Polish in UK: Why will I not move back to Poland?
There's so many reasons. For those who don't know, I moved to UK when I was 14 with my parents. We lived near London before I moved away to uni at 18. We left so my parents could bounce back and create a better life for us, mainly financially but also, my education was something they thought about. Since I've moved to UK, I've had the most useful life experiences, my education was brilliant, I loved school and went onto university with a lot of potential and opportunities. I had the freedom to choose what I wanted to do and how to turn it into my career, and there's not been a time where someone turned around to me and said: "You can't".
I work hard for what I've got but what I mean is, nobody questions what I do, as long as I pay my taxes and I remain a respectable member of the public. Overall, since 2013 I didn't have problems with finding a job and I could always rely on someone's help, whether the university's or the council's when I found myself struggling or without a job.
All that in itself are reasons for why I'm glad I grew up here and not in Poland. When I was of age to decide my opportunities such as university degree or professional career, I had the freedom to choose whatever I wanted because there is much more demand for a variety of markets. I wouldn't be able to achieve half of what I've done here, in Poland, because a lot of it would be too expensive (such as living on your own or starting a company), job prospects weren't so great and there wasn't any demand for creative subjects. Of course, now it has all changed since then but the point is, there is nothing over there professionally that interests me that I couldn't or don't have over here.
Culture. Women are still treated terribly in the public eye, in society, in the workplace. Women are shamed for being sexually active, for not having a husband by your 20s, and you're a complete failure if you don't have a kid or a husband by the time you're 30. Family, marriages - that's not for me and I've always known that to some degree, and more so when I got older. I am open about all aspects of my life if someone wants to know and I love drawing from personal experiences to help someone. In Poland, talking about sex or being with multiple partners is seen as a sin and even in the more 'woke' communities, it can still be a taboo.
In England, it's not a thing as much. Of course, there are still expections of following the family narrative here in England but women are much more free to do what they want, and there are enough people to back them up and support them that it doesn't feel as daunting. Women can be free and embrace their sexual power like so many influencers and British celebrities show us. Of course, there are newspapers and backlash for everything but nevertheless, the public opinion seems to remain that people are free to do what they want, regardless a woman or a man.
Religion is another factor. I am not religious and I don't think I ever was. For a long time when I was a kid, I don't think I really understood religion. I just thought all it was, is going to church every Sunday at 7am and say a prayer every night. Then when I got older (already living in England), I explored different paths of faith, I looked into all of them and realised, it just isn't for me. If ever feel the need to pray to something, I pray to the energy of the universe. Although, that's not 'praying' in traditional sense anyway.
Politics. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably see a glimpse of the shambles that is Polish government and the ridiculous laws, legislations and decision they pass. I am thousands of miles away and I've already had enough and I am not even surrounded by it. They make it harder and harder for people to want to stay in Poland, let alone come back there.
Comfort. I have to say I feel more comfortable here. Whenever I go back to Poland, I find myself questioning everything I do and how I act, I feel very out of place. I know how to behave, how to be in England and because I never interacted with any peers or Polish people, except for my parents or family, when I was growing up, I lost some sense of that culture, of the way Polish people are. It's hard to explain so I won't dwell on it but the point is, I am so comfortable here, and professionally, it makes more sense here. I know how to approach the market here, I know how to work with people here. I have connections. Poland is a blank canvas to me now.
Are you a fellow Pole living in UK? Would you consider going back to Poland in the future?