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  • Writer's pictureLiz

Missing My Innocence 🇺🇸🎆

As a kid, I loved the Fourth of July. Sneaking my first sip of beer, eating homemade vanilla ice cream with strawberries, and “writing” my name with sparklers are all treasured childhood memories I created on Independence Days in the 1990s and early 2000s.   

But as an adult, I dread the holiday. Loud fireworks trigger my PTSD and make me anxious for animals. Exploring ugly chapters of American history that I didn't learn about growing up — or even in college — means patriotic anthems and American flags rarely make me feel good anymore. I’ve witnessed some dark chapters of American history in my lifetime as well, and I worry about my nation's future. I worry about my fellow Americans.

I love my home, I don’t want to live anywhere else, and I appreciate the freedoms I do have. But there was a time when I naively believed this was truly the land of the free, not the land of the free-er than some. The home of the brave, not the home of some brave folks and some very greedy people in power. I miss my naivety; I miss my innocence.

I miss watching The Patriot and feeling proud. I miss standing for the national anthem because I genuinely want to, not because that's what my grandpa would want me to do. I miss being awed by firework displays instead of stressed out by them. 

Independence Day makes me sad, and I can’t fix it. What I can do: enjoy my home, enjoy my loved ones, and enjoy some good food. 

I hope y'all have a happy Independence Day. 

However you celebrate the holiday — or don’t — be good to yourself and others. (That means no bottle rocket fights, please and thank you.)

I’ll be drinking and snacking and cuddling my critters until the noise stops. ❤️🤍💙


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