Can somebody just let me out of here? If I die in a cage I lose a bet.
(c) Rick Sanchez
I will not surprise anyone by saying that 2016 has been a bizarre year for many of us on all levels – from world events to personal moment-to-moment experiences. I specifically chose this word to describe the past 365 days because I believe that year recaps are like dead people: you either say something nice or nothing at all. So here it goes…
Leo won an Oscar
Let’s start with the good news. For me his role as Arthur Rimbaud in the “Total eclipse” remains the most memorable (so here’s a suggestion if you are considering rewatching”Sharknado” on Netflix).
2017 resolution: Appreciate dad bods.
Adapting to the Bubble
I’ve finally found peace with the working culture in Cambridge. Initially it was a shock to the system – just like most overachievers joining the university I became painfully average. I overcame this when I started thinking about the questions I want to ask in my project and stopped comparing my achievements to others.
“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
– Chuck Palahniuk
2017 resolution: Do what you love and love what you do.
Organising a 100K conference
It took us almost two years of work and we didn’t sleep for a week while running it but I can’t even begin to describe how much I have grown (and greyed?) while being on the committee. Thank you to my insanely organised team for making this ambitious event a success. Also after it was over I had too much wine.
Photo credit: Toryn Dalton 😉
2017 resolution: Continue the legacy.
Recently I went on an impromptu mini-holiday to the States to check it out as a potential postdoc destination. The trip was during the first two weeks of Donald Trump being the president-elect, and hence ill-timed. However, for the sake of everyone’s zen I will not discuss politics here.
The first city I visited was Boston – the land of lobster, Boston Bruins and Cambridge Jr. The academic vibe in Harvard and MIT was something that inspired me to have confidence in my own research project and be proud to call myself a scientist. Then I visited New York, where pizza rats were fighting pigeons in the battle for the Central Park supremacy. It’s a gorgeous city, really.
Overall, I am considering the States as a potential country to do my postdoc in. I liked the people, the food and also the guys on Tinder are really hot.
2017 resolution: Start thinking about postdocs.
You don’t have to be mental to play ice hockey but it helps. This year I wanted to do a sport because plain squatting in the gym is not comme il faut. My rowing career ended before it even started mostly because I am obsessive about my PhD and the only reason I will ever get up at 4am is to do a lab experiment. Then I decided to try ice hockey because I have been thinking about it for quite a bit but didn’t have the guts to try. All I can say is ice hockey is tough and not an easy sport to pick up but it is extremely rewarding. Shout-out to my supportive and inclusive team, I’m really happy I joined.
2017 resolution: Hustle, hit and never quit (especially because there’s so much to learn like omg lolcats).
How can I forget the B word? I am not being melodramatic saying that my face was producing profuse amounts of tears and snot that morning. I am terrified of what lies ahead. Nonetheless, after the dust had settled I continued with my application for the British citizenship and am happy to announce that I have officially become a Brit ver.1.0. I am forever grateful for all the amazing people I met along the way and being able to make the world a better place one scientific idea at a time. This is what becoming one with the Avatar’s Na’vi must feel like.
2017 resolution: Love and cherish my adoptive country.
In summary, if 2016 was a fictional character it would be Ramsay Bolton. But today we say adieu, 2016, adieu!