Proof that my creative mind WON’T TURN OFF: I decided that I was going to take off last week since I usually do that every summer around this time. I was all set to “power down” last Friday when I got it in my head that I *needed* to write a timely op-ed about July 4th. I spent last Saturday, day one of my vacation, writing that op-ed.
I’m so glad it found a home on CNN Opinion! This marks my ninth op-ed with them…can you believe it?!?!? With everything going on in the world, I found myself extremely conflicted about “celebrating” this year, so I wrote about trying to find hope despite all of that. How do we find those moments of joy and hope at a time when we also feel so sad and hopeless?
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I also waxed nostalgic about the flag and my childhood…
“Back then [when I was a child], that feeling of pride in our country came so easily. I felt like I belonged in the beautiful melting pot that was America, where people — regardless of race, gender, creed or ethnicity — could come together and support one another. Today, I’m not so sure — not just about pride, but about so many of the core values that I believe once defined America.
As we gather to celebrate the United States’ birthday, it’s hard to ignore that the ideals of the flag haven’t held up for everyone. [Today] We’re not celebrating separating families at the border. We’re not celebrating taking away people’s health insurance. And we’re most certainly not celebrating the rollback of women’s reproductive rights.”
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]