Do you remember when you wanted what you currently have?

Almost at the end of my second summer holiday, another staycation here in Kent. The grand finale will be in Italy at the end of the summer, in September. Yeah because summer ends on Sep 23rd, not Aug 15th! Just saying. I had great plans in mind for this holiday, visit this insta popular location, a new castle, filling all days every day with activities for the fear of missing out, until I realised that I was burned out. Then, bye bye fitting someone else’s idea of fun, I just decided to stay local, doing things within walking distance from the house and my workplace. All pictures in the article were taken in Sandwich, Kent.

Last year about this time, I started making real plans for my future life. After a long lockdown and the prospectus of a long winter in lockdown again, I was pretty much done living like a teenager. I needed stability and coming up with serious stuff for my life. I set myself the goal to have my life kind of figured out by Sep 2021 and I am happy to say that I did achieve that! All I did during the pandemic year was upgrading my life, thinking of long-term projects, investing my money, becoming serious with my financial saving goals and stop acting like a teenager.

Fun doesn’t mean partying, drinking and socialising, fun is yours, you define it!

Steven Barlett
St Peter Church

I think a lot of people just share the final result of their goals but forget to acknowledge the most important part. How did you get there? It was nowhere as easy as it sounds. Last year this time my mental health was a shipwreck, I was crying every day all day, I didn’t have a plan, a direction and pretty much no idea of what to do with my life. All people around me were marrying, moving in together, getting new jobs, while I felt I had nothing and was stuck with my life. All I could think of was all the things I was missing without noticing all I had achieved up to that point. Many people think that depression is just an extended period of sadness and it will pass with time. In fact, they confuse anxiety/depression and its mild symptoms with a psychiatric disorder. This is what I have. I don’t function without medications and took a long while for me to accept that I have a disability. Outside the miserable mood, I was barely making it to the end of the working week and pretty much sleeping 12h almost every night.

Last year about this time, I was barely making it to the end of the working week.

The limit is the sky

If you have been following my monthly progress update, you might already know that I needed to do a lot of work to update my mindset. I already had good habits, like meditating, yoga, exercising, seeing a therapist, healthy relationships. But I needed a lot of mental shifts, like stop equating my success to my to-do lists, making vision boards, finding peace with myself and the fact that my timeline for success would always look different than anyone else. Because I did make my own choices and refused to follow traditional paths.

Of course, the feeling of uncertainty wasn’t only limited to my personal situation, I did question my career choice, whether doing a PhD was worth the struggle, emotional and financial, if a research job was the best fit for me at all, if I am a good enough scientist, yes impostor syndrome will never go away. I was unsure last winter, but I know 100% exactly what I want for my future career. I will never leave research, ever. I have put myself into 10 years of higher education to learn chemistry, research skills, get to know the industry and my field, become an expert and independent thinker. Ain’t going anywhere. This is my destiny and the way to honour my PhD study and title, personally speaking.

If I am not a profesional athlete, what is it left of me?

Naomi Osaka
Brighter futute ahead

Transitioning from a life to another wasn’t easy. This is was probably the first time in my adult life that I got to experience a life-changing situation on my own and during a very challenging historic time in modern history. More will happen, of course (please no more in the near future this was enough for the next 50 years) and I will welcome all of them with the same spirit I did during covid pandemic. I will trust that there is more to life that I can see at any given moment and, at the end of it, I will become a new and different version of myself. The future scared me for the entire duration of 2020 and part of 2021, but it only excites me now and I cannot wait to explore, learn more and becoming a better version of myself every single day.

There is more to life than what you see at the moment!

MHN