In the life of every human being there are moments of rupture: situations where we experience such intense emotions that our world is turned upside down. A few months ago, I turned 31 and, during the several weeks after my birthday celebration, I wondered about a lot of things: Where will my work take me? Where am I going to live? Will my beloved ones stay by my side for a long time? But, among all those important questions, there was one that is still preoccupying my thoughts: Where can I find true love?
When I was younger, love was one of the topics I was more concerned about because I fell for the idea of loving someone, of experiencing those wonderful feelings I read about in the work of poets I admired. I had never had a romantic relationship and I could not wait to have one. It was not until I was 21 that I had my first relationship, but when that moment finally arrived it was not everything I had been expecting: I ran into jealousy, arguments and anguish. After several years and relationships, I am still trying to answer that question because I really want to know if love is real.
Our planet Earth is a vast place. It’s so full of different landscapes, languages, cultures, that I cannot understand why sometimes we tend to become attached to certain aspects of our own culture, as if we cannot see beyond the end of our own nose. And I say this because I have experienced it myself: For a long time, I never thought about finding love outside the borders of my own country. I know this is not bad at all because we all have different needs and, even if the possibilities are infinite, our personal fulfillment can reside in those simple little things easily found in our everyday life. So, a big part of my quest for love has taken place here in Colombia. Yes, by the way, I’m from Colombia, so let me tell you a little bit about my country’s cultural traits.
Colombia is considered by many to be a magical land teeming with joyful and friendly people who are always willing to help you and share with you their passion for life. Some even say that Colombia is one of the happiest countries in the whole world. As I stated tacitly, most of my romantic partners have been Colombian women characterized by their warmth, expressiveness and great emotional intensity. But, despite living in what some people consider a wonderful place, I have always felt like a stranger in my own culture.
There are some common aspects of Colombian behavior that I have never liked and the funny thing is that I started noticing them more intensely (even in my own behavior) when I began to interact more with people from other countries (especially from Europe). For example, sometimes we can be quite relaxed about specific situations in which a different attitude would be more appropriate, and that sometimes leads us to be irresponsible. Moreover, a lot of Colombian people avoid being straightforward in order to not hurt other people’s feelings, which can be very annoying if you just want a quick and honest answer. Now I try to avoid doing these things as much as I can.
When it comes to romantic relationships, you can experience a wide range of behavior. On the one hand, Colombian women can be extremely amorous and caring, letting you know how much they love you and think about you in many different ways. My first girlfriend (the one I loved the most) used to take every chance to tell me how much she cared about me and that made me feel important and loved – it was really beautiful. I experienced this several times with different Colombian women, even if it wasn’t with the same intensity. On the other hand, they can become very possessive and sometimes may create very intense dramas out of nothing. For example, at one time my first girlfriend broke up with me because she heard a random girl talking about how handsome I was. A bit extreme, right? Well, although it sounds incredible, I had other experiences similar to this one, like that day when a girl I was dating got very angry at me because I told her I couldn’t talk to her on the phone while I was having lunch.
I think all these behaviors can be explained by a concept I call “the soap opera culture”: We tend to greatly amplify every emotion, both the good and the bad ones, as if we were living in a soap opera. So, it is possible that if a Colombian woman loves you a lot, she will give you some strong emotions that maybe you don’t want, which can become a problem if you are as calm as me. And this is why I have always felt like I am wandering between two extremes when I dated Colombian women: some days I touched the sky and some others I hit the ground. I know that this way of understanding and experiencing emotions is not a bad thing, it’s just another way of feeling, living. As I stated earlier, everything depends on what we are looking for. I have some foreign friends who are married to Colombian women and they seem very happy, and I’m glad to know that they have found what I am still looking for.
Have you ever experienced something similar within your own culture? If the answer is yes, maybe what we wish for can only be found somewhere else, and sailing across this whole wide world could throw some light on it. At the end of the day, any decision leading us to happiness is a perfect one. We just need to make it.
Snapshot 1: Cartagena, Columbia – In the tunnel – Luis Vidal (Unsplash)
Snapshot 2: Bogota, Columbia – Street art – Jorge Gardner (Unsplash)
Snapshot 3: Bogota, Columbia – La Candelaria – posztos (Shutterstock)
Snapshot 4: Monserrate, Columbia – Cityscape – Michael Lechner (Unsplash)
Snapshot 5: Bogota, Columbia – Business and art – Watch The World (Shutterstock)
Snapshot 6: Bogota, Columbia – Pigeon-holed – Angello Lopez (Unsplash)
Snapshot 7: Bogota, Columbia – On the street – Mikadun (Shutterstock)
Snapshot 8: Bogota, Columbia – Meeting at the town square – Nowaczyk (Shutterstock)
Cinemblem voiceover: Lee G.
