This March is a special anniversary for me. It’s been one year of working as a research scientist in industry. I actually started my job on the 9th of March 2020. I had a special celebration this weekend. I did not only get paid but it’s been one year of not being broke and living my best life. For the special occasion, the weather has been fantastic, with temperatures of about 10-15 C and lots of sunshine. It was the first weekend, I managed to eat fish and chips by the beach on Friday after work and cycled to the white cliffs. It’s been glorious!
I haven’t blogged or posted much about my life on social media this February. It’s been a long winter and here in Kent a long winter of lockdown. We’ve been stuck into the monotony of going to work-sitting on the sofa for 4 months. 4 LONG MONTHS. I just have to thank the countless boxes of antidepressants which kept me sane during this dark times. I am not sure I would have managed otherwise.
Outside the misery of covid, 2021 has been a year of growth so far. I am making a great afford to live my best life every single day. Although the past 2 months haven’t been eventful in the sense of doing things or going out, I had a lot of mental manifestations.
2021 has been a year of change and letting go so far!
The first mental shift was not equating my success to the list of my achievements. I think the culprit of this is social media. Everyone is so obsessed with getting the likes and the right engagement that they only share the positive things happening in their life. All they want is to get the hype of the killer post! To reverse the pattern, I consciously decide not to post any more achievements on Instagram or LinkedIn, at least not for a while. The only truly important thing at this moment is setting the foundations of the person I want to be for the rest of my adult life. Working toward this goal is the real achievement of 2021. If I can grow and do better than the day before, then I am happy!
I had another mental shift the moment I found a picture of myself that dated back to 2018, about 3 years ago this time (see attachment). It was a very happy moment of my life and I was in Paris with my boyfriend at the time. I looked great, I was 2 sizes smaller, my hair was all black, I was using contact lenses every day and, honestly, I felt great. The landscape picture of this website dates back to that time and, funny enough, I was wearing the same jeans dungarees. After posting the picture, a few people reached out to me saying that, no matter how I feel inside, I still look the same person, confident, strong and beautiful.
It took me a couple of days to realise that, I actually look the same person, if not better. I am definitely in a much better mental space, I am out of a toxic relationship, I have money, freedom, independence and pretty much anything I wish for. It is unbelievable how I keep equating my “beauty” to my body size. If I want to look like that I just have to wear contact lenses and that’s it! Job done, I look the same. I do not have to drop two sizes!
What I disliked about the science communities wasn’t the science but the fact that it’s mainly academics from English-speaking countries!
This is also been one year since I stopped using my Instagram page for science communication and decided to separate my personal life (which is my Instagram brand) from my job as a scientist which is on LinkedIn. That was one of the best decisions of 2020 because I managed to separate my identity from the scientist and ditching the academic persona for good. That separation was a massive shift forward into my adult life, an old blog about this can be found here. However, I have to say that I found a better balance with this. One year forward, I realised that I still like to see women in science and connect with like-minded people. The only thing I hated was academia and the fact that science is reduced to only academics, predominantly white, from English speaking country, posting about their PhDs. When I found out new people who do not fit into this category, I started enjoying the science bit of Instagram again. Did I say it loudly? Sorry, not sorry!
The last bit of the post will go to celebrate the fact that this has been a lovely weekend. For the first time since pandemic started, I din’t have any depressing feeling and I managed to enjoy every minute of my time since I left work Friday afternoon. I had fish and chips on the beach, I excercises, talked to my family, cycled to the white cliffs and made a lot of food. The positive mood had a lot to do with the recent announcement of the government to lift up covid restrictions at the end of March, still one month to go, and the fantastic weather. The horrific combination winter/lockdown destroyed my mental health and I am counting the minutes until I can enjoy my life again. In fact, all I have seen since I moved to Kent last year is pandemic and I cannot wait to see more of it.
See you next month or hopefully before!