Happy belated Birthday.
So sorry I didn’t write until now. I was busy hanging out with college friends, eating an undisclosed amount of food, and alternately “oooh-ing” and “ahhh-ing”/ complaining about the fireworks. Also summer school.
But here it is. Happy Birthday.
Thanks for sticking around for 238 years.
I know there’s been
some a lot of trouble in recent years.
You’ve been through some hard financial times (Just like me! Twins!)
You’ve been attacked.
You’ve been bullied by your own inhabitants in a variety of ways.
It’s that last one that brings me to this: Your birthday present.
My birthday present to you is the gift of love, which you desperately need, in the form of a letter. So here you go.
I love you.
I love the fact that I can drive an hour and be in a completely different physical environment than my urban jungle. I love that I can drive two hours and be in a different state. Thanks for keeping me from getting bored with my surroundings.
I love that my school is nationally recognized for its diversity in the student population. I love that there is so much diversity within our universities in this beautiful country that there are even rankings in the first place. Thank you for being so open and welcoming.
I love that I have the freedom to go disappear from most of the world for two hours on a Sunday morning without a second thought. That I can tell people I’m a Christian, and I might get weird looks, but I won’t be killed later that night. So thanks for keeping that up for 238 long years.
I love that as a woman, I have the opportunity to work wherever I want to work as long as I’m qualified. It took a hot second for you to catch on to that trend but we’re here and it’s pretty great. So thanks.
I love that you contain little pockets of beauty in big and small places (amber waves of grain etc.). In the Grand Canyon, the beaches of Florida, and the stark urban gorgeousness of NYC, to be sure. But also in the Indiana summer sunsets that take my breath away, the striking drops along the Pennsylvania roads, and the long wooden boardwalk along the pier in the midst of the insanity of Chicago.
I love how our government changes every 4-8 years, with an inevitable backlash of angst from part of the population, and you survive without falling into civil war, unlike so much of the developing world.
I love how everyone hates on you for oversized portions and such (and in all love, it might be getting a bit out of control), but then again you give us great things like cookie dough milkshakes and elephant ears so once again, thank you.
I love that you produce men and women who are willing to be far from home and far from everything comfortable and normal in order to fight for our safety and for ideals they may or may not agree with. But they still remain in uniform and that’s a pretty cool demonstration of dedication and love for a nation so thank you for providing us real-life heroes.
I love that despite all the vitriol that is spit your way at the drop of a hat (or a SCOTUS decision, government change, business scandal, overexposure of a celebrity….it goes on), you shudder, shake it off, and keep charging ahead.
So I guess, really, my birthday present to you is belief. Belief that everything is going to turn out ok. Belief that you aren’t falling apart at the seams permanently. Belief that you and I? We are going to be around, as strong as ever, for another 238 years because Americans are stubborn little pains in the world’s backside and just won’t go away as easily as so many of the world’s inhabitants seem to think (and your own citizens seem to think).
Happy (belated) Birthday USA.
(*does this make this letter-ception. Like Inception but with a letter within a letter?),