I want to share with you something I've learned. It was a mistake to take a degree in anthropology because I can't stand primitive people - they're dumb.
The Cartesian dictum "I think therefore I am" might better be expressed "Hey, there goes Edna with a saxophone!"
The mired image of a Bristol hipster sophisticate swimming through my head.Confident folk but isn't confidence what you have before you understand the problem?
Europe - can you guess the cities?
Why care to have rich experiences in alternate lives? You read books, see interesting lifestyles on TV, and I actually want to know these people and see if I can mingle. I wish I could alter my hopes and desires, and maybe such aspirations with result in catastrophe. Constant struggle Madame Bovary style, but if you aren't happy and content then you must leave. But if 80% of success is just showing up, all I have to do is be in that place, and I am set.
America is difficult in that I am hours and hours away from urban areas. But, on a brighter note, I am much closer to cows and Baptist preachers. If I were from the Netherlands, an urban hub would be only a couple hours away from my hometown, and Paris, London, Berlin, and other European beauties (including Sophia Loren, Kate Middleton and the lady in the enchanted castle commercial) would be only a train ride away.
I am very humble, but very few people know the amount I have experienced. Most think I was in China for a few years and that I taught English and then got my Master's in Germany. I think many fail to realize how self-sufficient, confident, and fearless I am. I know many people who have gone to China through agencies and then rely on the agent to take care of all the problems, housing concerns, translation concerns, etc. etc. Not me. I found the school by myself and I thrived in unknown areas. I can somehow figure out exactly what I need to be doing and how I need to treat situations in order to do well and not, well, die or look stupid. I navigated China for years, job after job, friend after friend, connection after connection, apartment after apartment, and I eventually accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. I did not go through some dinky agency to teach English in China, no, I found the rural school I was after and accomplished my duties there. After that, I spotted just want I wanted in Beijing - a downtown apartment, a sweet office job, and close friends. I see all that as something I was able to accomplish within a year. After I had had enough of all that (or after I could not see much more of a future for myself in China), I was ready for Europe. I learned some German and I finished my Master's thesis in time.
NOW WHY THE STRUGGLES? I thrive while abroad, and now the tables have turned. I am so scared and cannot thrive in my native environment...
Oh and I am also really happy with my last relationship in Europe. If I were Chinese I'm sure we would be together, but alas, we are too different, and I think he is an excellent companion nonetheless and I am happy to have spent 2 wonderful years with him.
In the meantime, furthering of dread and disgust as role as substitute teacher has come to close. Alas, none of the NGOs, Think-Tanks, or blue-chip firms have called me back.
Bristol is always my post-abroad experience, and can the American happiness I am looking for be found elsewhere, or am I so deeply changed and different from my fellow Americans that I won't be able to stand their selfish, self-important, greedy, better-than-you attitudes. This behavior does not exist in communist societies, and we as humans are not so far removed from these comrades.
The main thing for me is that there is nothing of purpose to do in Bristol. I enjoyed the teaching experience, but other than that, my stimulation has come in very limited form these past 5 months. Physically, I have run and biked a lot, and intellectually I have tried my hardest given no classes, no clubs, no foreigners. Emotionally, I have steered clear of every pass made at me just based on the fact that I know exactly what I am looking for and I have my exact preferences. I need BIG because the universe is big and complicated and I do not want to dwell on a select few. On that note, I believe that there is something out there watching us, but unfortunately it is the government.
I have always always had an affinity for deadpan mathematicians and engineers or aspiring entrepreneurs, but not insurance salesmen because they are always trying to sell you insurance. The other day, on lunch break in the teachers' lounge, I was stuck sipping coffee beside an insurance salesman and it was one of the most harrowing and terrible experiences in this world besides Auschwitz and the Big Bang.