I'm proud to be an American, and it's about damn time.
As I watched record crowds on the National Mall today listening one of the most historical speeches in US history, I couldn't help feeling more than a little proud to be from the United States. Sharing a sense of overwhelming joy and relief with a room full of Canadians (watching on the CBC, no less) was amazing. Granted, I had to hold myself back from my usual celebratory methods of screaming and jumping, but I looked around the room (slightly teary-eyed, I have to admit) and everyone was glued to one of the four flat-screen TV's in the Student Centre.
Finally hearing a President reflect what many MANY Americans actually feel about our country (a necessary sense of humility, an acknowledgment that we need to pull ourselves back up and stop fooling ourselves) was such a relief. We can stop feeling like we need to be defensive, and instead rejoice and work with the rest of the world. Given where I am and the wonderful people I was with, it made me so happy to see several clumps of Canadian flags waving amongst American flags as they panned over the crowd--a reminder of the fact that you can't look down Pennsylvania Avenue without seeing Canadian flags flying over the Embassy just a block or two away.
And a small note on the power of democracy--this was my first election wherein I actually got to use my Constitutional right to vote (I voted for John Edwards in the primaries just before he dropped out of the race, but we won't talk about that), and just knowing that I had the ability to vote for the man who is promising to shift the world onto a better course...well...I couldn't help but smile.
And in other news:
I keep find myself slipping "huhs?" or "uhs?" onto the end of sentences and these are being replaced every so often with "ehs?" My O's are starting to sound funny and I had a dream last night that I was speaking French couramment...Québécois-style (though I was told by a girl today that I speak French well...but with a more "from France" accent...I need to work on this)! I swear to God I'm not doing any of this on purpose because that would be incredibly obnoxious; I'm just catching myself at it. I suppose when it starts to go unnoticed, I'll really have to go listen to some good...American-accented stuff...to jar myself out of it.