A little of what the Thompson's are up to.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

American perspective

Apparently I don't know how to schedule a post, I'll have to work on that. I'm home, safe and sound and with my beautiful family again, and in some small way already missing England... this was supposed to go up yesterday:-
I'm not sure I will be able to put into words my exact feelings but I will try, I've scheduled this post to go up as I fly home. This has been a good trip for me, I grew up here in England and its a place that I love, the last ten years I have spend in the US married to my wonderful Eric have been great but I think I have always struggled with not really feeling like I belong in a place, in LA I am a world away from my home, family and close friends in England, when I come back to England things are different (or maybe its me), it could be that I have lived away from home so long that its hard to fit back in at my dads house and I don't 100% feel like I belong here either. Americans in general, (whether they mean for it to come across this way or not) always seem to have an attitude that America is bigger and better and I've never really understood it, I have to admit that I have even let myself get slightly offended by it, after all, England is a fully developed country. This visit however, things seem different to me, I'm used to the shops being open all the time, I used to come over here and couldn't wait to have all the things I'd missed like proper fish n chips, Chinese curry, kebab, sausage rolls, yummy chocolate but this time I am indulging less, I think I have found things in LA that I am used to now and like just as much. Maybe I have been gone too long, I am seeing things from a different angle, I used to think that England was actually superior and maybe I didn't really believe that but just defensively I did. The truth is neither is better, they are just different, yes most British people have a washing machine (for clothes) in their kitchen but its just how it is, different. The truth really is, that when I got on the plane in LA and I left my Eric and girls behind I felt like I was leaving my life behind, my life now belongs with them, wherever they are and no place is better than another unless I am with them. I am on a plane now, this trip has offered me some closure, I am heading home and I can't wait to get back.


Rebecca said...

I'll have to show you how to schedule a post - or if you're up to it - how to use Wordpress which is much easier to manage than Blogger :)

VERY interesting post Claire, very interesting to read. I don't know what its like to move from an entire continent/country - I can't imagine how hard it would be to adjust and live so far away. But how you described your feelings are similar to how I've felt about moving from Utah to Los Angeles. It's not the same to just visit or have an extended stay... but the actual move and settling permanently in a new place was a hard adjustment. It made Los Angeles feel like a whole different world compared to UT. But my feelings were opposite in that I felt that Utahns had the attitude and surprisingly I felt stronger in the Church living here in good 'ol Hollywood!

Anyways, we'll have to chat when we meet up in person next. I'm so happy to hear you were able to visit home again... this post was really beautiful :) Well written!

Brent and Emily said...

Good post! For me, going the other direction, I see what you're saying. There are lots of differences between the UK and the US but I don't think either is better. We LOVE living here in England. Honestly. There are things we miss about the US and things that take some getting used to here but, when we leave here, there are going to be lots of things we will miss and things we'll have to adjust back to in the US. I'll admit sometimes Americans get a bit snooty about ourselves but I haven't felt that way here. I think our first apartment was a bad representation of England. I think it was more of a representation of living in a small apartment in the city. My cousin lives in Manhattan and her place is microscopic! They have their fridge in the livingroom because the kitchen is too small.

Having lived in lots of different types of US cities from Texas, to UT, to central & southern cali, (which are polar opposites btw) you can see differences stronger than from the US and UK. The cultures between our 2 countries is different, yes, but neither is better or worse.

I know what you mean about not feeling like you fit in America, it's not your home. I don't think I'll ever truly fit in here, because I'm American. I've noticed some reactions from people when they find out we are American, they automatically assume we're going to think we're better than they are, and that makes me sad. I could live here, very happily for a long time, though. Don't tell my mom I said that. ;)

Sometimes, like today, I just sit and look out my back window at how beautiful it is and almost get teary. It's simply a different way of life, and I love it. Whether or not the rest of the Americans living here do.

I'm glad you got to come home for a bit, even if it wasn't what you expected.

Jen said...

Good post girl! When I went to surprise my Mom in Utah for Christmas, I didn't realize how much I don't feel right unless my family is together..meaning myself,Aaron and little Noah. Then I revisited all the arguments Aaron and I have had about where to live and all of the pros and cons, but unless we are all together, it really doesn't matter. So I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is so wierd not feeling at home anywhere. I can't wait for the day we settle and stay somewhere we BOTH love.