Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

When I was younger, I considered myself a modern, sexually liberated girl. But coming from a Catholic country where casual sex is still a taboo, I thought that - as a woman - you can be one of two things: either fine with emotionless, superficial sex, or a prude.

I accepted the straight-to-the-point nature of mainstream porn and assumed that elaborate scenarios in female erotica have to involve gentle lovemaking, deep emotional attachment, and plenty of eye gazing.

Now I know that there is a wide spectrum of what turns us on. But above all, many sexually free women, myself…

Kids in Kayamandi, South Africa. Sonia Kolasinska 2012

The piling garbage that rarely gets collected, homes made of roofing sheets and plywood, and the shortage of running water when just around the corner sprinklers were tirelessly watering lush lawns of gated houses. Two local teenage girls were showing their neighbourhood in Kayamandi to me and my friend, a fellow exchange student. Both of them were pupils at the after school program that my friend volunteered to join.

Like my friend, many exchange students at Stellenbosch University, most of them Dutch, American, and British, join such programs to help kids from poverty-stricken areas with their homework and extracurricular activities.

Originally published as “It took a World Pandemic for me to Finally Learn Self-Care” on the Polish Professional Women in the Netherlands blog, June 2020.

Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash

“Yes! Now I’ll finally have time to do all that I’ve been wanting to do for years!” were my first words after hearing about the social distancing in March. Little did I know that my psyche in isolation had other plans for me.

To say that I’ve “slowed down” would be an understatement. My perfectionism and performance anxieties had a ball during the first few weeks of the quarantine. …

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

On Friday, March 13 I called my mom while commuting to work to distract myself from an uneasy feeling rising in my chest. Back then, Amsterdam was still quite busy, but you could already see the first signs of distress — the trams were emptier than usual, while the opposite was true for the supermarkets.

“I’m not so worried about getting sick,” I told my mom. “It’s just that whatever I do doesn’t seem to have much meaning anymore.”

“This existential crisis is quite normal in times like these”, she told me. When your focus shifts to getting enough food…

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

In marketing, we are expected to wear multiple hats. Ideally, we’d specialize in budgeting, strategy, social media, web design, copywriting…

Of course, not all marketers are copywriters, but there are a few simple rules to avoid the most common pitfalls in email marketing copy I’ve seen across different companies and industries. The list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it will still help you craft engaging emails for our audience.

Mistake 1: Long paragraphs

The lack of a character limit in email marketing tempts many marketeers to overwhelm their recipients with long copy. …

Photo by Stoica Ionela on Unsplash

Disclaimer: This article describes my personal experience and should not be read as advocating to use hallucinogenic substances for medical or therapeutic purposes without professional assistance.

Sitting on pillows and blankets spread out on the floor, we were patiently waiting for the magic truffles to take effect. I was clasping a cup of tea in my hands. Our trip sitter (a trained person guiding us through the experience) was sitting cross-legged, swaying gently to the sounds of tribal music. The early afternoon sun was peeking through the clouds, only to be shadowed again soon after.

At first, I saw mesmerizing…

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Originally published by Polish Professional Women in the Netherlands in January 2020.

Mentoring is a process where a protegee meets regularly with a more experienced person for advice and guidance. Both parties don’t necessarily have to be from the same industry, but for the process to be beneficial, the mentor needs to have qualities or achievements that the mentee strives for.

Mentoring is as old as the world itself. Relationships between a master and a student have been shaping our world for centuries and are common in politics, arts, science, and business. …

On the power of reclaiming your own space and time and how it makes relationships flourish.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

One of the most important steps in a modern relationship seems to be moving in together — right before the proposal, the wedding, and having kids. We’ve been together with my boyfriend for around 4 years now and we still enjoy living separately.

My friends and family definitely ask me “OK, but what’s next?” more often now than a few years ago. …

Although it gives us some security to believe that our partner is fixed in time and will never change, we need the courage to acknowledge that this is merely an illusion.

Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

I met my boyfriend who’s 13 years older than me when his marriage was hanging on the last thread. We became friends, and after his separation, we started dating. One day he showed up at my doorstep fully clothed in motorcycle gear. “Wanna go for a ride?” he asked with a grin.

While we were cruising through the suburbian roads south of Amsterdam, he told me that a few…

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

I’ve just sold my TV. It was one of the things in my apartment that wasn’t being used very much and was gathering dust instead. I’m uneasy about such objects because I feel that the energy around them is “stuck” and doesn’t flow naturally anymore. And I like flow. I like space.

I’m a rather anxious person so, naturally, the moment the TV was gone, I started questioning my decision. What if I someday want to watch it again? What if my brother wants to when he comes for his yearly visit? …

Sonia Kolasinska

Sonia is a freelance writer specializing in articles about relationships, emotions, and personal growth. She’s also a pet sitter and a recovering perfectionist.

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