So I have eaten some chocolate-glazed marzipan cake, a few slices of home-made sourdough-rye bread (hot out of the oven, squeeee!) and now I am drinking some hot Glühwein while watching HP4 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and thinking about how magical the past few months have been for me.
In the previous few months, my life has changed in just about every way you can think of;
- I went from being sued on a fairly regular basis for half a dozen unpaid medical bills to having all those bills finally paid off
- I went from being broke, unemployable and wondering how much longer I'd be able to stay housed to living in the most beautiful apartment I've ever lived in
- I moved overseas to live, as I always thought (wished) I'd do, even as a child, but had lost hope years ago that such a thing would ever happen for me
- My life is filled with plants and animals, writing and friends at long last
- My brother, whom I'd not spoken to since I was 15 (because the parents wouldn't allow it when they threw me out of the house permanently), found me and we remain in contact to this very day. I am part of his family and this gives me joy such as I've never known before, joy that was beyond even my wildest imaginings
- I married a scientist whom I respect, and a man who is silly and witty and wonderful beyond my expectations (I can't believe how lucky I am, in fact)
Why and how did all this happen? My blog. I find it endlessly fascinating how something as simple as dedicating myself to writing a blog about science has had such a pervasive and positive effect on my life. Science is more than my career, it is my passion and until I met my spouse, it was the sole love of my life. Writing a blog was my little way of remaining in science despite being locked out five and a half years ago.
After I was unable to find a tenure-track position or a second postdoc position, I only ever thought about how to stay alive so I could fight to regain my rightful place in science, although the best I managed was to remain "there" in a purely peripheral sense, "translating" the original literature for the public. I never thought my ongoing (and public) battle to stay in science would allow me to realize a few dreams I've deferred since childhood, and reawaken a few more that I'd given up on ever achieving. And I never ever thought I would marry, and I never thought I'd reclaim the best part of my childhood family (my brother) in the process.
But writing a blog is not something I would have done in a vacuum: I did it for my readers. Like everyone who writes, I want to be read. But you, my precious readers, have done so much more than that for me; you've become my critics, my allies, my mentors, my friends and yes, my family. I owe you all so much for keeping me alive with your comments and emails and gifts. I owe you everything for keeping me feeling hopeful and appreciated so I continued to write for you. Really, I owe you my life.