Growing up in a military family was a wonderful experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But there is one thing military brats love to hate-being asked, “Where are you from?”
This question can be answered a multitude of ways! Imagine the wheels turning in my head as I mentally dissect such a seemingly simple question.
First, I mentally catalog all the places I’ve lived. I have enjoyed living in Louisiana, Hawaii, Kentucky, and Missouri. This list naturally leads me to thinking of all the fun places I have yet to visit. Anywhere overseas would fit in nicely here. Next, it occurs to me- maybe they mean where I was born. In this context, my birthplace would not be a factor. My birthplace was actually an emergency pit stop in a city to which I have not since returned.
After years of wrestling with this question, I came up with a simple answer. “I am from Everywhere, yet nowhere.” This pretty much sums it up- All inclusive yet claiming none.
Being from Everywhere, yet nowhere has it’s advantages. I feel like I am One with All people. I am at ease in almost any environment. I easily interact with people and bring the good in them to light. In retrospect, this has served me well.
In the last few months, I have noticed a huge increase in the number of people asking me that dreaded question. However, it now has a different connotation. In saying, “Where are you from” they actually mean, “Where have I been”? Strangers try to guess my origins from my accent. I am told it is a blend of accents. I don’t hear it, but I do know one thing. When I get tired, I get really country. I hope you never have to hear that.
Strangers also regularly comment on the way I speak. Complimenting my pronunciation and diction…in those exact words. A little lady came up to me and said, “the way you talk is so cute”. She smiled, closed her eyes, and continued to listen. That was a little strange, but very endearing.
I know there is power in my voice. In harnessing that power, I want to make a positive impact on the world.
Needless to say, it’s taken me 40+ years to truly appreciate the gifts I received being a world citizen. I am thankful that where I came from played such a huge part in who I am today.