Today marks a new monthly blogging challenge called Blogtember, hosted by Story of My Life blog. Which means that some days this month you will be seeing more than one post a day as I have other regular scheduled posts. If you are also participating in the link up, let me know in the comments so I can view your post too!
Day 1 of Blogtember. Today’s prompt asks that you describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.
Fact. I have not lived in one place longer than three years at a time since the time I was born. I am now thirty years old. Through out my nomadic existence I have been asked by people all over the world the same seemingly simple question:
“Where are you from?”
Insert the sound of crickets. Or the sound of a sigh from my lips as I pause and try to quickly determine just what length of an answer the person before me requires to move on in our conversation. Perhaps this time I can just say ‘everywhere‘ and softly laugh as I flick my hair back behind my shoulders with a twinkle in my eye. Leaving just enough mystery in my vague answer that it suffices for the moment.
It really depends on what country I am in, where the person who is asking the question is from, and just how much time we may spend in conversation that determines a rough idea of what I may say. Since I currently live in England I shall give you an example of how it normally has gone since we moved here in 2011.
“Where are you from?”
“I live here in Bath, ” I reply as I assume they think I am here on vacation.
“Oh. Where did you live before here?”
“All over. My husband was in the military and my father before him.”
“So where are you from?”
“Well I was born here in Oxford.”
“Really? But your accent…”
“Is American. I know. I have had an English accent twice in my life once in Oxford and then when we moved back to England around the Norfolk area.”
“So how come you have an American accent?”
“My parents are American.”
“So you grew up mostly in America?”
“Not really. I grew up moving around Europe until I was seventeen.”
“Well…where are your parents from?”
“My dad grew up in New Jersey but he left at seventeen to join the USAF and had moved around ever since. My mum has lived in a few different states as her parents were part of a churching planting group.”
A pause as my answer really has not clarified where I call ‘home’ or from where my accent originates.
“I am dual citizen though, since I was born in England and it is why I wanted to move back. I do not really see America as my home since I did not grow up there.”
The question now as resolved as it can be and I will be referred to after that moment as ‘the American’.
I have started referring to John Barrowman now that I live in a country that knows of the actor who starred in Doctor Who and its spinoff, Torchwood. He is Scottish and retains that accent when conversing with his family members. However his main accent is an American one that he picked up as a child when his family moved to live in the US. Basically after being teased enough with a Scottish one he realized to fit in he would have to sound like everyone else. As an actor he is known by his American accent.
My theatre professor at my University asked me where I was from because he could pick up regional dialects from all over the country, and places from which I have never lived. However like a sponge I have picked up how to say words and phrases from the people I have spent much time around. In the military world that encompasses people from all over.
My accent and ‘home’ aside I am made up of all the places, the people, and cultures from which I have come in contact with throughout my life. My world view, the way I relate to people, and the person I am to the core has been molded by generations of people from multicultural backgrounds. I have a chameleon soul that picks up little things from the people around me. It would be nice to have an easy answer that people could understand. I could say I was from Los Angeles, California and people could right away put me in a box and see me a certain way and know me by not just a single nationality but a particular region in a state. Being a nomad is the only thing I know as it has been my entire life and I would not ask for it to be any other way.