First, I just want to say thank you to all the people who commented on my post that was featured on Freshly Pressed this weekend. THANK YOU! I read every single comment and tried to respond to as many as possible. To any new followers, welcome!
Let’s get down to business.
A Facebook friend I know from high school posted this article about military kids having a tough time answering the question: Where are you from?
I’ve lived in 6 different states and in Europe for 10 years.
Standing on the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England
My whole life this has been a tough question, and to this day I still hate when people ask me where I’m from.
Do I tell them where I was born but lived only for the first 6 years of my life?
Do I tell them where I spent the majority of my life?
Do I tell them where I went to university, the first place I felt like calling home?
Do I tell them where my parents currently live, even though I have never actually lived there?
Do I tell them about the little pieces of me that have been left in states all over the country?
Invariably, this often leads me to have a confused look and say, “Well, what do you mean by ‘from?’”
Although the answers to any of these questions would be truthful, there’s something uncomfortable about picking one and steadfastly sticking to it, with no explanation. It almost feels like you’re telling a slight untruth to a stranger.
The weird thing is that a lot of people are weird about it. They don’t get it, and you have to explain the whole military thing, moving every couple years, etc. A lot of people get sympathetic and say, “That must have been hard growing up like that!” Not really. It’s all I or any of us knew. Another common thing is that they’ll latch on to one thing – that I grew up in England. They can’t understand why I don’t have an English accent. It’s weird to me because everyone pretends to be so patriotic with all the “support our troops” stuff, but they seem to be simultaneously confused about the existence of a military and the lifestyle that must accompany it.
Largely to avoid the same conversation/explanation for the millionth time I’ve developed this odd (to me) thing of saying, “Err … ummm … well, I was born in Florida, but I’m from Ohio now.”
Even though I’ve come to love Ohio as the Great State, I still feel like I can’t fully say I’m “from” there.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever settle down and end up living in a place for so long that I’ll finally be able to say yes, I’m from here.