What a mixed bag 2016 has been. I’m sure many of us are glad to see the back of it, but despite all the episodes of hurt, grief and disbelief I’ve experienced over the last 12 months, I’ve also learnt and grown a lot and had a lot of fun along the way.
In a few months I will leave EMBL and while that was just plain scary 12 months ago, I am now excited and eager to see what will come next. A year ago I would probably have described myself as a science writer, since that was the one part of my job that I felt I personally owned from beginning to end, and something it seems I’m quite good at. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as being able to take a finished piece of work in your hands and know ‘I did that’. Although my writing remains an important part of who I am, over the last year I’ve come to realise that I am more than just a writer and can offer much more. I can now see, and say, that I’ve achieved a lot during my time at EMBL. Over the years I have built up a network across Hamburg and EMBL from which several interesting collaborations and projects have developed. I have helped put my institute on the map, by explaining the fascinating science we do, and by giving a face and voice to our wonderful scientists. I’m thankful for the opportunities and yes, proud of what I have achieved.
More recently, I’ve had fun developing my photography skills. I’ve been able to advise colleagues on their social media presence and this year I’ve started not one, but two Instagram accounts. And while I’ve been exposed to different experiences, met and interacted with many interesting people, my confidence in my expanding skill set continues to grow, and the ideas for new projects keep coming! (I wrote about some of those ideas here). When I leave EMBL in April, I look forward to being able to use my experiences to help and advise others, and also develop the one or other idea. (I also hope to visit this blog more often, so watch this space!)
On many accounts 2016 may not have been a great one, but it has also made me stronger, more focussed and determined that 2017 is going to be a corker. So here’s to 2016 and everything it has taught us, and to 2017 and everything it might be! Cheers!