Letting go

Why is it so hard to let go, if not to forgive at least to forget and move on??

When I moved to Oxford, it was to pursue the project of my dreams, in what I thought the best place to do it. When I walked away not much of that youthful naivety remained, my career was in shards but my personal life flourishing. I completely lost faith in science and am keen to invest some time in finding alternatives. I have a sweet boy now and a great partner. I haven’t been stressed anymore since leaving Oxford, as I had been for weeks on end. I thought I’d moved on. Science isn’t all about experiments and observations, but largely about money and publications. It isn’t about talent, it’s about selling. I thought I’d accepted this and would be happy to trade it in for a more 9-5 job and time for a life besides work. For a career where hard work pays off more than sheer luck and big words.

Why then, if it was so bad, is it so hard to let go? Stupidly, I followed a link on Twitter that led to my old lab’s new website. I was astonished to read that 3 new postdocs have been hired. Whereas my contract was not extended, unlike promised, because of lack of funds. Just after informing about my pregnancy. Seeing that money appeared for 3 new people makes me so angry again. One of them is surely continuing my project, will probably even run off with a first authorship after almost 3 years of work from my side… Parts of the project proposal that brought in the money, were actually literally copied from my postdoc fellowship application. It makes me so angry.

But then – would I really have wanted to stay longer, even if given the chance? I’m not so sure, especially considering the toxicity of that environment. I should be happy to have escaped. I’m just still really struggling to accept this new reality. For 30 years, I’ve studied and worked in the sciences, loved every second of it and I still can’t believe it’s so easy to lose that. Much less, I can’t envision yet what could replace that??



  1. you are not alone! trust me! just don’t look backward! you are blessed with your current life full of joy and happiness that your partner and son bring in. always happy to read your post! have you ever considered working as a science editor which you can also do remotely? take care! Zamira

    1. Thanks for your comment!! Yes, I’ve been thinking about science editing. Get to read lots of science still, are useful for the community. Plus I really enjoy writing/editing. Just don’t know yet how to get started with that, whether I should just send my CV to a couple of publishers??

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