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When I first left my native country, I didn’t think it would be forever. When I first stepped foot in the US, I didnt think it would be forever.
In my mind, I thought I would come to the US, study here, come home, go to a different country maybe, and eventually, come back to France and work and live there.
But as you know, life always throws something else at you. For me, it was my husband.
I started dating him, but didn’t think it would last past my first return in France. But I grew feelings and the beginning of second year in the US was also the start of the count down until I had to leave and had no idea if I could come back. Getting a job here and getting sponsored is not easy.
Has anybody seen the episode How to be an American from the series Fresh off the boat? It felt familiar… I wasn’t as desperate as her. But the heart break and the fear of having to leave him were really there.
Everything in my education and culture was telling me that “you don’t marry a man just a year after you meet him”. But a year after I met him, I said yes and was planning a wedding. Again life throws at you challenges and test you.
That year, I got engaged, married, got my green card, graduated from 2 schools, moved to a different state, didn’t visit my home country at all, got a new house, got a new dog, and likely got pregnant (although I didn’t find out until the next year). Big year!
I found a job 4 months after graduating, got my first daughter that same year, and my life was looking it would be in the US.
When I returned for a visit in France last year, someone asked me what was so great about the US, why I stay there. I was stumped by not being able to answer the question.
What do I love so much about the US? What is so much better than France?
The answer is nothing.
It’s different, it no better, it’s no worse. I like it. I am happy. And that’s what matters.
What do I like?
- Ziplog bags – seems silly, but how did I ever go without them??
- 24/7 open stores – including Sundays.
- Drive thrus – I thought it was silly at first, but really I’d rather wait in my car for my prescription than having to get out of the car, wait in line, be tempted to buy more necessary things for example, especially with kids!
- Space – I have big house, much better than my tiny student apartment of 30m2.
My family and my job are what keep me in here. I love being here, because they are here. But these things are little things that help me along the way.
How about you? Why did you stay? What do you love about the US?