100% American Made
From a young age, I was able to compare what my life may have been like in another country. Some of the most vivid memories I have at 10 or 11 were losing a slipper on the back of a motor-tricycle with no seatbelts during a trip to the Philippines; the place where my parents were born. Of course I couldn't fully appreciate all the lessons then, but it did start to compound year after year until now.
I'll never forget it.
Random children wearing my packed clothes one morning as I woke up; and being reminded by my mom, "they don't have anything, let them have it". I didn't like that then; but it never left me. Somebody would always be grateful to have what you have. So many moments I remember like this.
So I'm grateful.
In my late 30's now, the memories are still fresh. I double down in the feeling of no lack. Excess even. I live a privileged life. I was born in America; on a costal town in California. Both of my parents are still together and I have a younger sister who's my best friend. For some reason, my parents gave me this gift that never stops giving. My husband and I ponder; "maybe I'm on my 8th cycle of life" to be experiencing this much good.
When I started roasting coffee, I'm reminded of how hard life can be outside of my little bubble. The men and women farmers that produce this global lifeblood always reminds me of those memories. I don't feel bad. I don't feel guilty. I just appreciate them. For those that put in the work, in whatever situation they were in.
I've had a privileged life, but I'm proud of the hardships I've endured and will endure in the future. My parents have wounded me; as all parents will do. And I'm sure I've wounded them. It's a part of growth. It's often painful. But pain is temporary. And as I've learned and grown from all those pains, I'm so grateful I live in a country where I can experience something on all fronts without terror or daily fear. Being born here; I didn't have to immigrate. That hard work was done by my parents. The hard work I've done and continue to work on, was to pull myself out of my own bubble, and learn what that means and how to appreciate it and use what they gave me. With all the choice we have; I had to learn how to find my own voice and establish my own values. It's easy to bandwagon on someone else's very easily.
In fact I know, I was a wallflower before the hardest parts of my life: resenting college, quitting my 9-5, a toxic relationship to work and my partner, starting so many businesses that failed, breaking my back in fall...
All moments I lived through that balanced the lottery of being born in America.
Thumbing through old photo albums, I'm smiling at all the young Megs in the frame; wearing my dad's US Navy uniforms, his dixie hat, patrol hat, I remember the pride I felt wearing those around the house and burying his medals. Never to be found again...whoops.
But one picture really made me smile.
I'm about 5 years old, and my shirt says 100% American Made.
Happy July 4th.