I’ve never been fond of independence days. I always thought of them as opportunities for others to drink, party, socialize, etc.

I always just stood there and watched the firecrackers but felt bored. While others celebrated and partied and danced, I thought of when I would belong or be able to feel some sort of patriotism. It turns out that I really don’t know where I am from or ever felt that I have truly had a homeland.

I was born in America but moved to Peru when I was merely two years old. I was raised there, but during those eight years, I always felt quite foreign. Sure, everything was familiar about it: the weather…the food…..the schools…..

But I now realize that living there was just a part of my life. I thought I was American even though I had barely any memories of California.

I remember on Peru’s Independence Day, July 28, people would always celebrate by blasting loud salsa music, cooking delicious food, getting drunk and chit-chatting. My mother and her friends always partied to celebrate their heritage but that always gave me an awkward vibe. Even then I probably knew that environment wasn’t me. Maybe I would feel more comfortable in the USA.

When we moved back I was ten years old and had deluded myself about a many great deal of things. I wasn’t very fond of American customs. Kids had been pretty hostile with me. This just didn’t feel right. It was supposed to be fully perfect and I was to happily spend the rest of my days here. Something was odd though. I don’t belong here either.

I am grateful for the many opportunities it has given me.

Americans here grill some barbecue and close businesses for the day. I sigh heavily because I don’t think I care. I can’t really go out anywhere and have no feelings regarding celebration. I’m happy for the country’s independence and the fact that people aren’t getting burnt alive anymore, but I’m in limbo. I don’t know where I am destined to be or where I’ll stop feeling misplaced.

I still have got to appreciate this land. I won’t be here forever and I know I will miss it someday.

I am familiar with the places where I have lived and that feels good. Nostalgia feels good.

However, my goal in life is to live somewhere where I will not get horribly bored and be begging to leave.

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