The definition of this varies from person to person. Sometimes, especially if they've lived somewhere their whole lives, it's where they live now. Sometimes, they're "born and raised" somewhere, and they consider that where they're from. For instance, my mom is from St. Louis, even though she doesn't live there now. Others like myself, who have moved around especially during the years in which they were growing up, are left to wonder, what do you mean by "from?" Is it the place you were born? Jacksonville, FL. Is it the place you've lived the longest? Currently a tie between Dallas/Ft Worth and Killeen, Texas. Once I move out, then where am I from? I could include Hawaii, since I spent a lot of my "formative" years there, but I really don't remember much about it. I could say Killeen, because that's where I went to school for the most part. I could say DFW because that's where I live right now, and when I move, that's where I'll be coming "from".
I guess it's a little frustrating because I don't have a clear cut definition of where I'm "from". Then again, I'm kind of glad to be able to say hey, guess what, I lived in Hawaii! Mele kalikimaki and Haouli Makahiki Hou! That's where I learnt the most as far as talking and forming sentences. Er....well, I started school there. I'm originally from Florida. When I tell people they're like "wow, cool!" I can't imagine living in one place for that long. It's something that, to me, is inconceivable (btw, I love the Princess Bride!).
Even more appalling to me is the group of people who have never left their home state. What??? How can that be??? No way!! Really? That sucks. I can't imagine staying in one state my entire life. I'd feel so very trapped. I guess that's one thing about my star sign (which I mostly don't fit) that actually applies to me. I don't like being tied down to one place. Other than that....I'm totally not a Sagittarius! (I know, I brought it up again, right?) I don't know why it's this way, but I don't think it's a bad thing. It gives me experience that other people don't have the opportunity to experience.
This topic came up because of what we did in family group tonight at my internship. Everyone had a list of questions that they went around and asked other people. Invariably, I get asked the question "where are you from?"...and I ask if they have any other questions, because I really, honestly don't know how to answer that question in the most correct way possible. I'm originally from Florida, I learnt a lot in Hawaii and grew a lot, I spent a lot of my schooling years in Killeen, I have lived in DFW the longest, and that's where I live now. Too lengthy for an explanation, and people get lost.
I had at least 5 clients ask me that question tonight. I have always hated it. I probably will always hate it, because it really depends on your determination of where a person is from. Sometimes, I'll ask the person how they mean that question- as in, do you mean the place I lived now, the longest, or the place I was born? Often they can narrow it down for me, but I hate having them do that. I guess it wouldn't bother me so much if the question was more specific. Sometimes, they ask where I grew up....I'd still have to split it between Florida, Hawaii, and Texas, depending on the time frame one would consider "growing up." Is it birth to adulthood? Too many places. The age where I can walk/talk to adulthood? Too many. Where concrete cognition began? That narrows it down to Hawaii and Texas. Where abstract thinking begins? I'm down to one state (but still two areas). Then, when does the next stage begin? In high school? Well, that would mean I grew up in Killeen. After high school? Well, then it's split between the two.
Of course, I could be a smartass, and tell them that I'm from a sperm and an egg, but I don't think that's appropriate in all situations. It might scare people from asking me though!! I don't know. Thus, I generally try to avoid the question. It just makes things much easier. Tonight, I got all of them to switch to another question. Sometimes, I'll leave it blank because I really don't feel like I'm from anywhere.
To be honest, where I'm at now is just a temporary dwelling, until I can afford rent for a place of my own. Then the counter starts again, and I add another place to my list. Nonetheless, it is temporary. I honestly don't want to be from here anyway. I've been saying it for years, and my family is sick of hearing it, but I never wanted to live here. EVER. I know I say I'm going home at night, but....I'm going to my parents house. This doesn't feel like "home" to me. I'm not here enough, and when I am, it's not a home-y kind of place. It holds all my stuff. I can do things there. But it doesn't feel like home. Nowhere feels like home. (see this blog...it's very well written compared to this one, but this is what's on my mind write now and I felt a need to write about it, even though I've written about it before....since my blog has gained popularity since then). The group wasn't the only inspiration for this blog- there's also a song called "I'm Comin' Home"--
“A house is Not a Home“"" So you’ve been a guest in your own home
It’s time to make your house your home "
One of my new favorite songs, and that's just part of the song....not really what the song is about, but those words hit me. Hopefully, someday, hopefully not too far out, I will find a place of my own, a place to call mine, a place to say I'm from, a place to live, and to feel welcome and comfortable. Time to make a house (or apartment or whatever) a home.