The alien feeling of belonging

This is year 6 of blogging, Thanks wordpress for the nice reminder. I’m nowhere as consistent as I was with my writing and pushing content for women transforming science. It’s hard to make the time and write something meaningful. To say that this year has been challenging, it’s an understatement. I changed job, I moved country, I had to put my whole life in a bunch of boxes and restarting from scratch at the age of 32. I resumed regular therapy sessions and changed medications for my mental illness and I’ve been figuring out that what I always called depression is actually some form of psychosis.

I think it’s fair to say that I’m ready to call this a year. I’m tired of changing and readjustment. I only want two things at the moment: doing well with my job and stabilising my mental health. The past 10 months have been intense and this doesn’t come as a surprise. Changing means getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing the fear of the unknown. It was unrealistic to expect that it was going to be a smooth transition.

Farewell, a new apartment. New farewells. The move of my student years. Moving out after divorce. Moving to other countries. Coming back. A new apartment. A whole life can be told as a collection of moves

The physics of sorrow

Coming to Cardiff opened new/old wounds for me: the discomfort and struggle I have always experienced to fit in and be part of a group. I spent my whole life feeling inadequate or there was something wrong with me. I struggled to make friends, build long-lasting relationships and be part of social crowds. The turning point for me to be at peace with myself was one of the therapy sessions at Nottingham university. Through discussions with a therapist, I realised that I didn’t have to fit in anything. I just had to find the people who were like me.

Coming to Cardiff made me question my old choices and what it means to belong at all. I spent so many years creating this idea of a strong, confident and ambitious person to protect my feelings. I created walls around me and pushed people out because I was scared to get hurt. I created a person who was unapproachable and intimidating. I don’t want to be that person anyone. I started getting out more and found friends outside work. People who are like-minded but not necessarily like me. I opened up about my feelings and who I am and that made me feel more at easy with everyone, people who are like me and different.

Every struggle provides with the opportunity to rise!

I’m still trying to figure out who the new me is! Any time I move geographically, I have to reinvent myself because old ways won’t open new doors. Cardiff is a new stage of life and this requires a new version of myself. Any time I move, a piece of myself dies, others evolve to transform in something new! Who’s the new me? I don’t know! All I know is that I finally found a place where I can be whoever I want to be without hiding, a place to finally call home!

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