If one wishes desperately – so desperately as to be willing to do or give up almost anything to fulfil the wish – to become a member of a certain group, then one should study said group, yes? Learn from them. Get to know them. Figure out how they became part of the group. Build a network linking oneself to the group.
Thus have I started to “collect” expats – Americans living in the UK – in addition to my network of British friends, tweeps, and Facebookers. It started with following @lynneguist on Twitter because I identified her as a fellow word geek – and then I noticed her location is listed as Brighton! Then I found @notfrmroundhere. And they have blogs! One blog led to another, until tonight, when I ended up making a Google Reader folder specifically for the blogs of expats.
Whether anything will come of this, I don’t know. If nothing else, I gain a window into the world I want to join. A vicarious look round my beloved Home through the eyes of those who have gone ahead of me down the path I wish to follow. (Pardon the romantic language; I was most recently reading the musings of a woman on the cusp of expatriation and whose style of writing seems to have resonated with my mood tonight.)
I’m glad to have found these people – mostly women, interestingly – and will look out for more. I look forward to reading what they write. But for now, in this moment, my thoughts are too melancholy to share, so I will end here and bustle myself off to bed.
Before I go, one note on the title of this entry: First idea (“The collection of expats”) gave the game away too fast. So I shifted to “specimens”, which was far too clinical; I’m not looking to do any dissections! Then “butterflies” flitted to mind – bringing with it images of beautiful creatures pinned to cardboard under glass. No. “Fireflies” – beautiful critters of childhood summers, moments of illumination caught for a moment and looked at, then released to visit again later. …Yes, that will do.
(And given how I spent this weekend, and how I should have spent it, here’s a PsyBlog entry on procrastination. Can I forgive myself for this weekend and get down to work tomorrow and the next day and the next?)