Life on the Westside

It’s amazing how my worldview has changed since moving back from London. I thought I would learn a lot from living in London for a year, but I didn’t really have to put it in contrast with the place I had left until I returned. Now, I am staring in the face of some of the worst sides of nature and humanity (Naval Yard shooting, Miss America bigotry, massive flooding about two hours west of us in Colorado), things I had blithely ignored throughout my time in England.

I look back now with an even greater sense of amazement that I lived in a very peculiarly shaped bubble for the last year. I mean, I read the news, and I knew what happened in the world. I just chose not to make everything relevant to my daily life. Here, I am forced to reconcile my nationality (American) and my patriotism (English), and attempt not to sound like one of those people who go away only to come back self-righteous.

Of course, everyone is a bit self-righteous. We defend the groups we identify with. It just so happens I’m about 5,000 miles away from the majority of my group.

Culture shock has also been extended to an even more intense panic about my future. No secure job, no secure living situation, no secure funds or even savings tucked away. I find myself at the end of a dock, staring at a very large lake and trying to figure out which bank I should swim to or whether I should just walk back down the pier. Seattle? Denver? Indianapolis? Which feels like success? Which feels least like failure? Where does my pride prevent me from seeing what will be best for me in the long term?

Needless to say, I have a lot on my mind. Life is in flux–more than usual anyway. I’ll just have to strap in and hold on for a while until I get my bearings again.


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