On the unability to make choices
For me it has always been about making choices… Actually it’s the case for everybody: choices more than abilities made us who we are today. We shouldn’t do something just because we are able to, but because we deeply want to. Life is short… and I think it shouldn’t be wasted in a job we don’t like. It’s true that work is not everything. But it’s a big part of life and we should be able to blossom in what we do!
My problem is that I don’t wanna choose. Because if I choose I have to give up something or even many other things. And whenever I make a choice, I regret it because it means that one door has closed… Yeah another one probably has opened at the same time. But I want all doors to remain open all the time. And let’s face, this is not gonna happen and it’s probably no sane way to live, with every door still open.
I wish I could live a hundred different lives all in one… And actually, I kinda started to do that a few years ago. But there is a catch. When you don’t want to choose, you take the risk to stay still, frozen in a stage at which you make no decision, with the consequence of not moving forward and of having the impression to waste your time. Though I did a lot of different things as you will see hereafter, I sometimes have the impression that I’ve been frozen for a while… That ain’t no good feeling, trust me. So please, avoid falling into that trap yourself.
After a PhD, a journey in Chile working on the installation of the TRAPPIST telescope (ringing any bells?) and a postdoc in Astrophysics, I reoriented my carreer. I wanted to be a singer and an actress. Super realistic… Mostly for someone with my personality: I don’t like to disturb people (and I have the impression to disturb them all the time), I am nearly unable to sell my skills and experiences (at least not for such a market), I have no patience, and I am a hopeless and very pessimistic person (not when it concerns other people…). On the contrary I am also a dreamer with a lot of cravings. I dare to dream that’s for sure. But I don’t dare to try and make these dreams come true. At least not as much as I should…
So after realizing that I would never become a professional singer and/or actress (unless a miracle… which I still expect sometimes… OK very often!!! Grrr! Not good), I decided to try something else. I had this culinary project in mind (it took the form of a sushi bar at first, then of a snack with a cake design shop, then culinary workshops, then, then, then …). But before really starting that I got a shot at working in the cinema industry, behind the camera, as assistant location manager. Ok many consider that position as the bottom of the movie hierarchy… But still, it was a wonderful (and exhausting) experience. And at that moment, I thought I had found my way. I thought that was it: I would become an associate producer and I would live happily ever after working in the small Belgian movie industry. Well… that didn’t happen… Life and people decided otherwise. So I had to rebound. And I did! As an administrative assistant in an office where I had worked as a student, kind of a comfort zone for me, still challenging because in a complete different area (do the words bailiff or law mean something to you?).
After that, I finally decided to go back to school (after 8 years to get a degree in Physics + a PhD…) and to take a one-year class in order to become a cook (despite what some apps facilitating the sale of dishes between people say, it is a regulated profession!!! + food regulation rules exist for a reason….). It was the right next thing to do if I wanted to have my own whatever, whatever being a snack, a restaurant, a food shop and/or some culinary workshops. That’s what I did during a year: I learned how to become a professional cook or something remotely similar. So now I can say I am a scientist and a cook.
After that year, while working on the business plan of my culinary project (which can now compare to my PhD thesis… no I am not a perfectionnist ;-) ), I worked as a sales assistant for the chocolate shop of the Galler factory in the Liège area. That was also awesome for someone like me, a gourmet obsessed with food and thrilled only by the view of chocolate. Except maybe from the lifting part of it: a hundred kilograms of chocolate to lift per day because I was in charge of putting away the delivered goods nearly all by myself… But that’s not what I really keep in mind. That experience gave me the idea of having a chocolate shop. And bam! One more thing I wanted (and still want! That would be so cool to have my own chocolate shop) … After that I had two other “food” experiences that I’d rather not mention because one ended badly in a police station and the other one I couldn’t bear…
So I went back to work as an administrative assistant. It’s always good to make a little money (not much but better than nothing right ?) and to catch my breath again. That is a safe place for me, with people I’ve known for years and that I like.
Then it was time for a new idea… That one didn’t come from me! A “friend” (not really a friend actually… more like someone I know and that helped me in the past in a generous way. But things change and so do people) came to me to launch a new company. I was going to become a specialist in the sourcing of high scientific profiles. Something new, challenging, that seemed fun plus related to my scientific background. I was enchanted. But, well, that didn’t happen either… My “friend” changed her mind… Yeay… Great :-) Another door slammed in my face…
At this point do you think that I’m cursed ? Do you think that I’m unfortunate regarding work ? Do you think that I intentionally (but unconsciously) bring that kind of stuff upon myself ? Or do you think that overall this situation is not so bad ? You’d be right with that last statement. I had the chance to do many things, to travel the world, I have a great family, friends, a roof over my had, a +1 who is patient and extraordinary. And let’s face it there are way worst things happening on this planet right now than some girl with a Peter Pan syndrom wanting to live like Gigi (the manga girl with the pink hair) or Sailor Moon. These two I probably have watched too many times… They have the power to change themselves into whatever they want… Hu hu what a coincidence!! No wonder Gigi is my nickname. And don’t even get me started on the “multipotentialist” concept or on generation Y…
Oh and I forgot to mention that I am now working as a freelancer thanks to a friend who wanted me to be her bizz partner in her new marketing company. We searched for the skills I could easily put at the service of companies. And as I didn’t want to choose one specific area, I now work as a copywriter and a content reviewer, I am also a science outreach journalist (the rest is relatively new but that I’ve been doing for more than 3 years), I create websites with the wix platform and I hope to have my shot at event planning! The latter implies creativity, people, traveling, etc. And it’s dynamic and can be wonderful (even though I guess wonderfully tiring). So cross your fingers for me ;-)
Oh and I still have my culinary project in mind, in the form of a bio/sustainable food shop, a lounge bar, a cosy Italian snack, a nice restaurant and fun workshops... All in one as usual! No need to make a choice here (there is a touch of irony but likely imperceptible in writing…). I want it all! Plus the dreams to travel a lot, to live abroad again, and the fool’s hope that a miracle will happen and that I will have a part in a movie or sing a song that will mean something somewhere. Without forgetting that I want to write a book, to take a baking and pastry class, to take a chocolate making class, to have a Belgian shop overseas, to work with telescopes again, to be active in science (especially astronomy) outreach, to travel into space, to become a better cook, etc. Oh and in the meantime it would be great if I could find a moment to become a mom, a cool one hopefully and not a neurotic one doing 100 things at a time. LOL. ^^
And you ? What choices did you or do you have to make to find happiness ? Because after all, isn’t happiness what we all are running after ?