Two thousand fifteen. Three hundred and sixty five revolutions to orbit around the sun one more time. I started this post as a reflection of everything that happend this past year. What I had gone through, how hard it was. 2015 was full of trials, growth, and accomplishments. That alone deserves a moment of reflection. It was a year of regrowth for us after 2014 left us lonely, broken and missing some pieces. After all of that, we knew that we wanted to leave the East Coast, not sure how or where but this wasn’t the place for us. The year turned out to be a journey full of self-discovery, physically, personally, and professionally.
Throughout the year I had interviews with 5 different places. The first was a phone interview. I prepared based on what the recruiter had informed me. After a few out of my control events, I had extremely high anxiety. The discussion went horribly! I was completely caught off guard by the nature of the call and knew instantaneously that I wouldn’t be on the short list for an onsite interview. The whole time I just wanted the call to end. This was a pretty bad blow to my confidence and took some time to emotionally recover from.
Throughout the year I investigated different opportunities from industry to academia. Nothing quite as bad as my first experience, but definitely a bumpy road. The thing is, if you are trying to move across the country, an interview can be a big investment: money up front, time off of work, and red-eye flights to get home for work or to have time with my family. Throughout all of this, I already had a job that I was good at. Putting yourself through this sort of abuse (anxiety up to the event, being able to professionally handle malevolent interviewers, and learning that rejection isn’t a reflection of personal worth) when you are comfortable- not happy, comfortable- is a very tiring process. I ended the journey with the best interview experience one could hope for. I dug out my defense slides and cleaned them up for a diverse crowd. After a couple of practice rounds, I fell right back into the groove, comfortably discussing my work and energetically presenting. The rest of the day I saw labs full of interesting work and having good conversations with my future supervisors. I knew that I wanted to be there and that I would have the support to develop my career. I am happy to be there now and looking forward to using my skills and background on various projects in the coming months.
Physically I didn’t have any tangible goals. I wanted to regain strength and feel like myself again. I fought against shin splints throughout the year, which got the best of me after over extending myself running the Ragnar Relay. I ended up even going to the doctor, who allowed me to run my goal race (Nike Women’s 1/2) but informed me that the new pain was shin splints and recommended physical therapy. I ran my goal race after taking a couple weeks off, other than 1 or 2 shake out runs, and missed my goal by a couple minutes (my chip time was 1:48, goal was <1:45). Despite not having an A race, I had a great weekend with two of my favorite sisters in sport. After the race we toured San Francsico by food and drink. It was fantastic!
After the race I started PT, which felt nice but wasn’t the best. We did discover that my right, medial gastroecnimeus wasn’t firing properly and I have a huge knot so I got bi-weekly lower leg massage and a plan to test my bone strength by running once or twice a week and increasing my mileage each run. I am up to 4 miles and don’t yet have any bone pain, so I’m hopeful I can make it to 5 miles before the end of the year and be cleared to begin a normal base training regimen.
The biggest, but unexpected event of the year was when we adopted our fur baby, Badger. He is pretty great. I had no idea what was missing from my life, or that having someone that you care for would be so rewarding. Within a few months Badger no longer had skin issues or soft stool. Over the months following, he kept gaining weight, he’s my little tank! Honestly, I was worried about the cost and the time that a dog requires, but it is the best investment anyone can make. The return in love, motivation, confidence, and happiness is more than I could have imagined. He is the best thing that we have ever had. I love my doggy Badger!
It is good practice to take time to reflect what you have accomplished. I am proud of my growth and performance in 2015. It was a hard road, but I have emerged a stronger and wiser than I entered. I am grateful to the friends and support I have had along the way. I am proud of my family, my new home, and the direction my career is going. I stand here, a strong woman, ready to see what the future has in store for me.