On being a citizen

* Originally posted July 3, 2013.

* * *

What does being a citizen mean to you?  Really mean?

Does it mean you can vote? Does it mean you belong?

What does it mean?

To me, it means a defining moment in my life.

It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.

To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.

To have a say.

To count.

Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)

Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.

But not anymore.

Why?

Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others  (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from this grateful citizen.

**This is my 12th Independence Day as a new citizen. I’ll celebrate the holiday with flair, independently, of course!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “On being a citizen

  1. Congratulations even if you have been a citizen for years. Both of my parents were naturalized and I celebrate their love of this country and am thankful for my own sense of freedom and belonging.

    • thank you, Dor! Happy Independence Day to you & yours. Take little Elsa for a LONG walk today before the fireworks tonight – I know the dogs hate them! Bests, MJ

  2. Thinking of you this morning (It’s the morning of the 4th of July) always love reading your thoughts about how much you appreciate the freedoms we still enjoy. Take care. a fellow freedom loving farm kid. DM

    • Land of the FREE because of the BRAVE! Despite all the B.S. you see on the “news” I do feel “they” are the minority – there is still FAR more good in this country than the nonsense being highlighted/encouraged at present.

      Have a very happy Independence Day on the farm, farm kid! ~MJ

  3. Wonderful post MJ

  4. I love this story. My grandfather came to the US from England just after the turn of the century (in the early 1900’s), and I would have loved to hear about his younger years – about what it was like to come to a new country. I never knew him as he died when I was 3.

    • ~~ it would be fun to time travel back and get to know him and hear his experiences, for sure!
      What’s interesting to me is that both sides of my parents have family who came through the U.S. at one point and, my great-grandmother (My Mom’s Paternal Grandmother) was born in Wisconsin, steps away from the Michigan border… I love reading what I can find about them — they were all a hearty bunch to have persevered through so much!

      thanks for visiting, and commenting !
      ~MJ

  5. Thanks for writing this post. And may you always feel like a ‘NEW’ citizen. There is something special in that – one that makes you appreciate the best of what the US has to offer.

    • The other night I found a stack of letters from my Mom and sister that I’d tucked away ~ in one of them, Mom describes her own efforts to obtain dual citizenship, since her Dad was born in the USA before immigrating to Canada where he was later naturalized. She wrote about how lucky she felt to have both and modestly that she felt the 2 were lucky to have her, too. I feel the same! There is still more that is right about this country than what the headlines would have any of us believe. I’m not one for indoctrination and I quote her when I say, “it has an off button.”

      Bests! MJ

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