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Fynn's positive life blog

Part of your world

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So there's this nagging issue I've had for quite some time now. It's a pretty abstract issue but one I think is pretty interesting and perhaps even important to share nonetheless. For many reasons, it has only become more pronounced recently.

As some of you may know, I want to be a writer. I try to do as much writing as I can. I even do writing for a living, though as an SEO copywriter, it's not exactly that I have an opportunity to spread my creative wings as part of what keeps giving me the money I need to survive. So recently I've grown to understand more and more that this field really doesn't interest me, because I want something more out of life. I want to be able to make a change, to positively influence a great number of people, to (at the risk of sounding pretentious) let the song in my heart reach the masses. At a certain point I realized this is what I've always wanted. Futile though it may seem right now, as there is really a lack of local jobs that would allow me to do that. Especially those that would allow me to work in a language the entire world can understand.

Hi, my name is Patryk. You may think that spelling is weird. It's not to me. That's because, despite of what you may think based on my profile info, I am not actually from Zenithia. I am not from any English-speaking country, really. And at a certain point I realized this is a big deal enough to make me disguise that fact. Well, maybe "disguise" is a strong world. Mostly I just avoid mentioning it until it just comes up in conversation.

And yet, all my writing is in English. The only YouTube stuff I've ever done has also always been in English. This is due to the fact that knowing English very well because I acquired it naturally is the only thing I'm really good at. My Unique Selling Point, in marketing terms. Too bad that's never enough, and companies looking for English creative writers always stress the fact that they're only looking for native English speakers.

As a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics, I can tell you language has a profound impact on you. No language exists in isolation. Having it tied so closely to your upbringing makes you feel that you're part of that culture. It implants that American Dream in your psyche. You know you can make it big. You know the language that all the mainstream media use, and you know it really well. You can do anything.

Except, you know, you can't.

Bilingualism puts you in an interesting place. No matter how comfortable you feel in either setting, there will always come a time that you'll be reminded just how much of an outsider you are. I'll be unable to grasp some of the mentality of my peers in my country and be unable to share of the little English-speaking-world-specific little jokes, but that doesn't mean I can't relate at all. It does mess with your head though. And at some point, you feel that you don't belong.

And then there's the English side of things. Sure, the Anglosphere is very welcoming of all foreign friends. You have the comfort of knowing that the entire world will speak your language, because you basically rule it thanks to you dominating mass media. And yes, I use the word "foreign" deliberately, because it's incredibly rare for a piece of mainstream media to portray an English-speaker as the "funny foreigner" trope. At times I'll talk with you all and feel at home, but then some little things happen.

"Wow, you guys eat some weird stuff."

"You actually sound a little German."

"Your accent is very slight, but also very noticeably Polish."

"What's it like living in such a backwards society?"

"The EU? You guys don't even speak the same language!" (Actually, we do. Yours. Believe it or not, most people don't have the comfort of being able to only know their own language and expect others to know it by default.)

You're always the odd one. No matter how welcoming they want you to be, you'll remain the other. You're always that one person that comes from that weird country you've only ever heard weird things about that is some weird bizarro world where everything stinks and gays are running around burning your flags (or, alternatively, where public gay burnings are a weekly occurrence).

I love America and want to be a part of it. I hate it for portraying my culture and any other foreign culture as something weird and inaccessible.

I'm proud of my own country for contributing to global culture in so many meaningful ways throughout history, and I definitely feel it's the most beautiful place in the world. I also hate it, because it feels like all everyone can see about it is how different it is to what they find familiar.

I feel like I'm forever stuck with an "I Want" song stuck on my lips. Believing in a global culture that I can be a party of some day, meaningfully contributing to mankind's future. But then, more or less intentionally, things happen that remind me to know my place.

Still, I'm not asking for pity. I'm not asking for advice. I won't give up. There's a voice inside of me that's screaming to break free. To be heard. And I'll do everything I can to make it heard. So just, treat this as just one voice, expressing something that you may or may not ever have to deal with. Maybe my unique experience can somehow meaningfully add to your equally unique one.

So just don't give up, world. We can coexist, even if you make it difficult for us all.
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  1. Pumpkin's Avatar
  2. Psychotic's Avatar
    You have the least Polish Polish accent ever. Honestly, if you moved to the UK and told everyone your name was Chad Princeton or Bryce Mapleleaf, people would believe you were American or Canadian.
  3. FFNut's Avatar
    Fynn you are better at English and writing it than I am and almost all I grew up with and we grew up in a place where if you don't speak English you got told in a universal language to get the heck out.

    No need to hide where you are from. I know if you wrote something I would be one of the first to sign up for it to support you no matter what it was. In fact I would share it with my friends and brag I know you.

    If if you want to spread your creative wings have you thought about writing an online book that would add a chapter each week or month or so until it was finished? It wouldn't pay the bills but it may give you that freedom you were searching for without having to quit your day job right away and keep the bills paid.
  4. Formalhaut's Avatar

    Even if the world constantly thinks about you as an outsider, I want you to know that I would never knowingly want to make you feel different or inferior. I sorry for those times where I've said your voice sounds slightly German: I definitely never meant it in a negative fashion.

    You are a better writer and linguist than anyone else I know. I don't think of you as a non-native English speaker, and it is terrible when employers immediately reject your application. Like, have they seen any of your work? Even a cursory glance would show them otherwise.

    As for your creative writing, don't give up. Keep writing. Never stop improving. It sounds trite, but one of these days, you will be noticed.
  5. ham's Avatar
    Hi Fynn, I am new but I can relate to your points. I actually just learned this today but when we are facing off with a difficult dilemma, it's better to acknowledge that it is how we interpret the situation rather than the event itself.