More than a year ago, I moved abroad – to the Canary Islands – to transition from a student to a full-time worker. I had no experience whatsoever and my expectations of acquiring knowledge were high. Being a motivated person that goes with the flow, I encountered many moments of re-calibration of what was expected from me and how I would be able to achieve it.
As it turns out, I opened a chapter of many roller coasters that to this day come and go. Except that now, I am able to handle work situations with a different approach in order to get through in the most effective way, benefitting productivity and my mental health. Although the majority of my days are intense, I feel as though I should embrace every step of the way.
One of the factors that contribute to my well-being, apart from doing what I came here for, are the people that surround me. I have encountered so many different faces, and with an observant eye, I have learned how to filter who I want to be around with and how I want to emit my energy outwards. I have become better at socializing and interacting with the external world, which made it so much easier to be part of an intricate family and friendship net.
Another factor that contributes to knowing well where I am and who I am is definitely the possibility of seeing the ocean every day. Whenever it gets hectic, I know I can rely on the sea to channel the imbalances that have been dragging me into darkness. A stroll down the beach, a surf or freediving session, a swim, and the darkness fades into the light just like the sun rays infiltrate through the water.
There are moments when I reckon I am dreaming in amazement. What has brought me here? How is it possible that all the small things that once seemed so insignificant have helped me align the many paths I wanted to take? When did it become easy to sit down with myself and go through some shadow work to prevent ending up short-changed?
I speak many languages, I understand others, I have no fear of speaking directly and the truth, I finally accept myself as I am and the changes I go through, and I am not afraid of letting others see me. What a beautiful inner evolution!
You might be wondering “What are you saying, Aja?” Well, all the uncertainties, misbelieves and existential wonders I have been through as a student have unrolled into the greatest walk of life. Working as a laboratory technician in the biological oceanography group has given me time to slow down, appreciate the repetitivity of my work and accept that there are missing points which need to be revised and progressively changed in the science world.
It does not take much to improve, if theory is put into practice by interconnecting different fields of science. In my opinion, if we truly want to achieve this, we should stop torturing ourselves with competition and instead, take action altogether. Rather than complaining about stolen ideas, we should get over ourselves and search in the many other directions that are still waiting to be discovered.
I am determined to be a sand grain upon many that will continue to research for a change, to share the unravelled and make science more easily accessible for the general public to understand. I look forward to this continuous process of attempts, mistakes and questioning, shared laughs and the beauty of the discovered unknown.