A Quick Word

"In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism." -Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)

19 January 2011

My life abroad, an introduction.

Anyone who knows me, and knows me well, knows that I possess somewhat of an unhealthy interest in the UK. I have, sometimes to a fault, considered England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland as some sort of romantic ideal-- pastoral landscapes, deep history, the roots of some kind of personal sublimity. And so now that I find myself here, I don't know how to react.

I've settled in. Having been here nearly two weeks, my life has started to take on a natural rhythm. I've met new people-- friends I felt like I've known for much longer than I have-- and begun to understand and adjust to the culture here in York. Through these adjustment I have noticed many differences between my experience here and my experience in the States. In some ways, my being here has lived up to the expectations I had for it, and in others it has felt somewhat underwhelming. Turns out, England is a real place, with real people who really live their lives. It's not Harry Potter or some Dickensian dream. It's not perhaps what I anticipated. But it is wonderful. And I don't think that my six months here will be enough; I won't be surprised when, come July, I don't really want to leave. Make no mistake, I love America, and have actually become prouder of my American identity as a result of being here. Yet this is a place I could be happy living for the rest of my life. It just feels... right.

In the next few posts (and those beyond), I'll provide updates of my life in York, giving my observations, thoughts, and experiences so that all of you can know what I'm up to. It will be nice for me as well, getting the opportunity to process some of my thoughts via this blog while also writing for an audience back home. It will feel like writing letters, and will give me a welcome connection to everyone back in the States. And so it begins...

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