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Old 08-13-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,831,266 times
Reputation: 826

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Does anyone feel like the nationality they were born/raised with is wrong?

I am a born and raised American. My family has been in the US for many generations. Born in San Francisco. I've never left the US except for a few trips to Canada.

Yet, I've never really 'felt' American. The pledge of allegiance was always a chore to me. 4th of July is about fireworks and BBQ IMO. I never felt like 9/11 was an attack on me as an American, just something that happened to a bunch of other people. I even kind of understand why they did it, not that I think it was justified or anything. American hegemony is annoying and we really are an existential threat to other cultures, I think 9/11 was in their eyes an act of self defense, and I wouldn't be too shocked if our own government allowed it to happen or even planned it because our government has done a lot of evil things in its history.

As to what I would feel better as, maybe a Canadian or a Scandinavian or even English. Does anyone else feel the same way about their country? Like their 'personality' isn't right for their country of origin?

The only American value I'm really adamant about is the free speech thing.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:34 PM
 
729 posts, read 878,969 times
Reputation: 1656
I think that if you don't accept yourself for who you are, then you'll never be truly happy with yourself, if I'm being honest.

Even though you might feel that you were born into the wrong nationality, a part of you will always still be American whether you like it or not. You were born here, you were raised here, and it's a part of your own, individual history and identity whether you want it to be or not. Even if you left right now,renounced your citizenship, and never came back, you're still always going to have that time of your life that you spent here. I'm not saying that this is a good thing or a bad thing or that your sentiments are right or wrong, I'm just saying that I think that this is merely a reality that you cannot escape no matter how hard you try and that it's probably best just to accept it.

And the US is FAR, FAR from perfect, I don't think anyone would claim that it is, but show me a place that is. I think many other countries in the world do a lot of things far better than us, but I also think that we do a lot of things far better than many other countries in the world as well. And I'm all for constructive criticism too (God knows we need it) and I myself pick apart many, many of the faults that the US has.

Also, and I'm not dissing Canada here (I, too, love Canada), but as an American who has lived abroad in numerous countries for years at a time in the past, I think that you probably don't realize how American you truly are until you're really living (and not vacationing) in a foreign country for an extended period of time. It might actually surprise you. Just a thought though.

Here's an interesting, but dated, article that I found about an American moving to Canada. I really don't care or have an opinion on it, but perhaps you might be interested in reading it. Before You Flee to Canada, Can We Talk? (washingtonpost.com)

Whatever you end up doing with your life, I wish you good luck.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: where people are either too stupid to leave or too stuck to move
3,985 posts, read 6,093,881 times
Reputation: 3660
Well you could leave and become a citizen of a place you want to be?
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:54 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 49,068,273 times
Reputation: 11862
I agree, we'll find some things about our nation that fit our personalities, and not others...maybe we might find we don't embrace some traits of our nationality, but I'm sure you can find some things, and your personality is also moulded by your upbringing. If you actually lived in Sweden you might find you don't really fit in either, for other reasons.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
668 posts, read 862,399 times
Reputation: 600
All I can say is you should wait to pronounce such judgements until you have had the chance to travel more. Your appreciation for being born in the US will increase with every country you visit, especially if you travel outside of Western Europe. There is a lot to learn from other countries and cultures, but the one thing that sticks out, no matter where you go, is that we in the US are fantastically privileged to even have the opportunity to travel.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
20,858 posts, read 22,166,049 times
Reputation: 17210
Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemaybe View Post
Does anyone feel like the nationality they were born/raised with is wrong?

I am a born and raised American. My family has been in the US for many generations. Born in San Francisco. I've never left the US except for a few trips to Canada.

Yet, I've never really 'felt' American. The pledge of allegiance was always a chore to me. 4th of July is about fireworks and BBQ IMO. I never felt like 9/11 was an attack on me as an American, just something that happened to a bunch of other people. I even kind of understand why they did it, not that I think it was justified or anything. American hegemony is annoying and we really are an existential threat to other cultures, I think 9/11 was in their eyes an act of self defense, and I wouldn't be too shocked if our own government allowed it to happen or even planned it because our government has done a lot of evil things in its history.

As to what I would feel better as, maybe a Canadian or a Scandinavian or even English. Does anyone else feel the same way about their country? Like their 'personality' isn't right for their country of origin?

The only American value I'm really adamant about is the free speech thing.
I'm not surprised by your post. I sometimes wonder whether people living in the western U.S. feel less connected to the historical roots and core of this country. Whenever I visit the west coast, I feel like it's "way out there."
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:32 PM
 
177 posts, read 248,431 times
Reputation: 148
Are you from Ireland? Why not try visiting then possibly living there.

If you don't l;ike where you live, you should move somewhere else. Explore Europe. Get out in the world.

Last edited by erikthealien; 08-13-2012 at 10:55 PM..
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:17 AM
 
Location: C.E.O. of the international men of leisure
401 posts, read 568,575 times
Reputation: 777
Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemaybe View Post
Does anyone feel like the nationality they were born/raised with is wrong?

I am a born and raised American. My family has been in the US for many generations. Born in San Francisco. I've never left the US except for a few trips to Canada.

Yet, I've never really 'felt' American. The pledge of allegiance was always a chore to me. 4th of July is about fireworks and BBQ IMO. I never felt like 9/11 was an attack on me as an American, just something that happened to a bunch of other people. I even kind of understand why they did it, not that I think it was justified or anything. American hegemony is annoying and we really are an existential threat to other cultures, I think 9/11 was in their eyes an act of self defense, and I wouldn't be too shocked if our own government allowed it to happen or even planned it because our government has done a lot of evil things in its history.

As to what I would feel better as, maybe a Canadian or a Scandinavian or even English. Does anyone else feel the same way about their country? Like their 'personality' isn't right for their country of origin?

The only American value I'm really adamant about is the free speech thing.
do some traveling. one of two things will happen.
1: you will find an appreciation for your nationality
2: you will maybe find a place somewhere in this that you feel comfortable enough to consider "home".
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:45 AM
 
1,730 posts, read 1,824,829 times
Reputation: 295
There was a time when I felt myself an American, and almost hated Russia. Couldn't wait until I had a chance to move... Then I got to know common yankies, not just intellectuals...

Now I consider myself 100% Russian, and pretty much like Russia - no more fixating on the bad things here, and good things elsewhere.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:18 AM
 
25,058 posts, read 24,848,354 times
Reputation: 11724
OP, I think a lot of Americans of centrist, center-left, and left persuasion feel this way from time to time. There's your chance if you want to leave and not consider yourself an American anymore. But, I have shocking news for you. No matter where you go, no matter how long you live somewhere, you will always be referred to as the American/Yank/Septic, el gringo/americano, der Amerikan, l'américain, etc. by someone somewhere. You can't escape it, and it won't be easy to convince people in the UK that you are American, especially since so many visit Canada and have lived there. If you read UK American expat forums one common complaint long-time residents have is that there are British born locals who ask silly questions like, "Wow American? Sure are a long way from home aren't you" even though they have been living there for 10 years.

Take it in stride. My fiancée tells me sometimes that my mannerisms and manner of dress are so American even when I don't talk. My suggestion is move to a country because you really want to, not because you want to escape the politics of this country because you don't agree with them. That being said, have no fear. I've had the same honeymoon period with Canada before. It passes with time. I spent 5 months in England with my significant other. I came back home, and realized just how homesick I felt when I was away and that I was glad to be back.
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