As you may have noticed, I’ve been away from the wondrous world of social media for quite a while. So many things were happening, that mysteriously no time was left for the online world. Also, my moods have been varying greatly. Note the understatement there. I didn’t want to fill this blog with not necessarily heartfelt negativeness.
I think I’m going through a phase many (early career) scientists go through. What am I? A scientist? A writer? Or perhaps a friend, a musician, a daughter, a …? How many percent of my identity is defined by science, how much made up of other components? What will fill me with happiness, when I’m 80 something and ready to die? The one extra paper I squeezed out, or the time I spent with my family?
You may ask what triggered this avalanche of thoughts, or perhaps not. I have the feeling it’s quite common in nowadays science to philosophise a bit about the meaning of it all so maybe you may actually not want to ask why. I’ll tell you anyway.
Last year, I was in Oxford. Doing some pretty fun research in a pretty bad environment. Narcissistic PI. Egocentric colleagues. You name it. Still, I was hooked on the research and overall happy. Then two things happened:
I got pregnant. My PI did not give me the promised contract extension.
I am still in a very introspective and reflective phase and will undoubtedly expand a bit more on what exactly happened the last year in further posts. Most importantly for now, I’m very happy with my baby and partner. Career, I don’t know. Life turned upside down having no job, being pregnant, moving to another city in a country with a language I don’t speak.
Right now, I guess being a mum has replaced much of the scientist, but I’m sincerely hoping that is a temporary state. It is probably a survival instinct, as I would most likely go mad as a scientist sitting at home changing diapers all day.
Occupying me most, is the not knowing what’s next. Once the kiddo is old enough for daycare, will I start applying for other postdoc positions, make the transition to industry, to writing, to consulting, or to something else completely? Opening a cat cafe sounds like a perfectly solid life choice to me at the moment 🙂
To be continued…