Happy birthday, neighbour!

Dear America,

We’ve all been there — turning the page on the calendar, realizing it’s your birthday, and wishing you could just crawl back in bed for another year (or four). After all, birthdays are a time when we step back and take inventory, and when you don’t like what you see, it can be pretty rough.

And there’s no sugar coating it: this has not been your finest year. You have made some highly questionable choices, and as much as it’s pained us to watch you make them, you’re an independent country. We could chalk this up to growing pains, but you’re older than we are!

So let’s call it a mid-life crisis. We really wished you’d done the usual thing, and just bought yourself a red sports car, or maybe had an affair with France. But no: you had to choose him.

Still, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re still the best neighbour a country could have. You have the best TV shows, the best shopping, and so many Oreo flavours that you make us wonder what the rest of the world has been doing with its time. We love it when you drop by, because you usually tell us how nice and pretty we are. (Aww….shucks.) And when you’re not drinking too much or playing with your guns, you can be downright inspirational. Like that constitution of yours — well, it gave us a few ideas of our own.

That’s why we’re confident you can do better in the next year, and start making better choices. We know it’s not a great idea to second guess your friends’ relationships, but in this case…well, you know what you need to do. If you can’t dump him, maybe you could at least start taking better care of yourself? Don’t let him tell you who you are, or what you can and can’t do. We know you’re capable of greatness, because we’ve lived next door for 150 years.

So happy birthday, America. We still love you. We just want you to start acting like you love yourself.

XOXO,

Canada

Author, Remote Inc: How To Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are. Tech speaker. Writer & data journalist for Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review & more.

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