Every single job I’ve had since graduating from college required some sort of lab setup or equipment that made remote work practically impossible. That changed 5 years ago when I accepted my current job in research. My director allowed (actually recommended) working from home at least 20% of the time. At that point in my life I had just left a demanding and high-stress environment and I felt that being trapped in the office was a source of my problems.
I've always told myself that I'm a "private person". For years, I've used that as an excuse for being evasive when I don't want to talk about certain things or just to avoid giving away details about my life. But the truth is I'm not even sure I know what being a private person really means. While it's true I don't like to expose too much about myself, there have been people with whom occasionally I have admitted to things (though never everything).
Almost 2 weeks ago, I had a major personal disappointment that really affected me. Unfortunately it happened the night before the first year anniversary of my father's death. While the turn of events were incredibly upsetting, I didn't think at the time that it was anything that I couldn't deal with alone. I didn't want to outright tell anyone I was overwhelmed, but I did have the urge to say depressing things on my social media accounts, Twitter especially.
At this time 30 years ago, my parents were bringing my siblings and me into the United States to start a new life. They came with a few suitcases, limited money and 4 kids under the age of 8. They derived their strength from nothing other than the support of their family and their faith in God. For all the times I've thought my parents did not take any chances or feared risk, I cannot imagine what courage it took to make such a difficult journey.
A year ago today, I quit my job of over 6 years. In the 12 months following, so many things both positive and negative occurred that I can't honestly decide if it was a good year or a bad one. The only certainty is that it will forever influence my life. When I think about any of the situations I faced last year, I realize that either I was ready or not.