“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~
When I turned 18 I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. In highschool my favorite courses were Biology, English, Chemistry,… I was a science geek and I actually still am. I love doing research and ask questions like ‘why does this happen, how can you ‘fix’ it,…’. Cancer is a broad topic. It scares lots of people but there are also people looking for solutions. They try to understand every single detail of it. That topic, cancer and looking for a solution, grabbed my attention when I was 18. I wanted to be part of the solution, that was my dream. So I decided to go for a degree as a laboratory technician but with the focus on ‘cancer research’.
February 2010, my final year, I got the opportunity to join a cancer research team in London (UK) for 4 months. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not everyone is able to do that, and I grabbed that chance with both hands without even doubting. Those 4 months were simply amazing. Being a 21year old in a cancer research team and really feeling part of something big was overwhelming but amazing. It was a dream come true.
My thesis was titled ‘The impact p110delta has on the cancer microenvironment’, with a score of 19,5/20 (97,5%) I graduated as a (cancer) research technician. Being a research technician you work together with a team of PhD students, PostDocs,… You work with them on a project, but you focus on the practical side. You do what you are asked to do, but you play a big part in the process. You really are part of the solution.
I wanted to continu as a cancer research technician and I still am a cancer research technician. I joined a highly praised team here in Belgium and I do the work I love and always wanted to do. But I sometimes have the feeling that something is missing. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m no longer in London. It’s a different way of working compared to London. In London you were seen as equal, here in Belgium I don’t really have that feeling. And that is sometimes a bit demotivating. But I do love my job. Cancer research is important and it’s an interesting field.
24, I’m at a point in my life were I’m discovering the world and exploring my interests. My interest in Cancer research didn’t change at all, but I have more interests and sometimes I wonder what would happen if I would focus more on my other interests? I’ve been writing blogs for more than a year and I really see it as ‘a big part of who I am today’. I really love writing, doing some media promotion for people I admire, people making a change, topics that need attention… It is part of my interests and it’s something I take quite serious. In the beginning it was a way to discover myself, but now I can’t live without it. When you write something you sometimes have to think on how you write it down on paper, sometimes it just happens,… It’s something I could do every day without getting bored of it. It’s a huge part of my daily life. It would be a dream to do something professionally with my blogs, with my writing,… but is it viable? Can you make your passion your work?
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve always imagined”
~ Thoreau ~
The question I’ve been asking myself is, ‘Am I confident enough about my writing to pursue this dream?’ At this point I want to say yes, but somehow I’m not sure.
I’m quite active on twitter, and I wanted to know someone’s opinion about ‘chasing dreams or stay on the safe side’. I asked Jerrika Hinton (part of the cast of Grey’s Anatomy). She doesn’t know me and I don’t know her. I thought it would be great to know what she thinks. The answer I got back was something I really liked and it made me realise that it would be possible to explore my newly found passion while continuing my day job. It is a simple answer, but it motivates me. I’ve been having the idea of taking a course to become a copywriter. That is something I can combine with my day job. It’s a start to live my dream I guess.
While I was writing this blog I found a TEDx talk of Amy Purdy ‘Living beyond limits’. A young woman like me, but someone who has been challenged in her life physically and emotionally. It is really admirable and it’s a great story. The question she asked herself was:
“If my life were a book and if I were the author, how would I want the story to go?”
Well, I think that at this moment I have a draft of my own story in my mind. If I would be able to write that story, it would be my own bestseller. How is your story going?
“It’s believing in our dreams and facing our fears head on that allows us to live our lives beyond our limits.”