Do you get butthurt when people say bad things about America? Or, do you have an open mind and realize that even though America is a great place, some problems need addressing. And, yes, Donald Trump is terrible, but these things have been going on for a hell of a long time.
As much as we would like, you can’t blame him for everything.
I’m talking about racism, the out of control gun culture, the wealth gap, the issues that capitalism creates, entitlement, rudeness, snobbery, religion interfering in government, nationalism, Republicans, Democrats, the rich running everything and making it impossible for the little guy to succeed and teaming up with the government to screw the people, everyone being overly litigious, anti-vaxxers, lobbyists, corporations (in general), and Mitch McConnell.
Should I go on?
What I’m trying to say is the United States is not a perfect place, and if you are one of those people who cry when someone says anything bad about the country, I don’t know if we can be friends.
If you are one of those people, I ask that you stop reading. Don’t comment, don’t clap. I am going to talk about my personal feelings about leaving my home in the States and finding a new and better life in a place where most of you wouldn’t live.
Here we go!
In September of 2011, I boarded a plane in Tucson, Arizona. The total hours of all my flight before I arrived at my destination, with layovers included, would be 26 hours.
What was the overwhelming feeling I experienced as the airplane left the tarmac and screamed into the air?
I was scared.
I picked up my whole life — the only life I’ve ever known — and stuck it in a suitcase. I would be arriving in a place I only knew from pictures, to live with a woman I had never known in person. I didn’t know how people would react to me. I didn’t know if I could survive in a place that everyone told me was a third-world country. I didn’t know if my mental illness would allow me to live a normal life in peace.
I was completely and utterly frightened.
But I had a dream.
Something had to change
I had a dream that I could find a place where I could be accepted. I wanted to find a place where everybody loved me, not for what I could give them, but for who I was inside. I wanted to find peace, both in my environment and inside myself.
Thankfully, I found such a place.
It took me a lot of years to realize what a gem the Philippines was. Far from a third-world country (it is a developing country), it is a place of stark contrasts. In one place you can find extreme poverty and in the next, unbelievable beauty. It is a place where the people are warm and welcoming, but a few are close-minded and stubborn.
It’s a place where I was tested to the very limit of my being, and I came out the other side whole. I became healthy, in body and mind. I found joy in my life, where I was never able to find it before.
It took some time. The first five years I lived in the Philippines, I spent my days traveling back and forth to the U.S. There was always something that took me back: my kids, my business, misunderstandings. I was under the mistaken impression that if I was going to be a success, I had to live in America to do it. My wife even lived under the belief that America was the land of milk and honey. Many people here still think that if you live overseas, you have finally made it in life.
But, that is very far from the truth.
America isn’t the only game in town
I’ve finally seen, especially in the last two years since his royal orangeness has been in office, that there is nothing I find attractive about the place I called home for most of my life.
Sure, anything you could ever want is available in the States. But, isn’t that part of the problem? People aren’t living for happiness anymore. They are living to buy the next new thing. They want every new iPhone released, a 60-inch flat-screen, a BMW, and a big house on the corner next to the Joneses, who always seem to have more stuff than them.
People buy self-help books to try to fix what’s wrong with them when all they need is a little minimalism and an enema.
They feel entitled. They feel like they are special and deserving of every little thing they want.
They complain about the President and the government, yet still, keep voting the same people in office. They cry about the corporations not paying taxes, yet still, spend hundreds every week at Amazon and Walmart. They scream because America is losing its religion, but have no moral compass in their lives.
It’s not like that everywhere in the world. In many places, life is much simpler. Yes, you still have to work hard to make a living to feed your family. But there isn’t a race to gain so many material things. There are moral standards. There is a strong bond in the family. People don’t kick their kids to the curb at 18 and forget about their parents when they have their own lives.
People are kind to one another. People are generally good. I’m not saying everyone is awful in America, but it seems they have more than their share of assholes per square foot.
I’ve found a place that I now call home. I am still American, and I still pay taxes. I have a business based in Delaware. But, I don’t think I will ever live in America again.
I feel that strongly about it.
I am finally happy with my life and environment.
Isn’t that enough?
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