I just realized that it has been about half a year since I left my old job and moved to my new one. It feels like a lifetime ago. Last year around this time I was feeling despondent, restless, devalued … and a few weeks after that I’d be diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I look back and see how different things are, how far I’ve come … and I have to pinch myself because I think this is a wonderful dream and when I wake up I’ll be back in my old hell hole.
I’ve been happy for the last 6 months. I never thought I’d say this … but I am happy beyond measure. I’m not being constantly being praised or told how wonderful I am (though I won’t lie, it does happen once every week, I swear) every single hour of the day, but I don’t need it. My one boss consults with me, my other boss (there are always several layers of higher ups when you manage a lab) trusts my abilities … my users like working with me. Even though I’ve had to learn some new ways of thinking about data, I’ve learned it from students and postdocs that love what they do and don’t mind sharing the knowledge. I have experience with other tools in the lab, and I’ve been able to help outside users get data on those tools. Right now we’re in talks about sending me to a national meeting this year … and did I mention I’ve only been here half a year? Unlike my previous position, I don’t hear people complaining about the place of work. I don’t hear them praise FSM for everything the uni does, but I’ve yet to meet someone that despises this place and wishes it burned to the ground. The interesting thing is that, in terms of national rankings and all that, both places are similar … except my current place is better known than my old one. Perhaps this was partly why my old job felt the way it did, because lots of people lamented that we weren’t a fancy pants ivy league type place. But that is silly because we had great tools, and smart people and wonderful resources.
I’ve assisted some of my old peeps every now and then, but it looks like my dream of leaving the place in good condition for my replacement came true! I wish nothing but the best to my old labbies … even the jerk boss.
I’ve done a lot of local traveling, and been to a couple of cities I used to visit when I was in the East Coast. I am in the East Coast and my town is pretty much a very big blue dot. The place is quiet, but has lovely natural resources around, and major cities (both in the US and Canada) are within a handful of hours from here.
I’ve grown a lot, went down on one of my depression/anxiety meds, have really good benefits and have decent public transportation! I’ve made friends with the building people, and they get stuff done in no time (unlike at my old job). I feel more fulfilled and competent than ever before … and my students and postdocs like me.
I’m glad I didn’t give up on the dream of being back in the field and becoming a staff scientist (now manager). I really love what I do, and when I’m given the chance to stretch my wings and fly, I do it, and do it with passion and love.