Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Year in London

Its been a month since I found myself at the arrivals terminal in Muscat Airport. Usually I can’t help but smile while exiting the door to the waiting area. This time I was genuinely scared. I was scared of being back, for what’s waiting for me once I exit the airport. A month later, I’m still as scared if not more. 

The past year I’ve spent in London was a good one. I might even step out of my comfort zone and call it successful in so many levels. I’m back with a Master’s degree, with knowing more about myself and a little bit of self confidence. 

When I first arrived in London and this whole journey started I found my self-esteem, self confidence and everything related to how I view myself and my capabilities visibly fall like the autumn leaves. I felt as exposed as those shedding trees in the cold and gloomy London days. I continuously questioned myself and if I’ll make it through. That autumn I set my goals for the year, made new friends and put myself out there for London to do me good.

Then came the chilly winter with its strong winds. Sending me left and right with every huff and puff. I’ve never felt more scared about whether I’ll be able to make it past winter, past all the winter wonder labs and all the studying. The colder it got, the stronger my fears shivered and I felt them the most. No matter what I did, nothing kept those fears calm. Winter felt like it was spent between the library and cups of coffee. Coffee kept me going, it always did.

By spring I left all my fears behind. I knew I passed my exams that once kept me up all night. Although I was a bit disappointed, I was glad I made it through and it was time to focus on whats next. I learned to love labs that spring, the anticipation of whether PCRs worked, the excitement when it was time to analyse the sequences and learning to appreciate the calmness of the lab. There was always something to look forward to.

Then came summer and as the days passed I wanted them to stop. Everything was coming to an end. Starting to write my thesis was also an indication of the start of the end. The support I got from my lab mates and supervisor was beyond what I expected. They were what I needed and more. They kept me going and always there to motivate me. Leaving them was the hardest part.

My year in London was not just a time to know myself better. It was also a chance to know my friends more. I got to see a side of them I’m so grateful I got the chance to. Their endless support, motivation and care is something I will always remember and appreciate. 

And now I’m back and confused. I don’t have a place to sit at and start a new journal with clear goals. I’m still stuck somewhere and not sure how to get out of it. I’ll continue to write and hopefully find my way out.