Growing up as a TCK (Third Culture Kid), there are crazy little things that make us tic. One of those is being asked, “Where are you from?”
Well, does that mean where was I born? Where have I lived the longest? What country do I connect with the most?
The other oddity is trying to figure out where our patriotism lies. It’s usually divided for most TCK. Our hearts are in so many different places.
I was as “American” as you can get for a kid. I had that typical ‘pie in the sky’ view of MY America. While living in India, I was proud to be from America. But when I returned to the States, I was proud to be “from” India.
As a teenager I quickly realized America wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. The politicians lied, the crooks got away with so much evil, and it felt like my voice didn’t matter.
My patriotic pride slowly died off. I didn’t care about our flag or our National Anthem. It all felt fake.
The weeks following 9/11, I was stunned. Yes, our country was under attack and it was strange to see it on our homeland, but that wasn’t what stunned me. It was the people. The sacrifices. Americans.
Good Lord, I had it wrong. America wasn’t about Washington DC. It wasn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It wasn’t about policies or agendas. America was about it’s people!
We are America.
I am America.
To all servicemen and woman who have served and are currently serving, I’m so sorry to have disgraced the pride you show every day. I’m sorry I didn’t understand sooner that our country is so much more than it’s ‘suits’. It’s not about being loyal to a politician. It’s about being loyal to the country and the people that fight to keep it free.
Thank you for being a better person than myself and all other’s that continue to focus on the wrong thing. Thank you for doing the hardest part of being American. Thank you.