What It Means to be American

Here’s the story of a recently naturalized citizen; makes you think!

Subject: Thank you

I became Citizen of the United States today and I just want to say few things:
Did it ever happen to you, that you wanted something so badly, that when it finally came true, you needed to pinch yourself to make sure you were not dreaming ?
Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed about coming to United States of America. In my dreams it represented everything worth living for. It was a perfect place to escape to in my mind while being bombed during the war, while being ridiculed because of my first name, while suffering discriminative remarks because of my last name, while laughed at because of my ideas and opinions, while hated because I loved to laugh, while…just being.
Nobody believed me when I said I was going to go to College in USA. Everyone thought I was delusional. I always knew, deep down in my heart, somehow, that I was going to go to USA. I believed firmly. I simply knew it. Don’t ask me how, I just did. Ever since I was a kid, I knew.
I worked toward my goal since childhood; In Elementary school I paid 90% of my attention to English language, in High School I paid 90% of my attention to English language, begged rich classmates with computers to teach me how to work on them, negotiated my parents into buying me one, spent nights and days on the internet searching for scholarship, scooped libraries in search of any material related to studying in United States, even called families of rich Croatians asking for answers on how their kids made it to college in USA, enrolled in college in Zadar (Croatia) just to buy me time to find scholarship for USA, read Herman Melville under the table in the "German Literature Class", showed up for the premier of Star Wars movie in Zagreb dressed as Princess Leia in front of hundreds of people and ended up in all the newspapers in the country (!!!), called Croatian Television and suggested they do a show about me going to USA in  order to get a free traditional costume for the Rotary Program…
To make a long story short; I made it to USA. :))
I graduated Business Management from Columbus State University in Georgia (Dream Nr. 1)
Had my family at my graduation ceremony, even though my father was missing from the picture (Dream Nr. 2)
Made it to one of the biggest cities in the world – Chicago (Dream Nr. 3)
Met a tall, dark, crazy dude who became my husband (Dream Nr. 4)
Became Citizen of United States of America !!! (Dream Nr. 5)
I realized that all of that was made possible by having kind, loving, generous and supportive people by my side. Although "I had a Dream", people that surrounded me in my life, were those who made it all possible. They are the thread, of the web, of my dreams. I am sending this to you to say: THANK YOU for being part of my life and for helping me make my dreams come true.
Love you all,

Nermina Grgas
Public Relations and Communications Professional
Phone: 224-406-4439
Fax: 847-627-8817
Email: nermina_grgas@yahoo.com

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