Cinemblem: Perypatetik youtube channel
The Syncretion of Polarization and Extremes
Ahmed, Amina. Growing up with Abuse: A Life of Extremes – Lebanon. April 2019.
Alencar, Joana. Lack of Social Trust – Brazil. January 2019.
Antonyan, Hayk. Polarization Does Not Equal Extreme – Armenia. September 2019.
Awdejuk, Pawel. Pole-arization – Poland. June 2019.
Baccino, Alejandra. Polarization within Ourselves – South America. January 2019.
Bondarenko, Evgeny. What You Sow Does Not Come To Life Unless It Dies – Ukraine. May 2019.
Cannarella, Daniela. A Past-Present Dicotomia – Italy. June 2019.
Casas, Marilin Guerrero Casas. Balance – Cuba. May 2019.
Cordido, Veronica. Hanging by Extremes – Venezuela. January 2019.
Dastan, S.A. Polarization and the Epidemic of Extremity – Turkey. August 2019.
Deiana, Sarah. The Unbearable Weight of Being a Woman – Italy. September 2019.
Escandell, Andrea da Silva. The Illogic of Extremes – Uruguay. May 2019.
Gomez, Javier. The Canyon Inside Us – Argentina. July 2019.
Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Extremism Is Now the New Hype? – Spain. February 2019.
Husseini, Maha. Bilingual Par Excellence – Canada. August 2019.
Israyelyan, Mania. Polarized Within Ourselves – Armenia. June 2019.
Julber, Lillian. Difficult to Understand – Uruguay. July 2019.
Kanunova, Nigina. Role of Polarization in the Life of an Individual and Society – Tajikistan. July 2019.
López, Virginia Sanmartín. Why Live on an Edge? – Spain. August 2019.
Montano, Osvaldo. Progress in the Face of Polarization – Bolivia. February 2019.
Pavicevic, Nikolina. The Law of Silence – Montenegro. September 2019.
Protić, Aleksandar. Linguistic Balkanization as a Means of Polarization – The Balkans. June 2019.
Ranaldo, Mary. Social Polarization – Italy. April 2019.
Ray, Sanjay Kumar. At the Crossroads – India. August 2019.
Romano, Mavi. Censorship and Cultural Survival in a World without Gods – Spain. January 2019.
Çakir, Peren. Needing a Sustainable Future in the Midst of Political Polarization – Argentina and Turkey. September 2019.
Sariñana, Alejandra Gonzalez. Student Movements – Mexico. March 2019.
Sekulić, Jelena. The Polarizacija of Serbian Culture – Serbia. June 2019.
Sem, Sebastião. Brandos Costumes – Portugal. July 2019.
Sepi, Andreea. A World of Victims and Perpetrators? – Germany and Romania. February 2019.
Sevunts, Nane. The Era To Close – Armenia. March 2019.
Skobic, Alexandar. The Loss of Identity – The Balkans. April 2019.
Sitorus, Rina. Polarization in Politics: All a Cebong or Kampret – Indonesia. March 2019.
Spirito, Julieta. A Thought about Polarized Insecurity – Argentina. April 2019.
Valenzuela, Monica. Adults and Children – Peru. April 2019.
Vuka. Extreme Immunity to Functional Tax and Judicial System – Serbia. March 2019
Wallis, Toni. Walls and Resettlement – South Africa and Angola. February 2019.
Williams, Jazz Carl. Unfinished Episodes – Spain. May 2019.
Zakharova, Anastasiya. Feminism – Russia. August 2019.
CW 41 – Kenya – Kenn Mwangi
CW 42 – Pakistan – Muhammad Kashif Shahid
CW 43 – Tunisia – Sarah Turki
CW 44 – Estonia – Margot Arula
CW 45 – Ghana – Kwasi Amankwah Awuah
CW 46 – Dominican Republic – Aura De Los Santos
CW 47 – Montenegro – Nikolina Pavicevic
CW 48 – America – Talia Stotts
CW 49 – Philippines – Kristian Uusitalo
CW 50 – Hungary – Zoltan Monar
CW 51 – Syria/UAE/Egypt – Ahmed Ibrahim
CW 52 – Nigeria – Ethelbert Umeh
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed