Why I’m reinventing my (online) self and you can too

All, life

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Five years ago, I created Making Apple Pie From Scratch in a haze of inspiration, wanderlust and longing for the previous summer. I was a 21 year old Biology graduate that had recently returned to the leafy suburbs of London after a whirlwind 3 months abroad in Florida (read my old-school first ever blog post here). It had been an unforgettable summer in the sunshine state, spent watching rocket launches at NASA Kennedy Space Center, taking classes on space exploration, meeting (and partying with) astronauts, and making lifelong friends with people sharing my vision of the world.

Brimming with stories of the summer that I spent studying the stars, I felt compelled to share my journey and this blog began as a way to do just that. I caught the travel bug and have lived in 6 countries in the past 5 years, communicating science along the way. I have written about how our bodies will react to living on Mars, described astonishing light displays on Saturn, personified spacecrafts, dissected the anatomy of an asteroid and explored how satellites can help us to protect our planet. Creating #scicomm content is what I love to do and  when sprinkled with a dusting of my travel posts, the combination was a great fit for Making Apple Pie From Scratch.

That was until recently however. My blog – created by 21 year old me – hasn’t quite caught up with the 26 year old me that is writing this article. I am convinced that our digital persona and real-life self almost always never match up. And, with every year spent abroad and every experience along the way, I’ve felt my blog drift further and further away from who I am today, towards who I was yesterday. I’ve changed – as I’m sure you have too with every passing year of your life. Ever feel like the you you’re putting out in the world could be a little more truer to the real you? Same. This feeling affects writer’s block too – I’ve found it often happens when what you’re trying to write about isn’t really what you want to write about at that moment in time. That’s exactly how I realised that my online self needed a digital makeover. My interests include science, space and travel, but are not limited to those things either. Realising that you don’t have to pick one thing when you care about many is a profound moment that I think many of us don’t allow ourselves the creative headspace to ever reach.

Going forward, I’m going to begin sharing more of myself on this blog. I’ll be posting more honest content that is relatable and hopefully, helpful. That doesn’t mean less science, or travel, but more posts on other topics that interest me – which may, or may not include science and travel. As a young British Indian women who has a global perspective, I care about things as diverse as ethnic minority representation, climate change solutions, social enterprises and startups, the diaspora of 2nd gen immigrants like myself, creating technologies for change and empowering people to be their best selves. I’ve already written an article on the unexpected realities of living abroad that I wish I had known before, and am vocal about my many interests on Twitter already. My blog, it seems was the last online platform to catch up with my modern-day self. But, as I have learnt, it’s never too late to reinvent your online self. After all, as astronomer Carl Sagan said, “if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe”. Well, Making Apple Pie From Scratch, here’s to reinvention.

-Nikita

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Advice from an Astronaut: Dealing with Self-Doubt

All, career

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Social media brings people from all walks of life together. And today, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman shared her 140 character thoughts with the world in a live Twitter chat.

Hosted by brilliant women’s story site MAKERS, Cady answered questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskCady. Questions ranged from parents asking on behalf of their curious child, to adults wondering how to fulfill their childhood astronaut dreams — the live chat provided a space in which the seemingly unreachable could be reached.

My question was more of a personal one. I’ve been wondering a lot about how high achieving women reach their ambitious goals. Do they ever doubt themselves like we all do, or are astronauts like Cady selected to be immune to these so-called ‘weak’ traits? If they do, then how do they conquer these feelings of self-doubt to become the astronaut that they’ve always wanted to become?

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So, Cady’s method when faced with self-doubt is one of preparation. Sort of along the lines of the well-known saying ‘fail to be prepared and prepare to fail’. Apart from terrifying me before university exams, this phrase and Cady’s approach is a great way to deal with self-doubt. Knowing you have given it your all makes it easier to feel confident about what lies ahead.

For me though, it can take a little more than that. Sometimes, I may have put 110% into something and still have a speck of self-doubt. That’s when I take a step back, reflect on times I’ve faced and successfully conquered a similar situation and simply believe that I can do it again (also dancing around to my happy song helps too).

How do you tackle those creeping feelings of self-doubt? I’d love to hear how other women and men out there deal with this common, yet rarely talked about subject. Tweet me, or comment below 🙂

– Nikita

p.s thanks to Canadian Space Agency PR pro Magalie Renaud who let me know about this wonderful online event 🙂