The start of my poly journey — 5

More than the start, this should be called the indefinite pause of my journey. How did this happen? Well, I just realised I was not ready to meet people because I don’t even know myself well anymore. Too many thing happened in the last decade: I started living alone, I started my career as a UX Researcher, graduated, lived in 3 countries completely different to where I was born, and started and ended multiple relationships (with partners and friends). Oh, and changing jobs. Exploring new hobbies. Travelling. So many dreams came true. So many new fears arose…

Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing journey. I would do it all over again.

But it all happened so fast.

And to be honest and not cheesy, I would do it all again but not exactly in the same way.

If there was one critical tool that I was missing in my twenties, it was being able to connect and listen to my emotions, instead of neglecting or repressing them. It took me 30 years to learn an insight as simple as the fact that emotions are data. And incredibly valuable data because they just tell you who you are and what is good for you and what you can change.

I was raised thinking that emotions were bad. Something to hide. Something that gets you in trouble. So, slowly, I internalised repressing, ignoring and hiding them. I was taught that my emotions made me a burden. That belief could not be more wrong.

If I would have had this tool in my early 20s, when I was already not living with my family and was completely independent, I would have done something very simple but that would have saved me a lot of hidden tears and time: I would have stood up for myself more often and, more important, I would have left jobs, relationships and people faster. Because if something or someone doesn’t make you feel good, you don’t have to put up with it. You are actually free to move on and find the right people, jobs and places that are the right ones. And this doesn’t mean running away. It’s just the ability of being able to say how you feel, either if good or bad, give the other person the opportunity to adjust the behaviour and if that is not possible, just walk away.

So, If I go back in time, probably I would still chose the same twisted jobs and people (they also came with some beautiful moments and life changing lessons) but I would just have left them earlier. When my emotions were telling me: this is bullshit. And before things escalated enough to create a pressure cooker that led to catastrophic results.

Luckily and finally, I have this knowledge in my 30s and a whole new decade to explore life with new lenses.

But the fact that I did live too much and too fast, also means that I did not have enough time to integrate my experiences. I was always running from one goal the the next one, from job to job, from trip to trip and from country to country (even when I was staying too long in the wrong places). And somehow but predictably, I lost myself in the process. Not critically or drastically but just enough to not being able to know what is right for me. And I necessarily repeated the same mistakes over and over…until I get it.

I have been living abroad since 5 years, in different cultures. That would already be a lot and enough for anyone to lose themselves a little bit. The only way to be happy abroad (or at least the one I found) is to let yourself be penetrated by the new culture. Be curious, explore and accept and let it also change you. The trade off is that after that you become some sort of alien that does not fully belong to any physical place. You like things from everywhere. You learn to appreciate different traditions and ways of living. And you become a mix of what you like now. And also of what you don’t. I know some people just try to hang on completely to their first culture but for me that strategy was nothing but a recipe for disaster and frustration. But to be fair, my moving was a privilege one: I moved to explore and learn new ways of living. Not everyone that moves has the same goal, so protecting your first culture might be a fair good strategy too. We all develop our own coping mechanisms. And I became like water.

So, I need to deal with this baggage now. When I first moved abroad , I always said to myself ‘you can always come back’, to feel more at ease. Well, I learned that that is not true. You can go back to the country but there is no way back. You have changed. People have changed. What you left, the way you left it, is gone. Including yourself.

And here I am at my 32s, trying to rediscover who I am, what new dreams I can hold and what new adventures I want to have. Shedding old ‘shoulds’ and old dreams that do not have sense anymore. Letting go of people and places that have nothing to do with the life I want to create today. Accepting what happened and also, what didn’t happen and does not need to happen anymore.

Trying to get the fire up again. Begin again.

As I know myself better, or in more ordinary terms, as I put my shit together first, I am sure there will be plenty of time to come back to my poly intentions. But first, I need to have a very serious monogamic relationship with myself.



Life is poetry. Writer. Researcher. Alien learning to be human 🪐

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Life is poetry. Writer. Researcher. Alien learning to be human 🪐