A Woman of the World

by joyaficionado

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.