What is a “Sense of INDIVIDUALITY”?

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  • 11 February 2017

IMG_1035IMG_1041I had a very hectic week so far. I was occupied with running errands and moving our things to the new house. We’ll be finally moving by the end of this month or early March. Can’t wait!

So, yesterday I had the pleasure to meet a friend for coffee and cake. She’s originally from the Netherlands and also moved to Switzerland because of her husband’s work. Although she has been living here for 5 years, she still doesn’t feel apart of the Swiss community. She also struggles to find work here due to various reasons. And what I found most surprising is that she and I are not the only women who feel lost here.

There are other girls who are exactly in the same position as us, who moved to Switzerland mainly because of their partners, who cannot find employment and as a result feel like they are losing their sense of individuality.

Feeling lost?

For years, I always kept myself pretty busy with work, university and volunteering. I love to be active, so you would always find me running around. I also rarely relied on anyone. Well, a lot of things have changed since.

I was aware that it was going to be tough once I moved to Switzerland. However, hearing about how the unemployment rate in Switzerland is low (3.7%) and how the average salaries are usually very high- it did give me a glimpse of hope that I would be able to secure a job soon enough.

The truth is that after a year, I still haven’t be able to find work. I was disappointed in myself. After filling and sending one job application after another and to only receive rejections- it can be very frustrating. Yet, I told myself that everything will be okay.

What is individuality?

How would you define “a sense of individuality”?  To me, there are various characteristics that would make up my sense of individuality. And there is really no black and white in defining your own sense of self.

I started to think more of this question when I hit very low at one point. I was a ball of emotions. Felt lost, frustrated, upset and sad. And it’s not necessary about not being able to find work here, but rather it’s about all the things that I make up to be my sense of individuality. Being in a foreign country and not mastering their language can be daunting. Not to mention that I’m not familiar with my surroundings yet. Not having a job, friends, family or even have my own car for mobility reasons- it can be very stressful.

Before I mostly relied on myself. Being responsible for myself. Now, the only person I rely on is mainly my partner. And this feeling can be frightening. I miss my family and friends and everything that is familiar to me. The question of individuality becomes more apparent when being in this particular situation. And to know that other women feel the same as me is somehow reassuring.

In the end, I know that I’m not losing myself. This will pass and does not define who I am. For anyone who experiences the same, please just know- that you are not alone.


Yours truly,


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