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A reflection: My life in 2016

By Judy Zhu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-12-21 10:30

The year 2016 marks my second time saying farewell to full-time motherhood and back to "normal".

A reflection: My life in 2016

Judy and her daughter[photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

It's a year discussing the big events worldwide with my colleagues with great concern. The French terrorist attacks, Brexit and Trump. It's been a year dealing with interesting projects and exciting publications, and it's a year with Nicole, my lovely and naughty 4-year-old daughter. As a typical family with both parents doing scientific research and making a life from academic work, this year was particularly full of changes for us.

In the first half of the year, I devoted all my Saturday mornings to a Deutsch class, trying to catch up with Nicole's language level and to adapt myself to the German-speaking environment faster and better. Then, one day in September, I was told by my husband that I could take a break or even stop my language course, because he would be promoted to a higher position, half a year later. But it would be somewhere else, not here.

It was really a piece of good news for his career, but I was not as happy as expected. I was actually overwhelmed by very complicated feelings. I became homesick instantly. What a pity I have to leave again! I looked around our small apartment, and found that it is not the barely empty place it was the day we moved in. It is now well-decorated, and even a small hanging on the wall records a very happy moment from our life here. It is now a lovely and warm home for us. I've accepted here as my second home. Nicole was born here and has been growing up happily. Both adults and the child have their own circle of friends and have built up their social network. And now we have to say goodbye.

But this is life, and this is reality. Looking back at the past ten years, we left our hometown in China for overseas study and work, and then moved to Europe to continue research training, and now it's time to go again. Maybe years later, we'll move somewhere else in the world. East to west, north to south, it's such an uncertainty. But isn't it such an exciting endeavor?

Life is full of changes and challenges which we really cherish and enjoy. It's like a long journey with the fancy unknown destination yet. Every city we have lived represents a special stage of our life. People come and people go. Some become our life-long friends, like some I met here on the CD blog; some become our life mentors and idols, guiding the way we would like to follow, like all the pioneers in this field. With people accompanying the way, we are making our own colorful life.

I owe my sincere gratitude to all the nice people whom we live and work with.

Judy Zhu is a researcher who now lives in Switzerland.


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