomfortable because I grew up in a predominantly white community where I got made fun of for being an Asian person. So why would I want to hang out with more Asian people that would draw attention to my asianness, Right? I mean, it sounds, it sounds absurd, but I have since found such deep love and connection and solidarity and just awesomeness in embracing my identity and like being with my people. And so I think, you know, everyone's journey is gonna be different there, but we all need support and there's, there's absolutely no reason that any of us should be doing things alone these days. <laugh>. Yeah. So that would be it. 

Speaker 1 (29:21):

Thank you so much for sharing that. And I'm sure that it does resonate with a lot of people who feel their version of that type of residue from their experience of trauma where 

Speaker 2 (29:33):

They That's a good way to put it. Residue <laugh>. Woo. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 (29:36):

Yeah. Um, so I do think, I do think that hits, yeah, I do think that hits folks in a lot of different ways, um, depending on our experiences. So thank you for, for sharing that. Of course. Um, very much in the vein of being vulnerable, which is also such a challenge, um, especially after being in academia where we're, we're just holding on for our lives sometimes with the Yeah. Distinct challenges of that field. Um, is there anything that I didn't ask you about that you would like to share or put put out into the world? 

Speaker 2 (30:06):

I guess I would just say that, I mean, it's such a hard road. I think there's so many moments, I mean in academia, but anywhere honestly, where we all have moments of uncertainty and doubt and like, Oh my gosh, am I supposed to be here? And I really think that the more people can sink into like, I am here in this moment for a reason, <laugh>, and if it's great right now, it's great for a reason. If it's brutally hard right now, that's the universe trying to tell me something or I'm supposed to be working through something. So the more we can embrace like whatever that moment is and figure out what our next action step, I think the better. Because otherwise it's always, it's very difficult to always be thinking like, I should be over here doing this other thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, if you're in a tough place, like it doesn't mean you're in the wrong place necessarily. It just might mean that some work needs to be done there. So I would just, I guess I'm encouraging people to be kind to themselves for wherever they are at a particular place, because I think it can be difficult to see what other people are doing or not doing. And you know, it's hard not to drop comparisons when you see that. 

Speaker 1 (31:24):

Definitely. It def <laugh>. It definitely is. Um, where can people connect with you? 

Speaker 2 (31:31):

Uh, well, as you mentioned, my, my very favorite place to actually communicate with people, which is lovely, is Instagram, On Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I'm Dr. Christine co. Or my website is christine and you can find everything there. 

Speaker 1 (31:45):

Okay. Well, thank you so much for, for coming on and sharing. This has been a great conversation. It's been really wonderful to hear about all of your experience. Um, and again, I appreciate it. It was, it's wonderful meeting you as well. 

Speaker 2 (31:59):

Yeah. Thank you Carmel. You're such a warm and wonderful host and I, I appreciate you, um, giving me the space to share my voice and my story here. Thank you. 

Speaker 1 (32:14):

That's it for this week's episode of the Millennial PhD. You can find more content, resources and information on Instagram at the millennial PhD in this collective moment of reevaluating our relationships with work and exploitation. I look forward to connecting with you and building stronger bonds of community and collaboration. I would love to hear from you via email at the millennial PhD with any feedback, comments, questions, or concerns, or if you're interested in coming on the show as a guest. That's all for now. It's been real. See you next time.