There is nothing that will open your eyes more, than moving your life into another country. I can't believe that it's been over 5 years now, since I actually lived in America. On one hand it seems like yesterday I was there, but on the other it really does seem like ages ago. One part of me continues to be shocked by this culture every day, while the other part of me is so used to being in Romania that I forget what it's like anywhere else. For me, moving to this country was like a salvation of sorts. It was living here that gave me freedom. It was here I learned to grow, open my mind, and become exactly who I needed to be. It was hard at first, being so far away from my friends. But having been going through typical teenager type drama with most of them at the time anyway, getting away was just what I needed! No peer pressure. Sometimes that is a really good thing, and for me it was. Living here I wasn't always looking behind me, seeking approval from my entourage. Living here, I let my creativity and interests bloom without the influence of others in the back of my mind. It was here that I truly learned to be me! It made me strong, it made me thankful. I learned more about life. I took less for granted. For me, moving here was a small and beautiful miracle in my life that I continue to look back on with a grateful heart.
I came to adore this country. It is truly a beautiful, enchanting place, that captures you so intently and leaves you wanting to know more. It holds so many secrets, so much intrigue. It's a land full of contrasts, old but new, modern yet still behind times. With an ancient history, Romania is an old country with a colorful past. Without a doubt, this country is one I'll always think of as simply amazing. So much beauty. So much wilderness. The place I'll always remember as my home.
All that said, I still find myself missing the United States. It's normal, considering it is the land on which I was born and lived in for so many years. I was so blessed to be able to travel America and see so much of my homeland. I've never known such a big place, I can speak from personal experience, looking back on all those days spent in the car! I made so many wonderful memories in the USA with my family & friends. I was privileged to be able to live in so many different places and experience so many unique things.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Our nations birthday, and a rather big holiday if you are American! Every 4th of July I get a little bit homesick. I miss seeing fireworks, and waving sparklers around as the sun begins to set. I miss having BBQ's, fish fries, picnics, and cookouts surrounded by family and friends. I miss going to see baseball games, and standing up to hear the national anthem played. I miss how cheesy it is to see everyone decked out in red, white and blue and seeing the American flag literally everywhere!! Americans are very proud of their country and that is something I miss seeing. People who fight for what they believe in and what they think is right. Seeing a country that stands together and is so strong in spirit. Our country may not be what it used to be, but it is still what I believe to be a good country. And for all the disputers who have snarky things to say about how horrible and evil America is...they need to get out and see a little more of the world. The bottom line comes down to the fact that we are a very privileged (and somewhat spoiled!) people. We have been given freedom of speech and religion, and we have the possibility to grow and succeed. In America you have choices and options that others only dream of having. So before you are too quick to judge or perhaps despair about America's current state....look beyond, at the rest of the world and you might just find yourself grateful for the life you've been given. And for me, instead of feeling blue & homesick, I suppose I'll do what my mom always tells me to do... :-) Count my blessings.
Today I feel blessed to be an American. Sure, I'm not always the most proud of citizens, many times I am ashamed at how my country handles things or how my fellow countrymen act and respond to others. (ahem, living abroad will teach you that Americans aren't really such a beloved people! and sadly much of it is very understandable!) But despite all of the flaws of the USA, I still stand by her side and remain proud. Proud of the history behind me. Of the good people still there. This post ended up coming out a LOT longer than I had thought it would when I first sat down and started writing! I suppose the nostalgia makes me ramble a bit. I hope it was understandable and nothing came across offensive or disagreeable. I think I wrote it more for me than anyone else!
My biggest blessing on this 4th of July is that due to my husbands long term work trip getting slightly delayed...we'll be spending this holiday together. ^_^ We're planning on joining my parents and sister for a nice picnic tomorrow, hopefully somewhere quiet and cool. The 100 degree (+!) summer heat is killing this poor pregnant lady! :-) So I'd like to wish everyone (well, all of you Americans out there!) a very happy 4th of July. Spend time with your family & friends. Celebrate your freedom and be thankful for the country you've been privileged to be a part of. And if you actually read this entire post, you are possibly the best blog follower ever for hanging in there throughout the whole thing! :-)
Until we meet again,
P.S. Just for fun, I'd love to hear what all the other Americans are doing to celebrate July 4th this year! Leave a comment below if you'd like to share! :-)