I woke up today on the wrong side of bed, with my pillow on the floor and my neck aching. Another sleepless night spent fighting for just a little bit of rest. It felt like its going to be a bad day. I compensated the lack of sleep with a cup of coffee, a croissant and makeup to hide the tired face I show up to uni with everyday for the past week. I was determined to find the good in it despite knowing I'll be in the lab for the whole day. I gave myself time to read and write in the train to freshen up my tired brain. It all went well until I entered the lab.
The bright lights, the faint smell of chemicals, so much glass in all forms and sizes. I'm on edge. Sarcasm and jokes seem like insults. Everyone moves smoothly, swaying from one side to the other. I'm rigid, ensuring to walk in the middle of the path, hugging myself just incase I accidentally bump into something and maybe break it. I ask so many questions. The first hour of lab work passes by well, I understand what is going on and everything seems like its going according to plan. After a 90 minute incubation time, I come back with a little bit of confidence that I can make it today. That I'll manage to follow a protocol and hopefully get results. Things slowly start to go out of control. The pellet forms weirdly. Centrifuging doesn't seem to fix it. Keep centrifuging, my head spins like the centrifuge. The sounds of equipments keeps getting louder, my heart beats faster, and then noises compete on loudness in my brain. Everything around me seems like a blur and I'm standing there with the place spinning around me trying to fix the problem in front of me. Now a third voice competes in my brain, "this is exactly why I hate labs". I don't want to give up but I no longer know what to do. Worried, I walk up to the demonstrator asking for help. I walk back to my seat and he calls out "hey we're having fun, this is science, cheer up". Not what I wanted to hear. I do as I'm told, add in the 70% ethanol, mix it and walk to the incubators for the ethanol to evaporate. I get asked if I'm alright and tears slowly find a way. As time passes, I realise everyone is having the same problem. It doesn't make me feel better.
I'm still determined to find the good in my day. The "happy" in my day. I'm grateful for course mates that give you a hug even when you don't ask for it. Course mates that take the time to joke around, lighten the air, help you feel better. I'm grateful for a best friend that made me a playlist with the perfect mix of songs. Grateful for a friend who brighten a cloudy days, laugh at lame comments and best of all encourage to keep going. Today was a good day despite how it was.