It's been a week already since I arrived and a simple way of celebrating is by strolling and exploring the areas surrounding the institute. After work, I bought a chocolate-filled croissant and ate it while walking. While enjoying the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze, the beautiful architecture of apartments, and the people just passing by, I still can't believe that all this is happening.
What was once a dream is now a reality.
I will always be thankful to God because, indeed, everything is perfect in His time. I may have waited several years, but everything is more than I had hoped for. To my family, Mama, Papa, and Nikko, for supporting me every step of the way and for loving me, even in my most unlovable moments. To my Lola, for being a big part of my life; you are an inspiration, and I hope I make you proud up there in heaven. To my mentors, previous teachers and supervisors at work, for imparting knowledge and honing my skills. To my friends, for listening to my rants and anxieties and for cheering me up (You all know how paranoid and negative I can be sometimes). To my current supervisor, for believing in me and accepting me even though I come from a different field (from plants, I will now be working on mice, though I have yet to learn how to handle them). To my scholarship provider, the Marie Curie Fellowship, and my host institute, the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, for equipping young minds into becoming the scientists they ought to be. Thank you very much!
To all the dreamers out there, young and old, if there's one thing I've learned in this whole process, it is to never give up on one's dreams. But I tell you, it's easier said than done. The truth is, you need to work hard for it, try over and over and over again even if you fail. Trust me, I know how it feels. Also, there's definitely a moment where you would cry hard on it. It will be emotionally exhausting but never let that stop you. And most importantly, you need to talk to God, pray if your dream is really His will for you, and if it's not, pray that He may lead you to the path He has destined for you.
Sharing Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."