I Can't Help Where I Was Born
Today is Independence Day in the United States. It's a day to celebrate our state, and most importantly the simple document that set into motion the events out of which it would rise. All throughout my life it has been a day for fun, for food, for friends, and for family. Today, as I'm writing this from Middle-of-Nowhere, Japan, July 4th is nothing but depressing. I am so tired and so sad. America has lost all meaning to me.
Now I'm not trying to be too dramatic. America is still my home, it's still a place on a map, it's still where all my friends and family reside. But the funny thing about being abroad for nearly a year is that I've learned to divorce the people in my life from the places in my life. I've learned that "where" is never important, only "who."
I used to really like America, and in a lot of ways I still do. For instance I'd take America over Japan any day of the week...I find homogeny to be extremely tedious, and that has been one of the harshest lessons in moving to Japan. However, thinking of America as an idea, as something to be patriotic about, I find it to be totally impossible.
My country has been hijacked by terrorists. By theives and liars and murderers and criminals and ego-maniacs and crazy people. The events of September 11th, 2001 pale in comparison to the systematic campaign of terror our own government has waged against us since that awful day, and the failed conflicts it has inflicted overseas in both Afghanistan and Iraq. I can no longer be proud to be "American" because that word (and you'll learn this if you live abroad) is synonymous with "bully" and "fanatic" and "moron."
I know I have to go back eventually. In fact, I'll be home in just over a month. I'm definitely looking forward to being in a place...to visiting with people. My heart aches for home. But "America?" I can't think about that anymore.
It just makes me sick.