My (short) life story, from Istanbul (a beautiful city from Turkey that I miss dearly) to New York (soon to Canada) - how and why I am here.
I am Kumsal. I have a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology and currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I am from Turkey originally and moved here in October 2015 with my husband. Up to here, these are pretty much "clichés" that I tell everyone who wants to meet with me.
(I hope) There is more to everyone than their job title and country of origin (and their favorite food...)
This blog is created exactly to fulfill that purpose - for having a chance to introduce my multi-faceted self to the world.
I am someone who defines myself as a thinker, asks questions like "why? and how?" (a lot!) and wants to know deeper on philosophical and existential topics, like How one 'discover' his/her purpose? What makes us persevere in the direst conditions? Why people are inherently resistant to change? and how can we become more aware of our own behavior?
I do research for a living and possess the inherent scientific curiosity. I repeatedly find myself researching a scientific or a non-scientific idea in deep for hours.
I see myself as a continual learner (can get very frustrated at the beginning of my learning curve though).
I am easily fascinated by new ideas especially related to the human mind, psychology, and mental health, and want to apply them in real life.
I love having intellectually stimulating conversations (hate small talk as much as any introvert...)
I strive to improve conditions and quality of life for all communities I am involved with; students, researchers, international trainees.
I am an emerging advocate for addressing the needs of especially families because I know firsthand how hard it is to become a family and sustain healthy family dynamics.
I recently become a mother myself and integrating this piece into my identity has been quite unraveling for me, all the joy & challenges of being a working mother.
My career choices and a bit of luck lead me to my current position in NY, while I was following my passion to carry out high-level scientific research abroad. I was very tired of listening to people who complain things are not the way they wanted and arguing that "it's impossible to change the way things are". I respectfully disagreed with this statement. (still disagree.)
Change; as hard and messy as it is, is possible. I grant you, it is not easy, but possible.
I decided to head my own way with my partner, after obtaining my Ph.D. and build a life from scratch away from everything we know. Looking back, I didn't know how much this journey will change me, him, and life as we knew it.
I feel that this journey to NY was more a journey into myself. This journey entailed a lot of challenges, hardships, and facing my biggest fears that I plan to share in this blog. This journey changed me and made me become my bolder self.
Now I am in the midst of transition, again, moving to Canada, changing my job - I am slowly realizing that all the roles I have taken in my life so far; daughter, wife, mom, researcher, woman, scientist, and immigrant are coming together to blend in my unique way.
Nothing is lost and nothing is taken for granted. Self is in a constant state of change and improvement.
I feel like it is the perfect time to blog this journey now hoping that it would shed light on other people's lives; women, scientists, working mothers, immigrants, and anyone who is looking forward to living a fuller life by facing their fears by being a continual learner and daring greatly.
I want to assure you that, you are not alone.
There is always a way to change things and will always find a way.
May 11, 2020
"Believe that everything happens for a reason. Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about those who don't. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."