I've often found this to be a tricky question: where are you from? I'm not sure if they're asking where I grew up, where I just moved from, what my roots are, or what. I'm constantly accessing "Are they being polite or do they want my life story?" but I usually guess wrong.
Part of the problem is that I'm not from one place. My
Dad's job took us all over the country when I was growing up. I lived
in 5 different states before I was 12, and even since I moved out my
parents have moved twice more. As an adult I've lived in 4 states, and
there's potential for more.
The other night my parents and I were
discussing how each of us says we're from another state. My Mom tells people she's from Rhode Island because they lived
there just before they moved down to Alabama and there's NO WAY she's
saying she's from Alabama. I say I'm from Pennsylvania because we moved
there when I was 11 and I graduated high school there... it's the
longest I've ever consecutively lived anywhere, but I still haven't
lived there since the year 2000. If I'm feeling specific, I say "I grew
up mostly in Pennsylvania." Mostly. Yeah, that's clear-ish, right?
Doug who was born and raised in Washington had to start answering that
question with more precision when we moved to Virginia. He'd tell people
"Washington" and they'd say, "Oh, just up in D.C., eh?" Oh. So now he
says Washington state, just to save himself the extra explanation.
I know people are never going to stop asking that question, I think I'm
just going to start handing out a brief autobiography to anyone that's
interested. They can toss it if they'd like, or they can walk away
really knowing where I'm coming from. Shoot, maybe I'll even throw in some insights into my hopes and dreams too, just to be thorough.