The 4th of July has a Double Meaning to Us
As citizens of the United States, we celebrate the 4th of July as everyone else.
As citizens of another country who moved here to pursue the “American Dream” it takes on another meaning as well. You see, exactly 4 years ago, on July 4, 2008, we opened our doors at our shop on St. Pete Beach officially for the first time.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My dad and I spent that summer fixing up the shop, creating all shelves and display areas. We spent lots of time developing the lay-out and everything else. I experienced my first dose of “hard-work” then.
Our first customer; and only customer of that day, was a young guy who was on vacation in the area from Indiana. He was leaving the next day but stopped by to pick up a shirt. If you saw my family and I, you’d probably think that we just won the Championship in professional soccer, basketball, baseball, football, hockey, rugby, cricket, motorcycle racing, bicycling, and skateboarding.
All the hard work seemed to have paid off in that one purchase. Of course, its been nothing but hard work since but it was nice to be naive.
After we closed for the day, we ate dinner at our landlord’s restaurant which was luckily a very nice authentic Mexican restaurant. I proceeded to go to the beach which was a 5-minute walk to watch the fireworks with my girlfriend of the time and my parents climbed on top of the building where our shop was with our landlords and had a beer with them. (One of the perks of being next to a liquor store.)
Here’s to our nation’s independence and our personal pursuit of happiness and realizing the American Dream. The American Dream isn’t a 3 bedroom house with a white picket fence with 2 cars and 2.2 kids anymore. The American Dream is having the freedom to do what you really enjoy and make an honest living doing it. If we’re going by my definition, we’re pretty damn close.
Enjoy the day with family and friends, whether you live in the US or abroad.
Marc, Markus, and Ingrid