Florian 122 Posted October 22, 2015 Share Posted October 22, 2015 Hello everyone!This is the time for me to get serious and to move my life forward. I heard about Cam in one of Mike Cernovich's podcasts on dangerandplay.com. He talked about his first Ted Talk, and I found his message so inspiring that I followed him online for a while. When there was a GameQuitters meeting in New York City, I jumped at the opportunity to meet him - and now I am here, talking about changing my life.I am not a hardcore Gamer, I am not suffering from an addiction to Gaming. Yes, I know, that's what an addicted person often says as well, right? "I am not an alcoholic, I just drink a little bit here and there. I can contain myself." or "I only drink when others are there..." Funny story, by the way, a friend of mine told me about her neighbor: this neighbor was living alone with her parakeet. And when she went to the hospital, my friend had to take care of that parakeet. Now, when she let the bird out of its cage, it flew around the room for several rounds, saw a little empty schnapps glas on the table and dove right into it. After talking to her neighbor it turns out parakeets make great drinking buddies...But I digress. This is not about being alcoholic, which is a real problem for some people, this is about me looking for a new direction in my life. I rarely drink. I also had my computer gaming days back 25 years when I was in high school.I have been a scientist for 20 years. I studied biochemistry at Hannover University in Germany, then did my PhD in Dresden, Germany, went on to Princeton to do a postdoc and then followed it up with a second postdoc at New York University. That was a childhood dream coming true.And after a while I started to realize that I wanted more out of life. I had always envisioned myself doing a career in science. I always wanted to be amongst other scientists and discuss with them, sharing new findings and be completely immersed formulas, microscopes and numbers. I should have listened to my room mate back in Hannover, when he told me that despite my dreams of being a lonely scientist/magician completely immersed in his studies in a remote tower, I am completely not made for being alone. Yes, I am an introvert, and I still enjoy having people around me.Now, in Princeton, I gradually realized: I was surrounded, yes - by fruit flies, mice and zebrafish... but not so many people. And fruit flies are impressive, but less entertaining when they dive into a glass of schnapps.So when Cam had his video of finding your purpose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAm-1dnPzTI- that rang a bell. We can use an addiction as our external source of validation, as something that gives us purpose. And we can also use our career for external validation. When I arrived in Princeton, I thought - wow, I made it.Now what?I did not want to give up and quit science, because I made it so far after a decade of hard work... but all of a sudden, I realized how much of a niche existence you really have when you stick to science for all your life. It's probably true to some extent of all professions. But when I looked at all those brillant scientists in Princeton, they certainly had an enjoyable life, but I was not sure if that was for me. Having a handful of people that could understand what I was doing while spending 60+ hours a week in the lab was NOT how I envisioned my future. My room mate was right.I like science, and it has been my purpose for a long while, but if I can't share my passions with others and provide value... I am unhappy. And so I went along in the lab, appreciating the great opportunity I had as a scientist, but also not sure whether having a pure lab job is my real passion.So I after finishing our latest manuscript, I decided to take a few months off, do a reset and then decide what the next steps are. Maybe back in the lab? Maybe science communication? As long as I find something to work towards my purpose, from which I can then further develop it, I'll be fine. Purpose does not magically fall from the sky.And I saw that the GameQuitters challenge gives me a great framework to start something new while building on my past.Many people tell you that being without a job is a big mistake, because you should never fall out of the labor market. On the other hand, there are also a lot of people who welcome this step. It all depends what you are doing with your time while you take a break.As a friend once told me: for the hamster, spinning the wheel might just look like climbing the career ladder. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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