In the US, I had a good job. Unfortunately it was in an industry that suffered from the feast-famine-feast-famine syndrome (national economic cycles
). During a feast period I was one of the gainfully employed
, but during one such famine period, I found myself one who was temporarily unemployed
After turning in the company car and trying to figure out how to attach a Kroger’s shopping cart to a bicycle, I realised that I could now also be defined as being on the top rung of vagrancy
. I didn’t care to become a vagrant, but vagrants are often migratory
. I had migrated within the US, but I then received a sirens call from Europe to find out what migration really meant. For US purposes I became an émigré
. For European purposes I became an immigrant
(Cue M&S commercial’s Muzak background music)
“ I wasn’t just
an immigrant, I was an economic
In time, I married a siren in the UK, settled in the UK. I attempted to culturally assimilate
. I became a diverse
member of British society (a USC), eventually becoming a UK citizen
. I now have everything in position to become (by US definitions) an expatriate
After my journey of gainful employment, temporarily unemployed, better off vagrant, migrant, émigré, immigrant, gainfully employed, assimilated, diverse member, retiree, citizen, and possibly expatriate, I now consider myself to be me.
But I’m not just an ordinary me, I’m a me with a rich blend of experience from the four corners of….(Kill the M&S commercial’s background music!).
As are all of us who now live abroad. No more labels, please.
TED talks can be predictable, monotonous, and boring. You may have already seen this one, which isn’t bad.