A friend of mine told me this exact words last year “When you have a certain level of privilege (which we all do in western countries) happiness is your responsibility!” And she was right! I took charge of my happiness last winter when I decided to move to Cardiff. It was a leap of faith to relocate and work in a place where I never set foot before, but I’ve lived more of my life in the past 4 weeks than the last 2 years
I missed living in a big and multicultural city. I’m not from here, I have an international background and for me it’s important to be surrounded by people who have my same life experience. I didn’t relocate 4 times in the past 7 years, finished a PhD and living away from my family to reduce my life to the monotony of having a job, watching Netflix and sleeping during the weekend. I mean it’s okay if this is what people want for themselves, it’s just not the life I envisaged for myself. I feel a lot more in my element here. I found like minded-people, opportunities to do the activities I like, an environment where I fit. Most importantly, I feel hopeful for the future and I definitely see myself settling here.
The boredom of monotony isn’t the life I envisioned for myself!Me
I haven’t felt or had any depressive thought in the last 4 weeks, which is a world record for me as I felt miserable nearly every day during the pandemic. I initially thought that my happiness was the initial excitement of a new experience. I’m glad that I might be wrong on this one because it doesn’t seem to be just a temporary positive mood. I feel more positive about going out, meeting new people and get away from my sedentary lifestyle. The other day, I was talking to a relative and said “I’ll definitely call more because I’m happier and I feel like I have exciting things to say. My life isn’t miserable anymore so I’m happy to talk about it!”. 🥳🥳
Although this transition has been a lot smoother than I imagined, I still feel like I’m readjusting and readapting to this new life. There were things I started doing more in Kent, like reading books or exploring new places, like castles and hiking trails, and I feel like I want to keep doing those activities. It’s been a bit hard to find the time to combine countryside explorations with city life, so I’m still not sure how to best combine the many activities I like to do.
I’m pleasingly surprised on how smooth this transition to a new life has been!
Working life has been great, I absolutely love my new workplace, the people and the culture of integrity and diversity of the company. For the first time in my entire scientific career, both my line and project managers are women. I always had positive and civil relationships with my former male managers, but the connection and interaction I created with female superiors has been a lot stronger. I think it’s very easy to find common grounds, understanding each other’s and having a more relatable role model. Maybe this isn’t important for many, but it’s important to me as the way I feel about people or situations can make a significant impact on my wellbeing and mental health.
Moving here was definitely the right decision to take responsibility of my happiness. Of course, it wasn’t an easy decision, it takes courage to leave everything behind and step into the unknown. I’m glad it worked out and I can see the benefits for my mental health after only a month. See you soon with more exciting news coming in June including my birthday and upcoming business trip to Ireland.