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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Clothing shop on Endell Street

I went through my closet last week to try to ascertain my business-casual clothing quotient in preparation for job-hunting. As I dug through tailored trousers and jumpers, I realized that I hadn't worn any of it in over a year and a half. Then I realized that I hadn't worn any of the clothes that I brought with me from the States, other than three pairs of jeans and a button-down shirt, since I arrived. So I bundled all of the unworn trousers, jumpers and shirts into bags and hauled them to Oxfam. I stared into my closet. It sparkled at me, the bedroom lights reflecting off of naked hangers and spangly skirts and occasionally disappearing into the folds of blackest velvet, all totally inappropriate for the workplace, let alone the lab.

I need to do a lot of shopping.

I think this experience, and Marco's impending journey to the States, have brought home to me that I live here now, not there. I think I had a vague notion that living here would be like an extended holiday and that I'd make regular trips "home" every couple of months. It's extremely unlikely that I'll visit the US at all this year. Tiny unconscious changes, like slowly adopting the local aesthetic, cement the sense of belonging in the UK. But once recognized, they also produce a sense of loss. A thread attaching identity to origin, snipped. It's the price of adaptation. Store credit only; no refunds.

[User Picture]From: nationofsheep
2006-03-26 04:31 (UTC)
That's really interesting. I remember this realization when in Hong Kong. If the truth be told, we never really came back. Houston is a different country to us now and we are settling into it as a culture we have never experienced. I feel like we can go anywhere now.
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[User Picture]From: k_navit
2006-03-26 09:08 (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading this -- thought provoking and elegantly written.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2006-03-26 22:59 (UTC)
You settled me right down, and have left me a little pensive & reflective. I suppose that's a good thing. I'm still a little shocked that you've been there as long as you have. I mean, I can count the months, but didn't think I was ready for you to be there forever. I'm making no sense, but just know that I really did like your post, ok?
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[User Picture]From: omniana
2006-03-27 03:43 (UTC)
I've been avoiding setting down roots here for I think a similar reason, I'd don't want to get comfortable and belong just to whisk away to somewhere else and feel that loss. But, that also means I don't enjoy my here in the fullest. I was in a melodramatic and emotional state of mind, but when I left LA after my last trip, I really felt that my time there was over, that chapter closed. Made me sad.
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[User Picture]From: tharine
2006-03-27 03:49 (UTC)
this is totally unrelated, but i wanted to mention, see- ive had spaced packed up and ready to mail for weeks, but i also keep not finishing the letter to go with it! apologies for that. anyday now im sure i will be done. its a ridiculous letter, both in length and content. heh. :K
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2006-03-27 16:14 (UTC)
I need to do a lot of shopping.

Every transition has its up side. Good luck with the job hunt.
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