How I Feel About The USA After 30 Years

Just a quick 20 minute rant about life in the United States 🙃

Video Transcript

What’s up, guys? I’m here to talk about my favorite topic, America. So I want to start by saying I recognize that this is a kind of controversial topic and I’m in a privileged position to even be able to talk about this—publicly, especially. And that I’m gonna talk about America as a whole and some of the things that I’ve experienced.

But I also want to say that for this particular video, I’m focusing on a lot of the negative aspects of American society and just pointing them out and sharing some things that I’ve observed and sharing some things with you guys, in case you aren’t living in the U.S. and want to understand more about kind of what’s going on or what’s motivating me to move abroad.

But I want to say, like, obviously this is very negative focused and there are a lot of positive things and things to be thankful for, even to living in the U.S. and lucky in a lot of ways to be born in the U.S. and have the opportunities that I’ve had, have the opportunities to make insane money if I want to. But obviously that’s not everything in life and that’s what this video is about, so let’s get into it…

I have never felt the patriotism or, like, sense of pride and, like, super excitement about being American and being patriotic. My whole life I’ve never really felt that. And I always felt weird that I didn’t feel that. That, like something was wrong with me or that I was, like, being unappreciative of what we have here in the U.S. Or that a lot of people say that if you’re not patriotic, that means you don’t support the military and the veterans and the people that are sacrificing their lives for all the freedoms and good things that we get. And I don’t think that’s true.

I think you can be a critic of your home country or your government and still be supportive of its people at the same time.

So, yeah, I mean, I’ve never been super patriotic, so it’s not that surprising that I am leaving, but I’ve also just been very interested in, I mean, the rest of the world and the history and the things that we have done as a country to the rest of the world that in our American history kind of gets brushed under the rug and everything is positioned to make it look like we’re the heroes and we’re going and saving these other countries from themselves, basically, and fixing everybody and fixing their governments and turning everything into democracy. That we’re heroes and we’re making the world a better place and that America is the best place in the world to live. The happiest, the healthiest, the wealthiest, most importantly.

And that we shouldn’t even consider wanting to live anywhere else because the US is so great. And that’s the narrative that has been woven through everything in our society. In the U.S., it’s usually more subtle, which I think is kind of even more weird.

But throughout school and everything you read, news articles, everything is, like, subtly pushing you into thinking like, oh, wow, the rest of the world is bad or scary or evil, or they’re out to get us, or the rest of the world is third world countries and we have it so good here and we have all these privileges and blah, blah, which we do—not ignoring that fact.

We have a lot of privileges. I have a lot of privileges to even be able to be having this conversation.

But the point is that America isn’t the greatest place on earth. It’s just, it’s not.

It depends what your goals in life are and what you want to do with your life and how you want to spend it. For me, I’ve gotten to the point where quality of life is the most important thing over money and status in career and everything else. And those are all the things that I feel like throughout my life, being in school, just being in American society, you’re kind of forced to care about those things, and it’s so deeply embedded in your DNA that it’s hard to undo it even now.

Like, I’ve been working for myself for almost three years now, which is crazy, but it’s been so hard for me to unlearn the, like, just capitalistic mindset, I guess, where it’s like every moment of my day has to be productive and it has to be making money all the time, and I have to be striving towards the next thing and hitting the next milestone and moving the needle a little bit every day and slowly making more money over time and investing and having multiple businesses and side hustles and doing all the things and just always chasing something.

So you’re always like chasing the carrot, but you’re never getting any closer to it. And I think that’s the realization that I’ve had in the last couple years that really makes me want to leave.

And I’m not saying that other places in the world don’t do this too, but I think it’s really just such an integral part of society in America that it’s kind of impossible to avoid.

If you don’t want to focus on basically working as much as you can, making as much money as you can. It’s hard to get around that and it’s hard to live a more sustainable life because everything is so expensive, everything’s moving so fast.

If you just even stop to take a break, it feels like you’re already so far behind. Like there’s no room for rest or life or vacations or anything.

And obviously, like, I’m not saying nobody ever takes a vacation or anything like that, obviously people do. But I think the mindset in Europe specifically is a lot different than the U.S. where it’s like true relaxation, true time off of work, where you’re not checking emails and answering phone calls and stuff while you’re on vacation or taking time for your health and doing whatever you need to do and not being on call during that time.

There’s a meme that’s like Europeans taking a month off in the summer just because they want to take a vacation and they don’t respond to anybody’s emails or calls or anything.

And then the American version is like having to take off like one single day for open heart surgery and your email responder still says like, “oh, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can” or whatever.

There’s just no feeling of true rest and also just like feeling like you’re living life, I guess, and like enjoying the people around you, the places around you, nature.

Like, there is a little bit of that, but it feels like you have to cram it into like, oh, I have a day to like go for a hike and enjoy this thing. And then tomorrow I gotta just hit the ground running and make up for that time that I was off.

And I don’t know, I’m rambling at this point, but it’s hard to let go of that, like inner feeling that’s like I have to just keep being productive, keep making money, keep kind of one upping myself every year, making more money, moving up in my career in some way, buying a house or getting married or whatever that looks like, and just kind of hitting all these stepping stones.

But it feels like it’s always, there’s always another thing and that it’s like a hamster wheel, it’s impossible to get out of.

So I’ve been, for the last three years working for myself, slowly, at least trying to slow down the hamster wheel that I’m on. And I have to a large degree, but like I said, with rent being super expensive, health insurance (don’t even get me started on that topic).

