I'll miss being the expert in what I do. After months and years of painstaking trials and failures, I have mastered techniques that once appeared so complicated to me. Today, I do the same experiments with finesse and teach others little secrets that I had to teach myself. I'll miss being the most senior in the lab, and hence the go-to person for everything. "Hey do you know how to work this centrifuge?" - "Ask TGFI". "Does anyone in your lab use this technique" - "Ask TGFI". "We have a gas tank leak in our lab"- "Ask TGFI". Soon my name and number will be erased from the safety signs on the lab door that say "Contact TGFI in case of emergency" and will be replaced by the new lab technician's name. I may have complained about all the additional work I had in the lab, about having to pack it, move it, set it up, thrice. But I have enjoyed my position of importance that came with it. I'll miss my lab, working long hours and coming home at 2 am, tired but at the same time pumped up and enjoying the sense of satisfaction that comes with working long, hard hours, and doing a laborious experiment. Excited at the prospect of seeing how it turned out the next day.I'll miss the parasites, and peeking at them through the scope everyday. I have half a mind to sneak out a vial of frozen down parasites but thankfully, I haven't completely lost it yet to do that. I'll miss my building, where everyone knew me and liked me and were super nice to me. I'll miss the familiar faces and places. I'll miss the warmth of my comfort zone that has been lutom (little university town of mine) for the past 6 years.
When I start my post-doc in July, I will be at the bottom rung again. Asking others how to work their machines or find a reagent, or teach me an experiment. But may be I won't be as intimidated by apparently difficult techniques any more. I would still be able to fix a tank leak or a vacuum pump, those things don't change that much. And I think I will still be coming home at 2 am, and going to bed excited about what to expect the next day.