What has living in America taught me?
This question caused me to pause and think. In the day-to-day hustle and bustle of everyday life, I never thought of my own growth, my own transformation into a new me.
I confess I am a stubborn, uncooperative student. I spent the first ten years of my time here, longing to be in Ireland. Despite my shortcomings I have truly come to appreciate my new home . After much deliberation I compiled a list of ten lessons learned, in over two decades of living in America.
- 1. The need to assimilate, to be accepted as the same as others, is not important. If I dreamed of complete transformation, the goal would feel like an emotional straightjacket. I know that trying to be anyone other than my authentic, true self would stifle me.
- 2. Trying to remain completely Irish, not accepting who I am becoming, would stop me moving, growing, and feeling the great freedom of my own personal evolution. It is important to let go of who I thought I was, or who I was supposed to be, to embrace who I am right now, in this moment in time.
- 3. I rejoice in all that America has to offer, and must commit to following my dreams.
- 4. Hiding my true self from those around me is crazy. The greatest casualty of fear is lack of connection. People must see and know who I am, warts and all, if I truly wish to connect with new and dear friends. Without friends, finding meaning and happiness would be an immense struggle.
- 5. Ask for help whenever I am in need. If I am open and honest with those around me, then my community will offer their unconditional support in return.
- 6. Finding courage to try something new involves taking risks, but provides the stimulus to be innovative. America appreciates all effort.
- 7. Ignore the media’s obsession with looks, possessions and status. These are unimportant.
- 8. Accumulating things or “stuff” is foolish. Family and friends are key to happiness.
- 9. Dream BIG!!! Anything and everything is possible, if you just imagine the impossible.
- 10. Never wallow in a sea of fear. Procrastination leads nowhere. Don’t just dream about it – get up and do it.
JUST DO IT!
Slan agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom