Monday, April 12, 2010

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

I suppose I should begin with this: I have never had wanderlust. I have never felt the burning desire to be on the move, to be on my feet, to be on the road.

My travels, therefore, have not been the result of a longing to be elsewhere. Rather, they have been the result of a longing to find a home. I certainly love my parents’ house just outside of Washington, DC, but recently I’ve been feeling pulled more and more by the need to make my own home. That pull is tugging me to London.

There are several reasons I accept London. First and foremost, the city is a good fit for me; after living there for a year while studying for my Master’s degree from September 2008 until September 2009 I know that I can thrive there. Second, my chosen career path is exploding in the UK; I currently work in development at an arts organization, and as Europe begins to assume the American tradition of philanthropy my experience will hopefully prove useful. Third and last, but certainly not least of these reasons, is my boyfriend Jon; the success of our relationship ultimately depends on us actually being together.

Why blog?

Some of you read my Parisian blog, the account of my exultant, breathtaking, whirlwind seven months in Paris in 2007 as an undergraduate student and chomeuse. It was very much a web log – an account of my travels, determining distance traveled and wonders seen such as a ship’s captain might chart.  Some of you read my short-lived attempt at keeping a blog while in London as a graduate student. The London blog served more as the distribution venue for mass emails; my complaint, and the reason I closed that blog, was as follows:

When I was in Paris, I wanted to commit everything that happened to paper and to share it with all of you. I think it was because Paris was a Life Experience, and as such we had to analyze and savour everything I did. In London, though – here I'm just living life; my everyday things are routine and normal and banal, and I don't think that they deserve being blogged about. That doesn't mean I'm not enjoying myself here. I am, absolutely. It means that I'm living here, actually living, not just having an experience, and don't feel the need to let everything that happens to me marinate and be interpreted.

That was written in November 2008; now, in April 2010, I disagree with the sentiment. Now I think that Life Experiences and the banality of living are not mutually exclusive. That is why I will keep this blog as faithfully as I can. I don’t know what this new blog will be – a creative and literary exercise more than anything else, possibly. But as much as I may be blogging for myself, I am also blogging for you. I want to share myself with you, though you may be far away; I want you to be part of this new life that I am making regardless of your personal geography.

So please, enjoy.

9 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read about your adventures!

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  2. I'm starting to read your blog and can definitely relate - I've never experienced wanderlust and here I am, very far from home. My husband is from outside of DC, where do you currently live?

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  3. I'm from Silver Spring - just north of DC. It's pretty great - I'm definitely spoiled by the area!

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  4. My husband is from Potomac, so not too far!

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  5. I saw you linked me to your blog, I really hate to be rude, but do you mind unlinking me? I have a lot of personal information on my blog and am starting to get nervous about having it out there....

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  6. No problem, Joyce, I totally understand.

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  7. Thanks so much, I feel awful, but I get nervous about putting a lot of information out on the internet, especially with pictures of the kids!

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  8. May-Beth DelacourtMarch 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    "as Europe begins to assume the American tradition of philanthropy"

    So, Americans started philanthropy, did they? Where do you think Smithson was from? And where do you think Carnegie was born?

    I'm sorry, but what you say here comes over as insufferable American arrogance!

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  9. Hello May-Beth, I'm sorry that what I wrote rubbed you the wrong way! Of course Americans did not start philanthropy - there was patronage of the arts before the United States was a glimmer in any one's eye - but my experiences both in the US and in Europe do reaffirm my understanding of Americans having a different tradition of philanthropy than Europeans, one not primarily based in public subsidy. As governments in Europe (and, especially in the UK, as that's where I worked and so it's what I'm most familiar with) continue to cut their funding for the arts, institutions are turning more to an American model, reliant more on private support.

    I hope this clarifies!

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