Pick & Choose

Life’s Not Fair. -every parent that ever existed

I confess. I pick and choose which country I support when it suits me (aka when I want to be on the winning side). I LOVE being an American, but I do live full time in New Zealand, so I have the luxury of deciding which country I align myself with determined by my special system: what brings me the greatest joy and most emotion. For instance, you will never see me cheering for any other rugby team than a Kiwi Rugby team. You will see me in all my American-over-the-topness during the Olympics. (To be fair though I switch between countries throughout the whole Olympics but I am mostly American.)

Maybe it’s the love of being caught up in something bigger than myself and my little world I live in, maybe it’s truly just loving to be on the winning side or maybe I’m just that obnoxious that I think I can. To be honest, it’s probably because I love emotion and feeling emotionally connected to all of America when I’m so far away. It’s the same with New Zealand. I love feeling emotionally bonded with the whole of Kiwi’s here. (And I love secretly giggling at the emotional outbursts that ONLY happen through sports here. It’s my secret joy and why I think I love sports here so much. It’s the only time I feel like I fit in with Kiwi’s.)

This last two weeks I have embraced my Kiwi side to cheer for New Zealand in the America’s Cup. Confession: I had no idea what the America’s Cup was before two weeks ago. Like my American friend said today, “Is that soccer?” My thoughts exactly. It’s a sailing race. (Just in case you don’t feel like googling it, my American friends). It is currently happening in San Francisco Bay. Every New Zealander is glued to the TV each morning. Does any American even know what channel it’s on? The country is holding their breath each race because New Zealand only must win one more to win the whole thing and bring the Cup and race back to New Zealand. (America needs to win 7) My two year old and I wave our flags at home and cheer…for New Zealand. Which ironically doesn’t feel odd to me even with the American flag blowing in the bay breeze and seeing Pier 39. It’s just right. It might be because most Americans don’t know what it is or that it’s happening right now. Probably though it’s my love of getting swept up in culture and cheering and a country’s pride. There is nothing quite like feeling like you are watching history be written.

So I admit my unfair jumping between countries. I admit cheering for New Zealand and against America when I want. I admit that I’m becoming comfortable in both my identities. And I admit I like to win so I cheer for winners. But I think it’s only fair since I must straddle two hemispheres on a daily basis.

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