Rationally, I know that my professional life isn’t so important. It’s just a means to get money so I can live, but I am kind of obsessed with the idea of finding my passion and working in something that really inspires me. That’s why, I started with science. I love science! Well, I love a part of science, because the scientific system kinda sucks. It’s really competitive, you spend a lot time with bureaucracy.
In Spain, I studied Environmental Science, which is basically a bunch of things put together. A little bit of biology, a little bit of wastewater treatment, industrial studies, economy, ethics. It sounded perfect! But when you finish you realise you’re still not specialised in anything. Something inside me believes that this is not a bad thing, but I feel this pressure telling me I should focus specifically on something.
I was quite happy last year when I was unemployed without any thoughts about the future. I was living with my best friend just thinking about what to do. It doesn’t sound productive but I also spent time applying for jobs. If I compare myself then to now, I actually feel worse, even though I have a job which is both my topic and my field…
I’m impractical. I always try to do a lot of things. I cannot stay static for a month. I think my maximum was five months in the same city. I feel like I try to live too quickly. I have this mentality that life can end tomorrow so I try to make the best of today. I think it’s a good trait to have, but sometimes I push it to the extreme. I have this feeling that if I die tomorrow I want to die happy. It’s not about being successful, but being happy. That means being proud of what I do, and being proud of myself.
Something I’m very proud of is my PhD. That was the first time in my life that I experienced panic attacks and anxiety really badly! My personal situation was really bad at the time. I had a long distance relationship, I was in Spain and he was in Germany. We had this plan of living together when I finished my PhD. We were together for three years and two of them we were long distance. So it wasn’t just the pressure of finishing my thesis, but it was the additional pressure of the relationship that I also felt.
One month before I was supposed to finish my thesis, he came to me with this story about cheating on me. I just couldn’t believe it! First of all, I blamed myself. I felt like I had destroyed the relationship because of my PHD. I felt that maybe I should have moved sooner. I even apologised to him. I blamed myself for focusing on my work so much. All my friends told me that I had been a good girlfriend, but I didn’t feel like it. But somehow, I found a lot of power from that. I worked really hard to get the last of my thesis finished. I think I needed to prove to myself that I’m okay and I can do whatever I want, and a person isn’t going to break me. I needed to feel powerful!
By 12th July, I had finished my thesis. Then I had the best summer of my life. I didn’t get a job, instead it was the time I gave to myself to be free.
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