An Open Letter to My Country

Alisa Nelson - Senegal


March 19, 2015

More accurately, letters to two of them.

Dear United States of America,

It’s been a long time.

Not that long, I guess, only six and a half months since we’ve last seen each other. But it has been nine, almost ten years since we’ve really known each other.

So it’s understandable, I think, that with only about a month until our next meeting, I’m a little nervous. It’s not that I hate you. I really don’t. And although in some ways I have a strong distaste for you, I am more often afraid we will actually get along.

And why would that be such a bad thing? It wouldn’t, I guess. In fact, it would even be good to enjoy our time together, especially given that it will probably be long. What I’m afraid of isn’t just that I will be miserable or that I won’t make friends, but that if everything goes well, I will forget my past.

You’re not my only country, you see. I’ve lived in a number of places, most of which I feel more connected to ‰ÛÒ or have more love for ‰ÛÒ than I do to you. I’m American, sure, but it’s not quite that simple. So if I adjust to your way of life, I’m worried I’ll lose what makes me me. I’m worried I’ll forget the perspective that living around the world has given me, the things I do that are weird” or “foreign” to you

Alisa Nelson