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The Need to Always Prove Yourself in America

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The Need to Always Prove Yourself in America

Early this year, I moved back to the US. It's the first time I've lived here full-time in almost seven years.

Looking back on all of my travels, I can now see that I went through various phases in my relationship with US culture.

  • In the beginning, everywhere I went felt so new and so bewildering. It was almost exhausting being confronted with so many new beliefs and cultural ideas all the time. I remember the first year feeling a sense of respite and relaxation every time I returned to the US. I think this is what most vacationers and travelers feel. In the beginning, at least.
  • Then, after a year or so outside of the US, the flaws of American culture became much clearer and harder to ignore. I entered a kind of honeymoon phase with many of the countries I visited where my perception was dominated by all of the amazing things a foreign country had that my country lacked. I became very negative towards the US around this time, and for a while, believed that it was likely I would never move back.
  • But after another few years, the novelty

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