Happy Independence Day
My Independence Journey
Written by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., President of Global Perceptions Communication and Relocation Consulting
As a young girl, I remember waiting for the fireworks to start on the evening of the Fourth of July in Minnesota. That was one of the few days we were allowed to stay up late because it wasn’t completely dark until nearly 10:00pm at that time of the year. Soaked in mosquito repellent, I remember running around with my siblings and eating fruit-flavored candies until the first burst of color appeared overhead. That moment was always so exciting as a kid!
In high school, I spent the Fourth of July with a family of refugees who had recently moved to the U.S. to escape Kosovo after their home had been demolished in the war. We couldn’t communicate with each other very well, but I still wanted to show them around. I took them to the local park where the annual Fourth of July celebrations were taking place. With rides, games, and cotton candy galore, they were overwhelmed. Eventually we found a place to sit on a hill and watch the colors explode above us in the fireworks display. They looked on in awe.
As a young adult, I still enjoyed watching the fireworks in Wisconsin. Watching them in Madison, the capitol city, was always the best. The Rhythm and Booms performance was timed to music and was widely attended. People would begin staking out their space early in the morning and spend the day catching up with family and friends. Being there together felt like we are all giving the United States a big happy birthday hug.
Now I celebrate the Fourth of July in a different way. I celebrate my Boricua Birthday! What is a “Boricua Birthday?” It is the anniversary of the day I set off on my own Independence Journey. I moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico exactly seven years ago today to write another chapter of my life. I left my home, my family, and everything familiar to travel a different path. That path has been full of bumps and curves, potholes, and blind turns, but I have found my way through all of it. Today I celebrate the challenges that I have conquered and the people that have helped me get to this point. I celebrate my own Independence as well as that of my fellow Americans around the world.
Happy Independence Day to all who celebrate their independence and the struggles that have gotten them there! This is your day too!
Tell me about your Independence Journey by leaving your comments below!
For more information about Global Perceptions, or to plan your relocation to Puerto Rico, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 787-455-7764.