For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Steve Jobs
These days my mind keeps retuning to a time in my past, more than two decades ago. I was working at a university laboratory, fresh out of school, on the second year of my employment. Only twenty two years old, I enjoyed my life and the infinite, undefined future that laid ahead.
The laboratory had many members, anything from students and senior researchers to professors. Two of these were senior lab analysts, my colleagues - jovial, kind women, to whom I turned with questions and problems, when I was still very insecure in my profession and held very little experience in the science field. At that time, they have been employed there, at the same place, for over twenty years. I recall my infinite incomprehension of this fact. To me that time span accounted for a whole life time and the idea of being at the same location for such an eternity felt absolutely unimaginable. Indeed, about three years later, I left for the US, to work with my current employer.
Thus today, however outrageous that idea once seemed, I am exactly in their shoes, having worked for the same laboratory for twenty one years. There has been one relocation, the one that took me to Denmark, when my employer decided to go back home - but overall, I have been educated, trained and directed by the same man almost my whole professional life.
He brought out the hidden talents in me, gave me the opportunities to use my imagination and my skills and established an environment for me where I could thrive and flourish, excelling in the field of science with an incredible speed and endless success. He turned my work into my life and together with his wife, the couple became my best friends, a substitute family to a young girl far away from home. They became people I could - and still can today - count on one hundred percent to be there for me, should I ever need it.
Today I am one of the senior analysts in the lab.
I know where everything is, how everything works, as I am partly responsible for the overall running of the place. It is to me the young students turn with their troubles and problems. I am free to do whatever I like, I take days off at my fancy and decide my working hours. My work has always been the only constant in my life, something safe and secure. No matter how much my personal life changed, my professional life never did.
And yet, we all know that nothing ever stays the same, no matter how much we want - or expect it to. Along the way in life we make decisions that take us on novel paths, setting us on journeys that defy our world.
Thus all the choices I made in recent years in my private life slowly caused changes in my line of work as well, without me even noticing. At the onset, they were only ripples on the surface, but in time it became painfully apparent to me that the place of my employment, the one that has been my secure shelter and a solid anchor my whole adult life, has sadly played out its role...
In two weeks I will start a new job, for the first time in two decades. The emotion that encompass my being when I think about that fact is a wild mix of joy and fear.
There are days when I feel excited and happy about the prospect of a new start. I will still work in the research field, but my long commute will be cut by two hours every day, giving my personal life more freedom. However, the new position comes with responsibilities and a firm promise of hard work. I can not even recall any longer how it feels to work for someone else than my friend and my mentor and I wonder all the time whether I will be able to take direct orders from someone new - and whether he will find me competent in my skills.
Thus there are days when I wake up with a knot in my stomach, riddled with profound fear and anxiety, absolutely terrified and full of regrets. It feels as if I am to leave home again, for the first time since I was twenty, leaving my family for good, knowing I will miss them terribly.
I have made many outrageous changes in my life, but never before have I been so apprehensive about altering anything as I am today.
Somewhere deep within though, in the core of my very being, I know that I need to take this step, however scary it might seem. I need to say my thanks and my farewells and set out sailing anew.
I expect nothing and am prepared for everything, knowing hardship is linked to every change and things might get a lot worse before they get better. Yet hardship is what makes us grow and flourish, experiences have taught me that.
I believe that worst life is life lived with fear and I refuse to let fear of the unknown prevent me from embracing the very beauty of it. I try very hard to remember my own personal belief stating that change is what fuels our reality - I hope I will never get too scared to realize that.
Thus I have decided to raise my old anchor, the one that is rusty and buried in the depth of the sea, not having been moved for a very long time - a life time it seems. Yet the ship is still sail worthy and the ocean is open wide, thus lets sail into the unknown one more time.
I am confident that great adventures await.
I was born under the Tatra Mountains, to a Czech father and a Slovak mother. I grew up in Sweden and lived almost ten years in North Carolina.
More than a decade ago my line of work took me to Denmark, where I live today. My home, which I share with the man that holds my heart, lies in the northerly part of a Danish peninsula, in the proximity of endless, wide and pristine westbound sandy beaches, surrounded by the rough and untamed North Sea.
My writing is defined by reflections on my cosmopolitan past and my intriguing present. Ultimately I try to convey in words and images my personal thoughts and feelings about life itself, with all its magic, natural splendour and the beauty of simple pleasures.