Friday, December 14, 2012

Still not mindfully settled

Back to Europe, just in time for the Nobel prize buzz. It was very exciting seeing newly minted Nobel laureates who have dedicated their life to science to humbly describe what they did to deserve this prize. In addition, a public discussion forum was held, with something like 50 prominent scientists, many of whom were past Nobel prize winners, to discuss about the future of genomics. It was a very exciting event. Sadly though, in a lecture hall packed with people (mostly young, bright-eyed students), I knew not a single soul in the room; not my boss, not my colleagues. I found out later that my Swedish coworkers no longer get excited about Nobel prizes. Maybe they got used to it since this happens every single year. They are also not all that enthusiastic about their (science) jobs either, which seriously dampened my uplifted spirits for the rest of the week.

I've only been working at my new job for a little over two months, but it feels like I've been at this for a long, long time. I still feel like I am completely under-qualified and shouldn't have been hired for this job. It feels like I've learned a lot over the past 2 months, but I don't learn nearly fast enough to master my tasks. The coldness and darkness gets to me. I do notice the gorgeousness of the city every single day on the way to and from work (parts of the city looks like a fantasy white Christmas land), but I am also hit hard by a severe sense of loneliness that I don't have anyone close who shares my sentiment. It feels like the people here appreciate the job, health, and human rights securities provided by their government, but they are sorely  lacking in feeling a sense of passion about anything in life.

I am also having trouble dealing with culture differences and socially awkward scientist colleagues and  roommate. I am feeling totally out of place and insecure at the moment. Too many people around me also feel insecure. We can't really read each other's intentions because our background cultures are so different. It's probably just a culture misunderstanding, but I feel like some people I have to interact with every day just seem overly polite about the most casual things and totally rude at other times. If it's one person then I can dismiss him/her off, but I feel this way about 3-4 people around me, which makes me start to doubt myself, whether I'm the one who's acting all socially inappropriate and being impolite. I'm just completely off my center and unsure about every thing I know. It's like I made a huge mistake coming here. But I don't think I will feel any better getting the same kind of job anywhere else in the world.

Hopefully I will be able to ground myself over the Christmas vacation. It's pretty sad that I feel the desperate need to take a break only 2 months into my job, but the perk for coming to work in Europe is that I get an obscene amount of vacation days. I should put them to good use and try to save myself from feeling completely lost and confused.

p.s. I signed up for a hot yoga class, because I needed to heat myself up from the persistent coldness that's with me at all times. Boy did it feel good. Will slowly find my way back to Ashtanga when I get the chance and find the right studio.


  1. I would love to work in Europe. I am jealous! I have been there a couple of times and I love the history.

    I also enjoy reading your blog. I have only done a little yoga in the past, but my wife enjoys it a lot and has been trying to get me to do it more.

    1. Hi Jryad, Thanks for visiting my blog! I know I'm totally lucky to be able to work and live here. I'm just waiting for myself to get over the hump for moving to a new country, learn to relax and enjoy life.

      I hope you find the right teacher that will help you discover the fun in yoga!

  2. I totally agree with your thought on vacations and infact encourage you to take one every couple of months..

    To be frank work culture in europe is bit strange from elsewhere... being culturally different shows off during usual pep chats and time off from work..

    I hope the christmas holidays ease you in.. :-)

    1. Hi Grumblings, thanks for your comments! You're totally right... people often surprise me with their remarks... some would be considered as politically incorrect in North America, others are outright doomsday pessimistic talk (but somehow different from North American style cynical talk). Anyways, I'll have to learn to not be shocked every time someone says something totally unexpected.

      I hope I can relax and improve over Christmas holidays too!