This is the 5th year that I am celebrating Independence Day here in the US. I find it quite meaningful since this is also my second time I am celebrating the event as a US citizen. Unlike last year when the idea of being a citizen had not yet solidified for me, 17 months after my monumental oath taking, I recognize the difference: I am now more comfortable, and at home in my new country.
It took me quite a while to adjust. My first year in the country was the most challenging, I must admit. Without any family and support group to guide me, I eased in with my new role as a wife to my American husband, while at the same time part of me was trying to think through how would I fit in to my new environment. It was not an easy hurdle to cross. After all, adjustment doesn’t only mean being part of the mix; it also entails planting your roots and defining yourself in a new setting. It was a lot of work: I had to learn how to drive; pass the state’s licensure teaching exam; be credentialed; start a career; find new acquaintances, and, of course, take the arduous immigration journey. Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband who never let any seed of doubt take hold and sway me away from my faith and optimism. He stood by me through thick and thin, and together we overcame any obstacle.
So as I celebrate today’s special holiday with a lunch date with my husband, I look back with a grateful heart at the path I traveled.
Happy Fourth of July!