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Are you happy in the USA?

Hello js4045:  Take the effort to win some friends.  Money cant buy friends, or we cant tell people to become our friends.  We make friends when we extend our hand, a smile, a productive and creative conversations.  Friends make life meaningful.  Since coming to the U.S. we have the same friends we keep for some 21 years since we met, our children have grown up and added more friends.

We go out on annual campings, sometimes travel together, watch concerts and plays and sometimes just talk over coffee on some lazy afternoons.

The world is waiting for you. Be the person you want to be.

Mpw2penn

Mpw2penn: You are not in Texas. I have voluntereed for 30 years. Have prepared Sunday's dinners and had folks in my home. Have helped neighbors. When I was in PA or NY for public speaking engagements, folks invited me to their homes and were much more open than here in Texas. This is the bible belt, red state. The bigotry is appalling. Austin is a bit better and so is San Antonio. The rest is undescribable. I am a licensed psychologist and my license does not transfer to another state, or I'd move. I am not the only one with this problem. The majority of people I know and my clients have voiced similar concerns.

Contrary to popular beliefs, red states are more charitable than blue states in general. ABC news resource:
http://abcnews.go.com/images/Business/red_states_more_generous_than_blue_640x360_wmain.jpg

All I can say is ouch. And I am re-evaluating my happiness here.

@ JS4505      I live in east Texas. I have lived and worked all over the world.  I am quite contented here. People have mostly treated me really well. Although I am an immigrant, now a US citizen, still, apparently, with a strong Irish accent, (so I'm told), I have had few if any obstacles thrown in front of me. I have a business here. My perception of Texans is that if you don't adopt a snotty, superior air (...) everybody is fine and dandy to get along with. 
Manifesto

Yes, you can get along, especially in business. My business too has thrived in Texas... but, can you truly connect? Do you have real friends? Are you embraced, rather than merely accepted? Is making money and superficial acceptance enough for you? Do you look around and really see the bigotry, or you don't care as long as business is good? Does it bother you at all? Texans are superficially quite friendly and polite most of the time..... plus: you are Irish, if you were brown, black, Italian, Indian, Asian.... your experience would be quite different, I guarantee you - for jobs and business, though, Texas is great.

@ JS4505    Good questions, all. Straight to the point.  I will reply in detail. Bear with me.

1)  Making money is the least of my preoccupations. So far down the list, it's close to the bottom. It's just a tool. A means to an end. Living has a one hundred per cent fatality rate. I've seen the approaching shadow so many times, I can smell his deodorant.   In my career (see www.chopperstories.com) I have seen plenty of dying. I may even have helped mete some of it out to the deserving. None of us are getting out of this sh** alive. So it's all about doing what little you can, get your ticket's worth, and hopefully, do a little bit of good. Then it's onwards to the next adventure. You are right in that there is an obsession with money with many people, and it's kind of absurd. I like to phrase it this way: "if I told you -proudly- I had a warehouse, with a MILLION tools (hammers, screwdrivers, chisels, toilet plungers, wheelbarrows, cement mixers, etc, etc) and that therefore I WAS A MILLIONAIRE, BUDDY, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT??" what would your reaction be? Being polite, you'd probably smile politely, and say: "Errr.... that's nice! Um. What are you going to DO with all that stuff...?"
Well....
If I had a MILLION BUCKS in the Bank, what's the difference? It's still the same Bullshit. You can only eat so much apple pie. The proper question is:
"Errr.... that's nice! Um. What are you going to DO with all that stuff...?"

2)    QUOTE:  "but, can you truly connect? Do you have real friends? Are you embraced, rather than merely accepted?"
There is a premise here. An assumption. Let's talk about it. The premise is that 'it matters'. I ask you: does it? Here is an Andy Warhol classic:

"Don't think about making Art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more Art."

Well, I submit you change the word 'Art' into the word 'Love' (or 'Life') and get the same meaning/message out of it.
So what does that mean?
It means I don't worry about it. I don't fret over what I have no control over. I just live like a madman. I love as best as I can.
("Storm and Fire")  I dream like a madman as well. ("Starry, starry night")
Lots of thoughts... ("The Snowstorm")
Lots of people... people holding hands, or smoking pot...
Good people...  who bring Sunshine...
Crazy people... who just want to hate...
At times, it's hard to wrap your mind around it, and you feel like a burning soldier.
At other times, it's so clear and self evident, that you wonder why you never figured it all out before. Likestanding on Mars, or hanging out under the rings of Saturn.

I could go on, and on. But for fear of boring you, I'll rest there.

When one cannot make any friends in such a diverse and wide country, one has to wonder if the problem may not lie with others.

The problem lies in the mindset and value system of the country in general. Here, it's not that you "cannot make friends". The problem is that friendships are shallow, they come and go and are very disposable and forgotten. Most people change jobs and often career every 3 to 5 years. This results in their moving often. Thus, to vaoid painful separations, they opt not to establish deep connections.

When they move, they quickly make new connections, but they stay at the acquaiintaince level. On any given day I may be invited to three or four events: people do get together, say hello and goodbye, but if you go missing - except for family or co-workers - your "friends" or neighbors may not even notice.

Compare that with my going back to Italy every so often. People I have not seen in decades  celebrate my arrival, invite me into their homes, laugh, chat, or even cry. Here, when I moved, people forgot me quite quickly.

Does it really matter? Perhaps not. That's why I stayed, considering life is, in general, comfortable although precarious as healthcare, criminal justice, and other factors make it quite unstable for many. Would I prefer the alternative? Yes I would. Why?

---- After having met the basic needs of food and shelter,  there is nothing more important in life than true human connection. Here, these are disposable.

@ JS4505     " plus: you are Irish, if you were brown, black, Italian, Indian, Asian.... your experience would be quite different, I guarantee you"

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have travelled the world, have rubbed shoulders with all those colors & recipes. Most of us have long since learned that skin pigmentation is a very minor chromosomal 'tweak'. It's the culture and life attitude that matters. With my accent, I sure have encountered hostility, but it's been very, very rare. Most folk are just curious. I don't see much evidence of rampant bigotry, as you suggest.

xxx

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@Franci Meyrick - I don't mean to offend you ***

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js4505 :

...

I don't think Texas is for you. Maybe relocating to San Francisco or New York would work better for you. I really don't mean this in a bad way, I gave the same advice for people in the France forum when they said they were not happy here and there. Moving to a place that suit you better is an option.
Also, please, no politics on the forum.

You are absolutely correct. Have you seen the cost of living in California? Also: I am a licensed psychologist in Texas. There is no reciprocity with California. If I moved there I would have to start my licensing process all over and I am too old for it. Besides, it's not only TX that has the problems I described. There are pockets in Cal which are even worse.
All considered, since I have family here, I am content when I chose to look the other way, which I am able to do most of the time.

@js4505
I heard that Austin may be a good option for you. It does share more similar values than Dallas. Just a thought...

I think you will be happy where you are because you have your family. Just like me: I lived in Miami, D.C., New York and Raleigh when I was single and settled in Philadelphia where I took my wife with me. 

Get and make some new friends:  we have friends that dates back 23 years ago since we came and we keep them until now and they do the same with us.  We met every now and then, call each other, some little FB and attend each other's church services and synagogue.

Friends make our lives more meaningful.  They also surrounds us with a "family blanket" as our children and their children are almost like cousins. We see their children married and now have their own children.

We are so lucky to prosper here in Philly: economically at work and in business and likewise with friends.

Good luck my friend.

Mpw2penn

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