Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More Fourth of July memories

When I was living outside of the US, July 4th became really meaningful to me. I remember one year I was traveling with a friend and stopped to see a friend of mine who was a long-time resident of Guatemala, but who had a home here in the US. Their little town was festive with red, white, and blue. After a day out on the water, we headed to the bay to see the fireworks show.

It was a normal fireworks show, but the group of us were hilarious: me, my expat friends, and the friend I was traveling with, who had only recently become a US citizen. For all of us, being able to watch the show that year was a special treat! As I watched, my love for home and country almost overwhelmed me. Sounds corny, I know. But living outside of the US doesn't mean I'm not patriotic, it just means I like living outside the US.

That same year, when I was talking about traveling over the 4th and possibly missing the fireworks, my sister had said, "Why do you care? You don't even live here!" I realized then that my choices would be misunderstood, that people would think I lived elsewhere because I did not want to live in the US, and that my motives would be questioned, even by people that know me well. So be it. I cannot live my life and make my choices afraid of what other people may think of me.

But as we head into July 4th this year, let me say that I love my country, no matter where in the world I happen to be!

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