Food is expensive, basic stuff like soap and laundry detergent and household things are expensive. And all of it makes it harder and harder to take a step back because you just feel like you’re in this like basically fight or flight all the time where you’re like, alright, well, I could take a week off and enjoy my life, but then I’m gonna be a week behind with my work and my paycheck and whatever, and will I make enough to survive the next month? I don’t know.

So that’s kind of how I feel personally. And it’s, it is like partially my own doing to some extent, because I could go out and get some six figure job. I feel confident in myself, the career that I’ve built, in the skill set that I have, that I could actually go and do that, but I don’t want to do that because then I’m just going to be working even more, even harder for a company, for somebody else’s bottom line and their dream or whatever, instead of my own.

And what am I going to gain from that? Like, I’m going to gain more money. Cool. But if I have all this money and I don’t have vacation time or I’m stressed all the time out. Then what is that really worth?

And you can factor in benefits, like, I’ll get a free laptop and I’ll get some -maybe- halfway decent health insurance, maybe, and a little bit of time off and maybe like an office or something. But it’s….again, it’s like, what is it worth?

Is it worth sacrificing my quality of life and stress levels and whatever else may come about from the job? For me, the answer to that has been no for the last couple years. So I’ve chosen to make less money in some instances.

You know, freelancing is all over the place. Some months are great, some are not so great. So it depends where I’m at at any particular time. But I’ve made that decision for myself that it’s worth it to take that step back and not make a ton of money for the sake of having free time and being able to make my own schedule, being able to travel more, see friends more, enjoy my life, because we don’t know how long we’re going to be here.

You know, I think a lot of the American mindset is like, “Okay, if I work, work, work for however many years till I’m 60 or 65 or whatever, then I can retire and I’ll have all the money in the world and I can do whatever I want. I could travel, and that’s when I’ll finally live my life.”

And that’s so shitty to think that you’re not going to fully live your life until you’re like 65 and you won’t be able to do a lot of things you could have done when you were in your thirties, forties, whatever…it’s just sad to think about.

And a lot of people with our shitty healthcare, shitty food, shitty lifestyles are coming up for retirement and they retire and then a year or two later they have a heart attack or something. So they didn’t even get to enjoy all the stuff that they spent their literal entire life building. And that’s just super sad to me and super messed up. And that’s what I’m trying to avoid doing.

Even if it means living a more modest life or scaling back on certain things so that I can have time to actually live life, then that’s worth it to me because I don’t know how long I’m going to be here.

Anything could happen in the next couple years, in the next 30 years before I eventually do retire. So it’s a hard thing to figure out.

Work life balance in general is obviously a challenge. But in the U.S., it seems impossible to be able to survive and have the money that you need to live and then also try to balance your actual, like, self care and rest and things like that.

You can’t have both. You can’t have all the money in the world and be healthy, essentially, unless you’re just lucky and born into a rich family.

But so those are a lot of the reasons why I’m looking forward to getting out of the US, among many other reasons. Political and religious and otherwise; just mindset stuff, I think is quite different, too.

I’ve noticed being in European countries, there’s a lot more of a community mindset or like a “help your neighbor” mindset.

And I’m not saying there’s none of that in the U.S., but I think there’s less of it and it’s a lot of times less genuine. So we live our lives in such an individualistic way where like, we drive everywhere, we have our own houses separate from other people, and we’re all in this kind of like fight or flight mode of survival and doing our own thing that I think it closes us off more than we might realize to other people.

And obviously there are good people in America not saying that; there’s a lot of nice people that are willing to help you out when you need something or pull over and help you change a flat tire or something like that. But I think that feeling is just stronger in countries in Europe, for example.

It’s more of like a “we’re in this together,” not a “we’re fighting against each other” kind of thing.

Especially with like politics and religion. In the U.S., everything is so insanely divided and it makes it impossible to have that true community feeling.

Because whether you’re on the left or on the right or in between or somewhere on that scale, if you disagree politically with someone, a lot of times that means that they’re not going to be your friend anymore or they’re going to freak out and yell at you and be like, “How could you believe this?!” or whatever and not want to support you in a lot of cases just over politics or even over what religion you believe in…or don’t believe in.

Everything is so divided and it’s so harsh and like, I have to be X or Y, I can’t be in the middle. And if I’m x and you’re y, we can’t be friends.

So I don’t know, it’s just there’s a lot of little things that add up over time to make you feel kind of isolated and stressed and not to mention healthcare.

Like our healthcare is obviously shit, and that’s not helping anything.

So I’m looking forward to living somewhere where I have more of that support societally and also have healthcare and feel like when I’m spending money on taxes, they’re actually going to something that is going to benefit both me and the society as a whole.

Whereas now I feel like I’m paying taxes and I don’t see where they go. I don’t really get anything out of it because we don’t get free health care, we don’t get free schooling, we don’t really get anything from the government.

They just spend billions of dollars on the military and being involved in everyone else’s affairs and everything and political shit.

So it kind of sucks to feel like your government is not supporting you, not even necessarily taking care of you, but just like straight up doesn’t support you or like really care about your well being. And that could lead to a conversation about communism and whatnot. But I’m not gonna go there.

So, yeah, I don’t know, I’m just interested to see how other parts of the world live and how it compares to the U.S. and see how I end up feeling after being there.

I’m thinking and hoping that my quality of life and mental health and even physical health and stuff is going to be a lot better once I’m there. So I’m excited for that.

But yeah, that’s my spiel for today.

I will see you guys in the next video.

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