The last 6 months have been so intense and dense of events that it feels like it’s been 6 years already. Since my last blog article, a lot of things have changed. First of all, I am no longer in my 20s. On Jun the 8th, I turned 30 years old! I couldn’t do any celebration because we were still in lockdown but I didn’t mind that much. I celebrate my life every day so I don’t have to wait for a special day to do special things. I work and live in awesome locations by the beach and the quality of my life has improved so much that I don’t even feel like I need to go to Italy on holiday this summer.
My life is perfect at the moment, I have a killer job, a beautiful house, I created meaningful relationships with people. I am blessed with wealth, beauty and rage. Many people that know me personally or I connected with through social media keep repeating how lucky I am and how grateful I should be to have everything.
Big audacious goals require you to actually do the work instead of looking at what everyone else is doing. cit
The truth is that no one gives you anything and when you keep killing in life, this is due to your hard work, discipline and dedication. IT IS NO LUCK! This is especially true for women who often underestimate their qualities and skills and believe that their success is the outcome of luck! Not really.
In chronological order, this is the list of all the hard decisions I had to take since last year:
I decided to terminate my PhD about March last year. It was a tough decision. I knew that my research wasn’t great, I didn’t have amazing results and I had to rush writing my thesis because my initial plan was to ask for an extension. But, I was emotionally and physically exhausted, my mental health was going backwards and asking for an extension would imply burning my saving account. Was I willing to compromise my personal life and mental health to get a few more “positive” experiments in the lab? NO! At that point, I felt like I had already achieved a lot with my PhD and I didn’t need two more experiments to prove that I was a successful scientist.
I was no longer willing to compromise my mental health for science.
I decided to stay in the UK rather than going back to Italy and live with my parents to save money. PhD can give you glory and prestige, but we all know that staying in school until 30 doesn’t look pretty financially. I had a bit of saving but living in the UK without a stable job is just impossible. Things weren’t looking good with Brexit, leaving, even temporarily, meant that I could no longer come back. Plus, I needed to be in the country to be able to turn up to job interviews. Money-wise that decision costed me about £7000, but if I had left England in October, I would never be able to come back, and it wouldn’t be Brexit only. Back in October, would you have predicted that a deadly virus was going to turn our lives upside down?
I wasn’t keen on the idea of living with my parents at 30yo to save money!
I destroyed my brand. Emotionally, that was a devasting decision. No one can understand what my Instagram page meant to me. It wasn’t just a fun game or a place where I turned out to seek external validation through liking and commenting. I shared the most vulnerable sides of my life, like coming out publicly with my depression and being bullied as a teenager. I found a safe space where I could express myself freely and use my voice to advocate for things that mattered to me. However, my brand didn’t reflect my new life anymore and I felt like I couldn’t move on and embrace my new life fully when everything I saw around was the things that made me quid academia in the first place. NOTE: I will come back to blogging and Instagramming at some point, probably after the summer as a lifestyle influencer. I just need some time to clear my name from academic circles and put barriers with the academic community.
None of the things above came easily and it’s impossible to explain in a few lines the emotional pain that came by taking this direction. But at some point in life, you need to decide whether you want to embrace growth or settling down in environments or places that no longer represent you. Moving towards a different direction isn’t easy because we are creatures of habits and we tend to settle quickly. But, becoming an adult also means that you need to become responsible and take ownership of your life and decisions. This means that you need to weigh the pros and cons and look beyond the short-term outcomes.
The person you are today is the outcome of the decisions you made 1/2 years ago. Your life in the next 2 years is the outcome of the decisions you take today. Choose wisely! Cit.