Where are you from? This is a question that tortures my stomach every time it’s addressed to me. Where am I from? I used to know the answer to that question. In the beginning, it was a city, and then it was the last city I lived in, until it became a country and now… now I don’t even know the answer to that anymore.
I don’t know where I’m from. Places have lost meaning somehow and people replaced the meaning of the place. I should probably say I am from my home country, but all my ties have been cut, leaving only a trail of humans whom I care for dearly behind. Or maybe I should say I am from the country where my daughter was born, but again my love for this country, this city, has changed throughout time and again replaced by the humans who are enriching my life. Funny thing is those humans aren’t from here either. So where are we all from? Do we have a country, a city, a street, anything?
Sometimes the question itself feels like an invitation to judge someone by their place of birth, their origins. I know people who are born in China, but spent their whole life in a different country. Does that make them Chinese? Other people, who spent their childhood and adolescence in their home country, suddenly woke up one day and traveled the world for the following twenty years. Can they honestly identify with someplace in particular?
I would like to be from anywhere and everywhere. I would like to not be asked that question anymore. I would like to forget for a second that there are borders, politics and different countries. I would like for us to be perceived only by who we are and how we impact others. I would like to just be.