Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Weight Lifted

I'm probably not going to express this right, so try to read through the words into the meaning.

I feel like a weight has been lifted off me.

For the past 6 1/2 years (yes, six and a half) I have been doing my damnedest to hide my Americaness. When I travel, when I'm at work, when I'm out and about in Oslo....I was never proud of where I came from. (OK, I love being a Texan, but an American? Not so much.) A few times I faked being Norwegian or German or Canadian, just to avoid the questions of "Why is your country the way it is?"

And now, today? I'm actually wearing a US flag pin and I am proud of it (and getting a bit teary eyed writing this.)

I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. Like I can go places and have people be happy for me, be glad that our country has smartened up and shrugged off the dark times of the Bush administration, that the rest of the world can now appreciate me as a symbol of a good country and not the backwards, hawkish, indecipherable mystery that America has been of late.

Maybe, just maybe, I can be the good guy again. People can smile and say "You're American? Great!" and not "Oh.... you're American?....(pause)"

Maybe I don't have to be embarrassed to be American anymore. I can be a Texan AND an American and feel a part of the world again, not a sideliner.

This is good. this is a very good feeling.

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