the voyage

hey everyone! happy friday and hope things have been going well with you! it’s been some time since i’ve updated–thanks for your thoughts on toronto. i’m always eager to hear stories of travel and exchange tips with you all.

since we last talked, it’s been getting pretty interesting at chez TDP. our new trial opened for patients on july 12 (it’s live now on and i got to make a vaccine for our first patient this week. #stresscentral but happy to report, all went very well! we have to wait two weeks for all the sterility testing to come back but if it’s clear, i can thaw it and load it into a syringe for administration! it’s a pretty cool job :)

speaking of which, i was thinking a lot about people that seem to be unhappy in their situations. contrary to what you might believe, scientists are NOT rolling in the cash. honestly, it’s sometimes a little depressing that the compensation doesn’t always match the amount of mental gymnastics and high level technical ability it takes to do some of these tasks. in fact, i bet there are some people who tweet for a living that make more than i do.

however, it’s not all about the money. i tend to view my vocation as a ‘whole package.’ i’m passionate about a lot of things but guess what, i call those hobbies. i would never want to do my hobby as my full time occupation. don’t get me wrong, i love science and the details that go with it but it isn’t my entire life. i take pride in what i do and enjoy doing it but at the end of the day, i feel like i could say that about a lot of jobs. i try not to pigeon hole myself into some dreamy sequence where i go on an endless quest to find the ‘perfect job.’ guess what, it doesn’t exist. we have bills to pay and no one is going to hold my hand while i ‘figure myself’ out. sorry if this sounds harsh but i guess it’s just out of frustration lately. i’ve been hearing/seeing lots of millennials chronically complain about their woes and the entitlement sometimes is grating. this sums it up pretty well.

all this to say, stop navel gazing and go out and enjoy your life! challenge yourself, meet new people, try new things and you will end up infinitely happier than your current state i promise. you have this whole life to live so start living it! x


p.s. i set out to actually do a 3 little things post and it turned into this diatribe! i’ll share my new discoveries shortly :)

8 Responses to the voyage

  • Krissie J @ Philly Nerd Girl says:
    August 1, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I hear you on the science field not paying as great as people would think. And I have the same attitude. Is this my dream job? Probably not. Do I enjoy it mostly and does it allow me to do other things I love? Yup! I don’t even think I have a dream job, and frankly I’m okay with that. :)

  • Purelytwins says:
    August 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    amen sister!!! Personal trainers dont make much either ;) xoxo

    The most important thing is to be happy doing whatever it is you are doing

  • Mego says:
    August 3, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Great advice! : ) I couldn’t agree more.

  • Sophie says:
    August 7, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Great post Melissa! I 100% know where you are coming from – my brother is doing a PhD in cancer medicine and I find it ridiculous how much you pioneering scientist get paid. Obviously you don’t do the job for money, but on a scale of pay for what is worthy, in my opinion Scientist>football player! I also don’t think a lot of people realise how unbelievably expensive the chemicals etc scientists use are – it’s always ‘drug companies are out to make money'; maybe, but the raw materials require some hefty funding themselves!

    I’m glad you have this blog outlet for your opinions :)!

    • Melissa says:
      August 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      thanks sophie :) your bro might be interested in the trial we are doing using immunotherapy! it’s utilizing a patient’s monocytes and making a special kind of polarized dendritic cell in combo with cytokine modulation. phew! and yes, lab reagents are very very very costly!

  • coco says:
    August 15, 2014 at 10:37 am


  • Kristina says:
    August 21, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Bah, I hear you on lack of compensation – as you know I changed jobs and went into nonprofit which does not pay nearly as well as the path I was on before but I LOVE my job and was miserable in my old one so to me it’s worth it. I also get super annoyed with people on the ‘ideal job’ quest which I agree is usually millenials. This might sound harsh, but I kinda feel like sometimes it’s a disguise for not actually wanting to work hard. If you’re in a bad situation or working for a company you feel is unethical then by all means get the hell out of there but I think a lot of folks are looking for this idea of perfection that just isn’t there, or they think that if something is at all difficult or stressful they just don’t want to deal with it. Being sort of in the “yoga world” I see soooooo many people (especially young women) getting sucked into this path and being like “OMG yoga teacher I will be so fulfilled!!!!” like…no. It’s a job and even if you’re super passionate about it there will be things that will annoy you and also it pays shit so good luck making a living. Which is why I teach on the weekends and keep my “real” job haha.
    /end rant :)

    • Melissa says:
      August 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      you totally get me haha :) i could not agree with you more!

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