I recieved an email from a friend today offering her support after yesterday's dreary entry. She told me she knows how I feel having spent a lot of time in Italy (her husband is Italian and now lives in the States with the intention of becoming a citizen). She told me not to let it get to me too much. She said,'You have lived here and you know what this country is about. Yes, we have a
shitty leader, but he does not define us and you were here during 9/11 to see
what being an American truly means.'
That statement says it all. When 9/11 happened America changed and what it means to be American changed as well. People here don't understand our Patriotism. They think it's strange that we pledge allegiance to the flag and stand for our national anthem. Yes, we've always done that, but since 9/11 I think we all stand a bit taller.
Being from NJ, living so close to NY, 9/11 hit me hard (as I'm sure it did all of the US). I went to school with someone that died that day. One of my best friends is married to a NYC fireman, and nearly everyone I know either knew someone that died (some knew several) or knew someone who lost someone. It was a time I will never forget. It was a time we all joined together and our American pride got even stronger. I remember seeing George Bush standing there in the rubble, making his speech and feeling inspired and admiring him as our leader. It's amazing to me to look back on that because now, I hate the site of that man. At the time, I guess I needed to believe in him and under times of such sadness, we can make ourselves see things that aren't there in order to find comfort.
Living here and having to deal with the anti-Americanism has been difficult at best. I love my country and although there are a lot of things I don't like about it, I am still proud to be an American. My friend is right - they don't know what our country is really about. And yes, we have a shitty leader, but he does not define us. I was there on 9/11 and even though I couldn't articulate it if I tried - I know what it truly means to be American and I wouldn't want it any other way.
I quit smoking when I moved to the UK, mainly because I promised my husband I would. I did it for him, but not because I wanted to. I enjoyed smoking. I missed it, but quit successfully for many years until I went through a stressful time and started again. My relapse lasted over a year. The whole time, I was ashamed of myself. I hated the smell. I hated how I felt, I hated the health risks and I hated my lack of willpower. I've known a few people who have tried e-cigarettes. I was a skeptic. I thought it was going from one habit to another. The people I knew that tried it, always had it and were constantly sucking on it. It seemed to me they were more addicted to it then they were cigarettes. I don't know any smokers that constantly had a cigarette in their hand. Then in January, I saw a piece about it on the BBC News. I watched with interest thinking they were going to say that they have found it to be harmful. What they said was quite the o