25 August 2014

Where are you from?

I've come to dread this question.  It should be such a simple one to answer, but for me it is a little complicated.  Of course it is partly due to the fact that we don't actually own home anywhere.  And we've moved.  A lot.  (Not that I'm complaining, I've loved the opportunity to live in a variety of places.)

Depending on the circumstances I have different answers to the question.  When visiting the US, I often answer

A.  "I live in Saudi Arabia."  Which generally brings raised eyebrows and questions.  Sometimes I don't have time for/I'm not in the mood to play 20 Questions so instead I'll go with answer B or C (see below).

When someone in Saudi asks me, depending on the circumstances I may answer
B.  "I grew up in Colorado" or
C.  "Most recently from Houston, Texas", or on occasion
D.  "Here and there"

Then of course when it is time for us to go back 'home' for a visit during the summer I have to explain to people why we primarily visit only Utah and Idaho, which don't even appear on the list above.  (If you are curious my parents now live in Idaho and my husband's family lives in Utah.)

But at least amidst all the confusion about where I am from, at least I can say for certain in that I am from the United States.  That part I know for sure.  :-)

So although I am not always certain 'where' home is, I'm learning 'what' is home.  I think home is a combination of a physical place, specific people, and a feeling of safety and familiarity.  Home is family for sure, but it is more than that too.  It is also my own space with my 'things'.  A place where I don't have to stress about my kids ruining the furniture or breaking a keepsake.  A place where I don't live out of suitcases or worry about who else needs the laundry machine.  A place where I can go to a familiar grocery store and then actually know where to find all the necessary kitchen utensils, pots and pans and dishes to make dinner.  A place where I can completely relax and just be me.  (Can you tell I've been 'on the road' for the last 6 weeks?)  So even though in a few years Saudi will just be another place on the list of where I've lived, for now it is 'home'. . . . even though I'm not 'from' there.

How about you?  Where are you from?  What or where is 'home' to you?