I lot of people seem to think that I hate America just because I don't live there anymore... and because I'm pretty vocal about my belief that the American Revolution wasn't a just war... and because when I was in high school I used to tell people that I hated America. This is further accentuated by the fact that these days I'm usually mistaken for either a German or Russian (by Turks, Germans, and Russians), and even a cursory review of American history shows that Germany and Russia haven't exactly been our bffs.
But in reality I'm American as my mom's gluten free apple pie (which more is like a cobbler, because gluten free pie crust is really hard to make). For example:
I like more than 12oz of soda with my dinner.
I like ice in said large quantities of soda.
I love air conditioning.
I love American Football.
I regularly use American inventions, such as the light bulb, the telephone, and the internet (thanks former vice president and Nobel laureate Al Gore).
All of these things are distinctly American and people who don't like America don't have to use them.
But beyond a renewed appreciation for these conveniences, living abroad has taught me that everyone comes from a place, and that place plays a tremendous role in one's worldview and identity. In recognizing the fact that I had absolutely no influence as to which nation or culture I was born into, the best response seems to be an appreciative but critical acceptance of my national and cultural heritage.
In other words, I am getting a tattoo of a bald eagle riding on a Harley Davidson holding an American flag.