16 Jan adjusting to new culture
Welcome back! And yes, this year I am aiming to bring out a blogpost every week. But not exactly how I used to do at the very start of this website.
The change I want to make this year is that I don’t want to plan out what I’ll write about. I want to write about what happened that week or the thoughts that were with me.
Emigration is a big step. And even-though most of my official process has been finished, there are still a lot of day-to-day things that I need to get used to. One of them is adjusting to new culture.
Adjusting to the Australian culture as a female
Before I start to go any further I would like to remind all of you that this is written from my experience. This doesn’t mean anything I say goes for everybody out there. The below has come from what I let myself believe. I let myself believe that I wasn’t good enough how I was after entering this new side of the world and I have now learnt that I saw the world completely wrong.
Without judgement, always.
So what did I see?
In the last 3 years of living in Australia I have really noticed that the outside of females is very in the centre here.
Most females are very aware of what they wear to what event, how their hair and make-up looks and what their body is like.
At the start I let this influence my self confidence. I didn’t look like that, because where I am from the outside of females wasn’t that much in the centre. Yes of course, my friends and I used to straighten our hair for school, wear nice make-up when going out and enjoyed buying new outfits, but Australia showed more than just those things.
There are more ways that females use to get to what they want to look like.
It’s not only a straightener, some make-up and nice clothes, it can be eyelashes, plastic surgery, fake tan or others additional sources.
And due to my own insecurity I took this personal. As if it was an attack on me for not being like that. My own mind was playing against me in a way that I didn’t recognise at the start. These females were out there, loving themselves and showing up how they wanted to and I was somehow offended by it. I knew there was something I had to do about this myself.
Being a female in European culture
And as I wrote this title of Europe, wanting to describe what it’s like over there, I knew what I had to do. Stop comparing.
This is difficult, especially in my situation where others are curious about the differences between them and me.
What is it like in The Netherlands? What is different to Australia?
I started thinking of all of us as humans, all of us as females, who are all out here doing our best and wanting to love ourselves and each other.
Who am I to compare their journey to mine? We were all raised with our own standards, rules and examples. Merging us together only makes us more special, we can learn from each other and grow together.
But before I got to this more peaceful state of mind of not comparing, my experience really got the best of me.
My experience with my looks
When I first moved out, I really struggled with the difference in appearance and adjusting to the new culture, because I always felt uglier than the girl next to me. She had gorgeous hair, beautiful lashes and yes, some of the time, amazing looking boobs. It brought back insecurity that I thought I had overcome.
I had to learn over the last 3 years what parts of the culture here I did want to take on and which ones didn’t suit me. And then I realised, this is probably what everyone has to do. We all have to find out who we are and who we want to be.
What we feel comfortable with and with what things we could use some help.
And the most important thing I learned was this: other females don’t try to make you feel insecure – we are not in a competition. The gorgeous girl next to you has her reasons for showing up how she does and I have grown to respect that. I respect how anyone looks, fully natural, fully done up or somewhere in the middle. Whatever makes us feel better, whatever makes you feel like you – that is all that matters.
At the end of the day all we want is to be happy and see the people around us be happy, no matter in what way.
Adjusting to a new culture
Change is difficult and sometimes there are things that are hard to understand.
I also think not judging and not assuming reasons why someone does something, is important.
I opened myself up to all of the above, watched closely and have learned that we are all here doing our best.
This is not a competition, I’m not better or worse than anyone and I don’t want to be.
We are all equally special in our own way.
PS: fun fact – I write this as I am doing my first fake tan, Australia is opening a new world for me and I like it.
Lots of love,