“Where are you from?” Such a simple, innocent question, but it always makes me freeze up for a bit. In the span of the 3 second pause before I answer, my mind is flooded with thoughts like, “what should I say?, should I go into detail?, where am I from?” Then I usually just spit out “Florida”, because that’s where I spent 12 years of my life, and it’s just the easiest thing to say. The truth, though, is that I’m from so many places, and it feels like I’m not being true to myself when I say, “Florida”. I’m so much more than a Floridian.
I was a military kid, and for the first 11 years of my life, I was “from” Florida and Canada and Panama and Texas, and then Florida again. After high school I was “from” Kentucky and Minnesota and North Carolina. Living in all of those places made me who I am, shaped the person I’ve become, and they all hold a special place in my heart. I’ve lived in so many different houses – some I wouldn’t even recognize today – but they were each an equally important home to me. I’ll never know what it’s like to spend my entire childhood growing up in one house, and I’m good with that. In fact, I’m happy with it. It was a fun, exciting way to grow up, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Now for the tough part – moving was such a constant in my life that I sometimes still struggle with staying in one place for too long. I get restless and I start having lofty daydreams about where TJ and I could end up next, but then I come back down to earth and realize that’s not my life anymore. Which is ok… just different. A part of me will probably always feel a little unsettled by the idea of being too settled in one place, but I truly love where life has taken me, and I’m learning how to be content in one house, in one city for an extended period of time.
In short, there’s no easy answer to where I’m “from”, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Where are you from? If you have a loaded answer like I do, I’d love to hear it.