Home.

On this July 4th, this most regal of holiday, with plenty of domestic beer and hot dog eating contests, I feel compelled to reflect on my country of origin. This is an incredibly difficult undertaking because it will take everything in my being not to fume (did I say fume? I mean explode.) over the decision made earlier this week by the Supreme Court  regarding women’s healthcare, namely contraceptives. No, I will not discuss the idiocy that courses through this country to have four men allowed to make a decision that does not affect their lives because they are, quite apparently, not female. And to be honest, this isn’t the first thing that America has done that is completely stupid in awhile, it’s just the most recent.

But isn’t this what makes the “home of the brave” great? We let everyone have a say and an opinion. We let even the most simple- and close-minded people freely speak, even though the rest of us want to tape their mouths shut. In the name of freedom, of course. 

But I wouldn’t have us any other way.

Sure, as a country, generally speaking, we are a bit too obsessed with food and a little behind in education. But I’ve never met more passionate people than Americans. And we’re passionate about everything. Media, beer, technology, food, fashion, art, etc. You name it, and we have someone who has absolutely dedicated their life to making the entire industry better.

And I’m not saying that other countries aren’t, uh, better than America. I’m going to say this slowly so I don’t get a million accusations of egocentrism in the comments. Plenty of countries are so much better than America, and we all know it. China is advancing as a society at an alarming rate. The Scandinavian countries have some of the best schools in the world. The Netherlands does everything, well, better than here. Including solar roadways. Hell, I lived in Ireland for several months, and I seriously question my sanity for coming back. I mean, they have beer AND a beautiful countryside? What more could you want?

But it isn’t home. And I don’t consider America home because I grew up here. I call America home because it calls me home. I can’t find a place where I can be more myself. We are called the land of the free for a reason. We are free to live, and love, and be. And we may try to control each other’s lives but somehow, we return to our roots. And we remember that this country was created to escape persecution, not to embrace it. We are a haven for others, and despite certain, offensive individuals, we are an accepting and loving people. I don’t mean to get on my soapbox, and I’m not about to quote the Statue of Liberty, but I think we should all remember what our troops see in our country to want to fight for it. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. I may not always live in America, but it will always hold a place in my heart.

So, I absolutely encourage you to travel the world. There’s some wonders out there that you should not miss. But if you ever want to be a competitive eater, you should come here. And seriously, if you want to find a true home for life, come to America. We’ll feed you (a lot) and keep you safe. We promise.

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