I have lived in another country. I have memorized another’s national anthem. I have danced under the social norms of a place other than here.
I have love for this country in a way that most of my friends cannot and will not understand. I’m not saying I love it *more, because how can we compare our love?
I’m simply saying that I appreciate it on a level which cannot be compromised because of 18 months of first hand experience of NOT living in the United States.
I’m not talking about studying abroad. I’m talking about spending almost 2 years of some of the most formidable times of your childhood observing and comparing the differences between two places. One in which you were born, and one in which your family’s roots live.
Of course there is internal conflict. Of course there is sorrow. Of course there is guilt.
Among of all that there is also pride.
There is also gratefulness.
There is also genuine consideration of the circumstances of others.
I am proud to be an American, but that pride extends beyond the self. My pride is a pride that wants others to bear witness to this truth: for people who have lived in other countries, in other cultures, in more constricting social norms….
This land is home. This land is truth. This land is hope.
Yesterday was cool. It was my first full day back from vacation. My neighbor, Chris, had some friends over so I went over and hung out with them for about an hour. They are pretty cool people. Then at night I went to the wheeler district to participate in festivities with my best beans. Our friends at Revolve Productions, Tobi and Justin, put on a dope event that exceeded anyones expectation as far as turnout goes. People were upset about the fireworks, but when I got to the office this morning I got the down low on what happened and turns out it was the city that moved the fireworks over to the boathouse. I still had a good time. Here are shots from the day.