American dream is long gone.

It has been precisely a year since I’ve made my way to the USA searching for something better and more inspiring. A year into my move I have panic and anxiety attacks, I am too often depressed and feeling trapped. Things I have seen here have shocked me, saddened me and made me doubt in the value of a human life. And while everything may sound pathetic, I can only say how I really feel.
My previous knowledge about America and its culture came from lovely people I have met in my home country, Serbia. I’ve admired the openness they had and the sense of freedom they carried around. It intrigued me. They were the picture I painted about the States. So, I crossed the ocean thinking I will have a blast in the USA…but that never really happened. While its nature is absolutely beautiful, USA’s culture is close to non-existent. And I know that I can be harshly criticized for this, nevertheless, I will speak what’s on my mind. I have spent about a week in New York City and that has been the greatest week of my life so far. I was insanely happy to witness so much diversity, authenticity and weirdness in one place. It really felt like the American dream everyone would talk about. I had this new feeling of freedom just walking down the streets of Manhattan. The city was really my friend… and 6 days later, the dream was over. I have heard many times that if I really want to experience America, I have to get outside of New York, live elsewhere. And I did. And it was terrible.
The so called American culture looked fake and plastic. I felt like I was stuck in a bad commercial with people who had perfect white teeth, fake smiles and politeness trying to sell me a pretty but an empty box. Streets here are wide, but there are almost no sidewalks, therefore, barley anyone walks. Food is horrible, organic or the other. Planning to see someone can take up about a month to schedule. With very few unique people that I’ve come across who have restored my faith for a bit, I am still hoping that something will pop out and change the situation. Unmistakably, there is one thing I have heard from the people who live here but are originally from somewhere else – Europe to Asia and Africa – no matter how long they have lived here they all say the same thing, that “there is no soul here”. I hear it almost every day and it cannot be a mistake that so many different people I have met over the course of 12 months feel the same way. “America is what you make it to be” is another thing I hear quite a bit, from Americans mostly. And I am trying, I really am… It might take another year or two, or maybe it never happens. I understand that this system works for many people. It has to or it wouldn’t be this way. Still, I can’t help but feeling like a rat, trapped in a maze made out of the same buildings, people with the same faces and stereotypes which are so largely criticized but yet fully accepted by the same people who perpetually insinuate all the problems of this multicultural society.
Dreaming of some warmer places and people I will continue my journey hoping that things will change in this paradox and contradiction called the USA.Hopeless_(Lichtenstein)


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