For the last few years, my daily social life has been in majority populated by men. But it took an experience of sisterhood to realize it.
I worked for some time in the real estate industry, where you generally find more men than women.
I have also been living in foreign countries for more than five years. Every time I had to settle down in a new country and a new city, I managed to recreate a social circle and meet some wonderful individuals. But every time, I found myself connecting with much more men than women.
I am still not sure why this situation keeps repeating. Are there generally more male than female expats? Do local men have more interest in foreign women than local women, making ice-breaking easier? Is it due to my own biases? …
How often do you take holidays as a freelancer? I mean, real holidays: at least five consecutive days dedicated to doing as little as possible, avoiding any thought or action related in any way to your work.
In my case, it happened twice over the past twelve months. I consider myself lucky, as I know that some people don’t have this luxury at all.
The trick is, I don’t consider any of my regular weekends to have been a day off.
Because I am always thinking about work, even when I am not actually working. Should I have one day with absolutely nothing planned, I immediately start feeling bad, because I am doing nothing to improve my professional situation. …
I ran my first marathon in 2016. I passed the finish line and decided not to do that ever again.
I didn’t feel like signing up for another one. Until last month - “oops, I did it again”.
In less than two months, I will be running my second marathon. I never really stopped training and running in between. But as I started this second marathon training plan, I realized that I am enjoying it much more than for the first marathon.
Why is that? Probably because I have learned a few lessons on the way, and I now recognize the full benefit of such training. …
Last week I went to see the movie Green Book, by Peter Farrelly. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
In particular, one line stayed in my mind.
“The world’s full of lonely people afraid to make the first move.” Tony Lip
Pronounced by Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) and addressed to Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), these words resonated deeply with some of my recent thoughts and actions.
I’ve always been waiting to be found. As a successful pupil and student, I was longing for my teachers’ and parents acknowledgment of how clever I was. As a young teenager reading Harry Potter, I was hoping to receive a message that would reveal what superpowers I had, an invitation to belong. As a young professional starting my corporate career, I was expecting my colleagues to spot and reward my good results. …
Warsaw counts dozens of ugly blocks of flats built between the 60s and the 80s. At day, their massive and greys silhouettes seem to loom over pedestrians and amplify the croaks of the crows.
But at night, when everybody is at home, the windows light up in a thousand different colors. The ugly facades seem to sink into the black sky, replaced by a beautiful patchwork of lights.
I have a similarly ambiguous relationship with Warsaw. A bitter-sweet, almost hate-love relationship. Three years of living here brought me a lot, but it hasn’t always been easy.
I tried to put in words my feelings for this surprising city, a few contrasting thoughts that are most likely reflections of my own contradictions. …
Freelancing seems to be the Holy Grail of countless individuals eager to make a living independently from corporations and without any physical constraints. It is also the most frequent path for newly converted Digital Nomads.
Eighteen months ago, I decided to quit my job out of boredom and with the will to discover new horizons, both professional and geographical. Due to very bad timing and planning from my part, I ended up with no plan, no job, no fixed address. I had some savings I did not want to burn up while waiting to figure out what to do with my life. So I started freelancing. …
Location instability seems to be an embedded scheme in my family. At the age of 28, I have called “home” 17 different places. By the time I turn 30 years old, this number will most likely have reached 20. There is no place where I have lived for more than five years. My mother and sister both moved several times on their sides since I went my way to pursue my studies. It’s only recently that I realized how the quest for Home has been shaping our lives, for the three of us.
For years, I have kept hopping from one country and one city to another, always happy to experience a new environment yet never really feeling at home anywhere. Whenever I arrive in a new place, I always tell myself that it is only temporary. I never fully unpack my bags. I literally haven’t unpacked my toiletry bag for years, even when I stayed in the same flat for two years. …
“I don’t need anything. Don’t buy me anything, please.”
The last two Christmas have been rather complicated for my close relatives in terms of presents.
Two years ago, as I was about to relocate once again to another country, I got rid of half my belongings, clothes, books, objects. I packed my whole life in two suitcases and one backpack, and I hardly got anything new since then. I have no need for new apparel, as I am still clearing through the items accumulated in the past.
Although I didn’t think about it in those terms at the time, looking back, I appear to have adopted a minimalist lifestyle. At about the same time, my sister took a similar path. As we both have been refusing any material present from our relatives, it seems we took away from them the simple pleasure of offering us stuff. After two years, I am finally able to suggest some gift ideas that are accessible and personalized while still fitting my life choices. …