Where I am from

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‘Where are you from?’ has always been a tricky and difficult question for me. For most people, it’s pretty straight forward. They’re from the place they were born or where they spent their childhood. My family lived an unintentional transiency and it’s a pattern Ryan and I have yet to alter.

To date, I have lived in:

  • Four states
  • Two provinces
  • Three countries
  • Two continents
  • Eighteen residences

Where am I from? It’s kind of convoluted.

I lived in Oregon for my high school years so it’s where I say I’m from. It isn’t until I get to know someone that I explain I’d only really lived there a short time and spent most of my childhood in other states. Ryan grew up in Oregon so it’s just easy to say it’s where we’re both from.

Since graduating high school, I lived in two Canadian provinces and Hungary. While my time in all three places was relatively short, they were extremely formative. And I had a child in both countries, forever endearing each to me.

Since moving back to Oregon five months ago I felt less and less like it’s where I’m from. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Oregon, the natural beauty and it’s ideals, but it’s not home. It’s the place I’ve spent the least of my adult life and it’s not where I’m going to live after another year or so.

Earlier this week two blogs I love, Red and Honey and Christie Thinks (Christie is an amazing woman and writer, and a dear friend- you should check her blog out) wrote ‘Where I am from’ posts based on the SheLove Magazine template. When I read them I knew I needed to do some real soul-searching about where I’m from.

So, in a more poetic than normal post, here’s Where I’m From

I am from the round dinner table from second-generation bunk beds and mom’s chocolate chip-less cookies

I am from the apartment in the preschool and the apartment in the university where the sound of student’s laughter permeated the walls and reached up to the tall ceilings

I am from desert sand and lush kitchen gardens

The flowering pink dogwood tree whose grasping limbs I remember as if they were my own

I’m from Legos sprawled on the worn carpet and the newest Christian rock CD

From Grandpa Eldridge and Great-grandma Webber

I’m from keep-the-peace-at-all-costs and encouragement to be who I am

and from life-changing conversations over shared pots of tea

I’m from ‘eat your crust’ and ‘we raised you to let you go’

and ‘Jesus Loves Me’

I’m from hot, gooey cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning

I’m from everywhere and nowhere, from weekly taco nights and túrós csusza

I’m from getting married before we were old enough to know just how young we were,

bringing children into the world in countries that are not our own

I’m from the red embroidery

held to the wall with love and longing for the hands that made it

I am from where I’ve been and where I have yet to be

Now it’s your turn. Where are you from? Is it where you live now? What does home mean to YOU?

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4 thoughts on “Where I am from

  1. So proud of (and pleased with!) you for taking part in this where I’m from reflection. Even as a much less transient person than you, I imagine that where I’m from will continue to get more and more complicated to explain.

    Right now, I’m feeling the truth of ‘home is where the heart is’, which means that home is in Zimbabwe, and thus I am not home. Alack and alas!

  2. what a rich and beautiful heritage you have. i love this: “I’m from ‘eat your crust’ and ‘we raised you to let you go’
    and ‘Jesus Loves Me’”

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