>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.

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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