I am French, so my passport says. I never actually lived in the US, more than 3 months at least. But my deepest secret is this one: I always felt more like an American than anything else.
When I was eight, I decided that I wanted to move to NYC. I should probably blame Friends but when my fellow schoolmates were drawing their perfect houses in the french countryside, I was drawing Times Square. I bought myself a NYC map and learnt it by heart. Do you wonder why I learnt all alone English?
Because I wanted to move in the US at 18, of course! I wanted to study at Yale (or Princeton, I wasn’t really decided back then, because I was ten) in order to become a History teacher. My hero’s name was Axel Foley, but my favorite movie was, and still is, Die Hard. My favorite novel was Little Women. I knew by heart the fifty states before I got ten. I knew what the NRA was, who George Clinton was and which city was the capital of California before turning twelve. But I know way more than folklore: I knew the state’s capitals, I learned which and why some colleges were on the Ivy League, for example.
Turns out, life is not Beverly Hills 90210. I didn’t move there at age 18. I didn’t go to Yale or Princeton, either. But I still deeply love the US, despite everything, actually. I got hurt as hell on 9/11. I know by heart the lyrics of the Star and Spangled Banner (once I got drunk and yelled it in Monaco in the middle of my incredulous former colleagues). I was angry when Trump became president, because he is the most stupid person ever and because I supported Bernie Sanders. My fellow teacher, who is a real american, this one, felt the same thing.
I am not even sure we will go back there. Despite everything, Trump administration for example, I still believe in my American Dream.