Monday, August 12, 2013

Where are you from?


One of the first questions I am often asked, and one of the questions I often first ask, is where are you from? What does that mean? I am not talking about a spiritual glimpse into where we were before we were here on this planet at this time, but---you know----where did/do you live?

What place do you identify with as your home? I never really ask where home is, but that is sort of the default. People, myself included, may list off the last place they lived and then explain that home is really a different place. Circumstance may have taken them to their last location, but where they are from is entirely different.

When I am asked that question I generally give pause as I consider my answer. You see I have moved a lot and that is one of the challenges, but there are other things to consider. When I say Montana or New Mexico or Colorado or Wyoming or Minnesota or Washington different conclusions are reached. Isn't that weird!? For instance, if you tell me you are from the Deep South I may be afraid of you (I am mostly kidding). We all have different ideas about each region and for some reason we think that they give us pertinent information about the individual.

For me, the truth is that I am from all of those places and none of them at the same time. Ugh I know. I am totally one of those people. All you want is a short and sweet one word answer, not my nonsense. I turn this easy question into some sort of mental challenge. I have tried different answers and none of them seem to fit. I always feel like I am not giving an accurate portrayal of who I am or where I come from.

The other side of the coin is that the asker may just be hunting for some common ground. I don't know.

I was chatting with Eric about this yesterday and he told me that his answer is that he is from The West. I like it, vague yet oddly specific. I am most definitely from the west. So, I think I will try that answer on for a bit and see how it feels to me.


Anonymous said...

You know, I would ask a second question to "The West" Where in "the west"???
I know a woman who has never left a part of the city. Never ventured out more than a few blocks. (yes, I said BLOCKS, maybe 10 blocks at the most!)So she was born there, raised there, went to school there, works there and still lives in the same house she was born in... she plans on dying there too...

Victoria said...

I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world.

Emily said...

My mom had the same issue with that question since she grew up in a military family and moved often. My dad, however, was born and lived in the same small town until he moved away for college. His brothers still live there now. He has a definite sense of "where he's from." I have lived in just two states my whole life and those states border each other, so really they are not much different-- Texas and Oklahoma. Interesting thought! I like "The West"-- sort of captures the pioneer spirit! :)

sara said...

I know what you mean. I can say I'm from Michigan, Oklahoma, or Texas. All true in their own way but people get a different idea of me depending on which I say. I like "The West."

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