In the centre of the capital. At the most crowded and congested spot in town, where people only know the rush and the sky is greyer. “Pongamos que hablo de Madrid”, where Mariam lived until she came to work at CERN in early January 2017.
She studied aeronautical engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and she also did her Master’s degree in aerospace systems there. Shortly after, she exchanged the crowded streets of the Spanish capital for the peace of mind, the noise of the cars horns for the birds singing. The tiny nature concentrated in the Retiro and Casa de Campo for the immense lac Lemán and the gleaned Jura mountains.
Mariam is so glad with her decision that she hardly misses anything from her city of birth (well, just the people, the food and the sun). She adapted very quickly to this countryside life. Seasonal sports were very helpful: skiing, snowboarding or raquettes during the winter, and cycling, trekking or swimming in spring and summer. Outdoors activities that were unthinkable in Madrid.
Although she does not consider herself a dreamy person, Mariam is content to be as happy as possible every single day of her life, or at least, to try it. But, what makes her happy? To keep growing, personally and professionally, as well as enjoy the little things that happen around her. It does not matter if they are good or bad.
Her parents taught her that “al mal tiempo buena cara”, and it has really helped Mariam at some points in her life. In The Gods themselves, Isaac Asimov wrote that “there are no happy endings in history, only crisis points that pass”. Better to face them with a good attitude, or with our best smile.
Mariam loves science fiction movies and literature: the futuristic landscapes and conspiracies. Although she is not a pure scientist, she is a key part of a huge scientific project because, together with people from other disciplines, engineers at CERN make scientists’ dreams come true, and we all know that “with great power comes great responsibility”.
The needs and the priorities change over the life, and that is why Mariam will redefine her idea and feeling of happiness. Nothing new under the sun: it is not what used to make her happy either that makes her happy now. The Friends, who live in neighbours apartments above Central Perk, know a lot about this, about growing, about life.
Asimov also wrote that “to succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well”. Perhaps, that is why Mariam prefers not to make plans for the future and let herself go. She is not in the past either, not in the mood for nostalgia.
New beautiful people and life experiences will get in her path, and Mariam will always welcome them with open arms and her best smile.