Happy Spooky Season! October was a helluva month - I got to enjoy some time in Florida with my family (and celebrate my birthday with them and some friends for the first time in a decade!) and even snuck some filming that is gonna drop next year. While I am itching to get back to Australia ASAP, I find myself enjoying the quite comforts of my old home... and loving the questions you all sent in for me to answer this month.
Remember, I only answer questions that I haven't answered before or that I have new answers for so if you've asked something and I didn't answer it try searching for it on my blog with a few keywords and I promise you'll find it!
What was high school like for you?
For me it was four years of putting my head down and working super hard to get a full-ride university scholarship. That meant stretching myself out ridiculously thin (AP classes, multiple clubs, marching band, volunteering). Still, I made some amazing memories I still look fondly back on.
Are you vegetarian?
Will you ever visit the Galapagos?
I have already been! But I would love to go back.
Are you a morning or night person?
I am always striving to be a morning person (I love them) and was one when I was in Perth and in my rhythm. But since being on OceanXplorer, I’m more of a night owl. What about you?
How do you stay focused in this distracted world?
Some of my best ideas have come to me when I’m “distracted” and procrastinating. But when deadlines are coming, I usually end up throwing myself into my work.
What do you do when you mentally want to quit?
I do.. for a few seconds. Then I get myself back together and get going. Just because I’ve “quit” doesn’t mean I am quitting for forever…
One thing you’re grateful for?
The fact that my body still finds the strength to move and that I am privileged enough to still be living.
How do you remain positive admist advertisity?
I’m probably one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet. It’s not always easy but I always try to look for the positive in whatever situation I’m in. If I can’t, I try to find the funny in it. I always remind myself that everything is happening for me and not to me. I make a list of the things I’m grateful for and I try to put my energy into that and not my troubles. I also love this motto: “everything is figureoutable” because it truly always is.
How do you stay positive?
I practice gratitude daily! I also surround myself with likeminded people and filter everything around myself constantly – not contributing to my positive mindset? Draining my energy? It has to go.
Would you ever consider living full-time in PR?
No. Ideally, I see myself buying a home there after purchasing a home in Australia. I would spend a few months each year there where I could do collaborations, research, maybe even teach.
What’s one thing that you love doing, that you make sure you do everyday?
Dance parties! Wherever I am, I usually crank up some music and dance!
EDUCATION & WORK
Any advice to someone trying to decide between a job in academia and "the industry"?
See if you can try both! I am in the same boat since I like aspects of both "worlds," so try dipping your toes in everything that interests you.
How did you discover your purpose/what job you are best aligned to?
To be honest, I don't think my journey to discovering "my purpose" is over yet... and it has been years in the making! To really help me focus on my goals and what makes me happy/feel fulfilled, I find that journaling and talking to people who know me well (e.g. my strengths and skill sets) helped me find more clarity in what I could be doing to be better aligned in my true self.
When is your third book coming out?
Next year! As we get closer to the date I will spill more details.
How is the long distance relationship going?
Good! It is tough not seeing each other since early in the year, but we are hoping the border situation in Australia eases up a bit so I we can be reunited soon.
Are you and C married?
Nope! But we are defacto.
When are you having babies?
Not until after the PhD! That is my main priority (and baby) right now. Although I am hella clucky...
Have you seen "My Octopus Teacher"?
I have! Was a great film to watch and relax to.
When was the first time you swam with sharks? How did you feel?
I first swam with sharks when I was 14/15 while I was getting my scuba diving licenses. It was a nurse shark and I just happened to swim by it while it rested under a coral reef ledge. I was absolutely ecstatic and started screaming with joy... which my instructor interpreted as fear, LOL
Do you think the shark fin trade will ever end?
No, I don't. Unfortunately, I don't see the demand ever diminishing.
What is your favorite thing about sharks and the ocean?
How much I continuously learn from both!
What is the most bizarre creature you've ever learned about?
The deep-water fishes in the family Opisthoproctidae. Weird!
Is it possible to find mermaid purses washed up on the beach?
Yes! I know many people who have.
Can one eat a colossal squid?
I'm sure someone has.
AS ALWAYS, THANKS SO MUCH FOR SENDING IN YOUR GREAT QUESTIONS! BE SURE TO KEEP UP WITH MY INSTAGRAM STORIES TOWARDS THE END OF THE MONTH TO GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN FOR THE NEXT Q&A!
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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