Hello all, today I am here to share with you a round-up of my 2019, First of all, I would like to thank God for allowing me to see the end to another year and bringing me through the year safely! Now this year of 2019 has been one hell of a year. As in I went through hell and back but it’s by God’s grace and power that I made it to the end. Nonetheless, 2019 was a year of both small wins but and humbling life lessons across the board.
As always, the overall journey to pursuing a scientific research career was very up and down for me in 2019. Many people know that I have just started my PhD, however, I will be honest and say that I secured my place in May 2018. Due to an obvious financial deficit, I chose to defer my PhD entry to September this year in the hopes that my finances will be in order (I did well for the most part but I did stumble into some bumps as expressed in my previous post). In the meantime, I was living the adult working life for most of this year to save for my academic passion. I did, however, decide to keep applying for funded PhD positions to ease the financial burden of bench fees and tuition fees and accommodation. Sadly I dealt with several application rejections and also rejections after attending interviews which to some extent made me question why am I pursuing a PhD. But then in hindsight, I am glad I stuck with my gut to pursue this particular self-funded PhD simply because I feel like I am in a research area of relevance and importance that I simply love (cardiovascular and metabolic science). It also helped that I was able to secure a job at the university that pays for my accommodation which led me to take the leap of faith and not defer my entry for yet another year. It was bittersweet me leaving my old compounding job after a year (I legit cried on my last day!). I learnt so much about myself as a person and as a worker and I did experience some of the highest and lowest points of my life whilst at that job. Ultimately, 2020 is a new year for even more growth in my career and my mind as a future academic; who knows what opportunities my PhD can bring me.
My “Love” Life
Your girl went through the trenches this year! It’s by God’s strength that I am here writing this post because at one point I didn’t want to be here anymore. The bulk of what came to be one the toughest years for me mentally stemmed from a break-up. I mean I waited so long for someone to finally come along and sweep me off my feet; more like slide tackle me in the final third with the studs showing. The break-up was one of the most emotionally draining and toxic experiences I have ever gone through and I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy. However, it was also a wake-up call that I need to seek professional help therefore I started attending therapy sessions to stop me from leaning towards alcoholism. Yes, I was drawing for liquor and wine bottles during the break up to help me sleep so I don’t have to feel and deal with my feelings of wanting to cry non stop to wanting to spin some jaws. The few therapy sessions I had were some real eye-openers into some of my behaviours when it comes to relationships whilst being an outlet for me to a wholly express myself and what was going through my mind. I didn’t learn from my break up because your girl slipped herself right back into not one but TWO situations after that mess of break up (never again). Those that don’t hear must feel and boy did I feel a lot of things this year with my love life. I’m here today to say that I am honest with myself in knowing that it’s for the best for me to keep myself to myself and not get involved with anyone (whatever their intentions maybe). I’m not worried about when I will but I know that I will someday but I’m in no particular rush especially since I have a quest to get this doctorate which has taken up a lot of my energy.
Dealing with Loss
Dealing with the loss of my Uncle in July shook me up because of how short life is. This feeling was further confirmed after hearing what his colleagues and some of his students had to say about him at a memorial event my sister and I attended earlier this month. I felt like I had lost a father because he essentially was like a second father to me and my siblings. I didn’t grow up with many of my cousins in the UK so having him, my Aunty and my cousins in the same country was an awesome experience. Losing him also made me scared not only because of how close him and my father were but also the fact that they were a similar age. My parents aren’t getting any younger and I can’t help but hold on to them much more as I get older. I felt all kinds of things when I heard the news and I just remember balling my eyes out for days on end and I know for sure that my faith was tested. I will be real and say that hearing the recount of his battle with cancer made me angry and question why would my Uncle be taken away not win the fight? I remember the day my family visited my Aunty and cousins house shortly after he passed and it hit me that he wasn’t going to come down the stairs exclaiming our names individually as we enter the house. Coupled with some of my mental battles around that time, I felt like a time bomb ready to explode – and I eventually did. I remember that I literally couldn’t contain myself during one of my therapy sessions and I just broke down in tears for most of the session. So as the year closes, the fact that he has gone still feels surreal and I know that my Uncle will be one of the people that I will be dedicating my PhD to as he was a brilliant academic!
Well, 2019 has seen my blog go into various directions that I honestly can’t wait to explore in 2020! I featured on a lot more blogs and websites this year (you can see which ones here) and I also scored my first collaboration with Visit Bath. 2019 is the year I have learnt that my blog is more than a blog but it is essentially my brand and an extension of me. I have started to see Thoughts of Chi like my baby that needs to be taken care of and something that is very much worth investing my time and energy into. I can honestly say that putting time aside for blogging has kept me going throughout the year as a way to express and share my thoughts and views on topics and any pivotal moments. I have some plans for Thoughts of Chi in 2020 so keep watching this space to be updated and the first to know!
So 2019 saw your girl travelled abroad 4 times this year (Brussels, Prague, Geneva and Dublin) plus a day trip to lovely Bath which is, therefore, a small increase from last year. In particular, I am loving the fact that I am confident and bold enough to venture to places on my own as I find it both exciting and refreshing to do. I have also made lots of travel plans for 2020 (where my university schedule and student budget permits) to explore even more countries and UK cities. Travel has now become a way for me to implement self-care and it has honestly taken my mind away from some of my problems as it gives me something to look forward to. I still recommend to everyone going on a solo trip because once you have conquered that then you really can conquer anything whether it be domestic or international. All in all, travel has slowly become a part of my lifestyle and I can’t wait to create more fresh travel content for you all in 2020!
My Relationship With God
Lastly, my walk with God in 2019 was tested in pretty much all aspects. I have had to look at myself and admit that I haven’t given my walk with God this year my whole all and that there are some things I need to do better with (praying, reading the Word and having faith). I truly do feel that some of the obstacles I encountered this year could have been avoided had I been more in tune with God and my walk instead of being distracted with the motions of life. The ups and downs during my walk this year from holding on to anger to the point of lacking faith and questioning the plan for my life. Nonetheless, God was faithful throughout to see me through to the end especially in the tough times. In my hour of brokenness and being on the verge of calling quits on life, God showed His love for me through it all and that little old me has something to live for. For that reason, I have no other choice but make sure my life gives Him glory one way or another. I believe that 2020 is a new year so I am extremely hopeful for a new work to be done! can’t wait for what God has in store for me next year and where exactly my walk with God will take me to!
Overall, 2019 has been a thought-provoking year for me one where I can honestly say for the first time that I felt myself at the brink with my mental and emotional health. It was truly a year where I had let the motions pass even though there were small wins along the way. Finally, I sincerely wish you all the best for 2020 in all that you set out to do.
Love Chi xo