I say this out of habit. Having spent the last 12 years living abroad, I’m used to identifying my self by nationality. I’m often tickled when being American is not an obvious to others. And when even stateside, I get a few questions about my ethnic and national origin.
I’m pretty patriotic these days - having newly repatriated, the sweetness of the American dream KoolAid is tasty and refreshing. It was only after I moved abroad that I began to see how bright-eyed and bushy-tailed we characteristically are. The belief in all things possible, the child-like innocence that leads us to take risks (and poke our noses into places where they don’t belong because we’ve naively oversimplified the situation), that Mother Bear Bravado that nurtures often through tough love followed by long heart-felt embraces in the pursuit of happiness. In Asia, I was the immigrant - a strange twist of roles that enhanced my understanding and added flavor to the truth I knew - you can come from nothing and become something. Something - a successful business owner, artist, feminist, The President of the United States. Pretty powerful stuff.
This patriotic pondering brings me to a phrase I hear my little girl saying about 20 times a day, “I can do it”. No, “Yes, I can” or “Actually, I can”, but somewhere between “I am” and “Just do it”. Where does she get this from? Is she the inspired (and super cute) embodiment of American and foreign-born chutzpah? Or does she just clearly know her self? Either way, I think it no coincidence that I am privy to her daily mantras. Her confidence is affirming of my influence, genetic and otherwise and a reminder of what lay inside me. Speaking of spirit and wellness, my 4-year old could be the next self-help guru. We should all be so lucky to have mastered the art of having confidence. It’s essential in seeing all those possibilities come to light, life and reality.
Can you do it?