Over the past few weeks, I took an impromptu hiatus. Laura, again? Lol, yeah. Again.
I decreased the amount of time I spent on Facebook, only logging in to chat with my family. I stopped re-tweeting completely, mainly because the content was political and hateful. And, I also limited what I posted on Instagram. Do you know what I found?
- I post a lot of pictures of myself holding pipettes.
- Instead of using social networks to connect, I was using them to compare.
Everyone else derived joy from their work more, celebrated success regularly, and fought racism and homophobia without fear. I felt the need to prove how happy I was in the lab (enter: pipette-holding pictures), and how successful I was (enter: pictures of me holding a pipette over a publication). I was also just as woke, if not more, than my friends who attended marches over the world (enter: political re-tweets). But no matter how often I liked a political meme, or took pictures of PCR strips in an ice bucket, I couldn’t fight the feeling that it was all a front.
And the truth is that I was happy, but that happiness more often stemmed from learning something new. Or from watching Big Little Lies. And I did feel successful, especially when Shey and I celebrated our 1st anniversary in Puerto Rico (see me jivin’ in Old San Juan). And I did want to be more involved, so I started to look for opportunities that fit with my talents. I started volunteering as a translator for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, and it’s been amazing.
My impromptu hiatus was great, and reminded me of who I am away from social media. Away from the screen, my hair is usually frizzy, and I don’t typically wear make-up. Even though I don’t have children, I own 1 pair of mom jeans (so comfortable!). I get doubt, like any one else, and I try to shake it off. And sometimes I need to step away to remind myself of who I am.