As they say, sometimes it is necessary for us to get out of our comfort zone in order to grow. Sometimes, in order to grow professionally and personally, we have to go to a totally new environment and learn about new things.
Everyone needs training. There is always room for growth and improvement. And I think that women, especially, should always take advantage of opportunities that would enable them to grow. For a woman, the choice is always a difficult one to make, because there is a delicate balance between career and family. Going outside for training is definitely bound to perturb that delicate balance.
Having said that, I would like to officially announce that I will soon be embarking on a new adventure in my professional/personal life – out of Tsukuba, out of Japan. Heck, even out of Asia. Into the Queen’s territories!
For the past couple of years I’ve been sort of daydreaming of going to Cambridge U on a sponsored fellowship. Now it’s becoming a reality. My family and relatives went nuts when they first heard about the news. I could imagine my dear Daddy jumping up for joy, wherever he may be right now. He would be grinning from ear to ear, and triumphantly say: "That’s my girl!" (He always said it like that.)
No adventure is without risks, however. Already I’ve gotten my fair share of negative comments, including:
- The weather sucks in the UK. It would be so depressing to live there. Just think of all that snow in winter.
- It is
bloodyexpensive to live in the UK. You’ll probably end up in the red by the time you get through with your fellowship.
- There aren’t any good things to eat in the UK. They only eat fish and chips!
- It would be quite traumatic for Aya to leave Japan and go to a primary school in the UK.
- You will have a very hard time working there, while at the same time tending to your daughter’s needs.
- But then you would have to leave your husband behind – you would get very lonely there (and here’s my comment: You really want to make me believe that you really care about my emotional needs?)
- And who would take care of you there?
- (Well, you could add your own comment here, if you wish 😛 )
Nobody would dare say a negative thing about Cambridge, though. But of course. Hello? It’s THE University of Cambridge. Home to several of the world’s greatest minds, including Newton, Dirac, Rutherford, among others. It makes me feel both terribly enthralled and sincerely humbled at the same time. I feel honored to be there on the occasion of its 800th anniversary next year. Eight hundred years! Imagine an institution that old! It’s like getting a piece of history.
In spite of all these comments, though, I would just like to focus on my goals. I’m not subscribing to these negative comments because I know that the positive ones will surely outweigh them (and not all those negative comments are entirely valid, I’m sure!)
I’m also sure that it will be an experience of a lifetime. I don’t expect smooth-sailing all the way, and I certainly don’t have the guarantee of success. But who cares! There’s only one life to live, right? Carpe diem!
Growing is everybody’s business. But if we limit our growth because we fear the unknown, the seemingly insurmountable, and the probability of things not exactly going the way we planned them – then we only have ourselves to blame.