A lot has happened in a decade.
Left: during my PhD. I quit my job to become a full-time student because I wanted to know if fibre does more than just clean your bowels out 💩. Totally legit. Quitting my job to answer an insane curiosity. My boss at the time didn't know the answer. And I was the source of technical information for the company. So if he didn't know, and I didn't know, and it looked like no one else in the world knew, there's only one thing to do: go find out yourself. I set out to look at the role of dietary fibre on controlling the release and absorption of polyphenols (kind of like antioxidants, but with range of different activities) during the digestive journey, and how processing may affect that. Not knowing how tricky this was going to be. No one had done it before because of the sheer complexity. Chemistry, microbiology, plant biology, physiology, anatomy... stuff I'm not innately good at from a place of boredom more than lack of brains. Leaving a fulltime job to become a fulltime student is no easy feat. I had bills. Big bills. Mortgage related bills. I sat with my dad & we worked out I could afford my bills with 100% of my stipend. Poor uni student. But I managed all my responsibilities.
Challenging is an understatement. I remember going to see my supervisors time and time again with my data that I had NO IDEA what it meant... They would/should know, right? Not quite. More times than we could count my data contradicted everything that we thought, what was published... I eventually turned to stain removal detergents, forensic artwork testing and cotton vs linen shirts to work out what was going on. Yeah thinking outside of the box. In the process, I put myself in time out - twice. Put my PhD on hold to get my head back. My grandma died a year in. I questioned the validity of what I was doing. I questioned the validity of myself. I technically "quit" - three times. But I don't quit in reality. My parents are not enablers of self-pity, selfishness or defeat. That's just how I'm hardwired. While I may not naturally be "good" at chemistry, my passion drove me. Drives me. To be good. To become good.