>an out of america experience

>I came across a weird thought the other day.

–Let me rephrase that. About 60% of my thoughts are what one would commonly define as”weird,” “strange,” “not normal,” etc. I guess that’s just my nature. In any case, I guess this certain thought was mind-provoking enough to make it to this world-famous blog.

At least in my experiences, D.C doesn’t feel like America. Strange for being the national capital, no? But hear me out: a majority of my interactions are with people of a different ethnicity and culture-many who have only recently moved to the U.S. Others are DC natives, but come from a background completely different from my own. Perhaps my own “American” experiences are really the ones that are skewed; growing up on Long Island, going to school in Saratoga Springs, and routinely vacationing in the Adirondack mountains doesn’t necessarily give one a true experience of the States. Yet, for whatever reason, I almost feel like a foreigner here.

Not a foreigner in the bad sense. I don’t feel lost or out of place. I don’t stick out like I did in Ghana (helllo blond hair and pale skin), nor do I ever feel like a tourist or traveler. Each day where I live feels more like a new or second home, yet it also feels like an opportunity for a new experience or adventure. The people I meet and the conversations I engage in are randomly and wonderfully unpredictable, much like ones experienced abroad.

The second piece to this thought is in reference to a belief I’ve had for awhile. I never felt like I was meant to live in the U.S., which is perhaps why D.C. seems so natural to me. I don’t exactly know what the American dream is, but I know I don’t want it. I never accepted the values of many middle-class Americans; our priorities about work, money, family and school all seem so radically backwards to me. Now I know it’s a huge generalization to say these are the beliefs of all Americans, but as a college-graduate lurking for jobs, I am learning that our system is really baseed on these certain priorities. (You have a degree? That’s good. Now where did you intern? That’s better. No Master’s? Well you can’t compete with the rest of the pool. Go back to school? Do you have $100 grand? Oh, and don’t even think about getting time off for the holidays– this internship will lead you to both new experiences and a job that will get you into grad school that [will leave you in debt] will hopefully get you a better job that will lead you to marriage, a family, and some time off).

Merry Christmas to you too, America.
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About Laura

marketing director at Possible. formerly at Greatist. Still running, finding zen, and searching for the perfect bloody mary.

Posted on November 5, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. >It's important to remember that our pursuit of the American Dream allowed you to graduate from college without a penny in debt. Capitalism is a wonderful thing if the fruits of success are used to help others as well as ourselves.

  2. >There are a bunch of cheap schools in Europe that have great reputations. You could also check out the Erasmus Mundus and the Gates Scholarships. They cover all your expenses. Cheers.

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