"Where are you from?" is a typical harmless question, but to me it's the equivalent to a root canal. There isn't enough laughing gas that can numb me from the pain it brings.
I could easily reply with "I was born in Uruguay," which is true, but then that turns into a barrage of questions regarding my upbringing.
The reason I dread talking about my past is because I've changed residencies at least 18 times (that I counted) in my 32 years on Earth.
Why have I moved so many times? No, I'm not in the witness protection program, nor am I running from the law. I simply had parents who didn't stay still while I was growing up. And for the good part of my adult life it seems I have inherited this quirk of/in life. This fruit (no pun intended) didn't fall far from the tree.
Moving roughly every 2 years on average means a lot of good-byes, not just to things like your bedrooms, your toys, and neighborhoods, but also to schools and friends. I still tear up thinking of the time I had to leave behind my He-Man Castle Grayskull toy set. I'm going to need years of therapy to get over that.
On the upside, growing up constantly moving prompted me to be able to adjust rapidly to new environments and create new friendships wherever I found myself. Well, I had no choice. It was a survival instinct.
They say that home is where the heart is, in my case it rings true because growing up there was no physical structured that I could consider my home. Sure, there are a few places where my family and I resided for some periods of time longer than others but those were "houses" not "homes."
There is this archetype of the hero returning home after a long journey. Dorothy returns home after her adventure in OZ, Harold and Kumar make it back to their bachelor pad after their wild White Castle saga, etc. To me returning home means returning to that familiar "feeling;" feeling safe, comfortable, and peaceful, no matter where I am or with whom I'm with.
As much as my mother's never ending requests for me to visit her in Uruguay annoys me, we do share a little 'home' in our hearts her and I. As little as I talk to my father, every time we do bring ourselves to pick up the phone we do share a little 'home' in our hearts he and I. Same with my older brother and younger sister, although they live thousands of miles away we do share a little 'home' in our hearts.
I often get emails from what seem to be lost souls, folks trying to find their way back home. I'm guessing they email me because they can tell that I often forget my way back home as well. We all just need a little reminder from time to time.
Wherever you are, just follow the signs until you get to your heart, and there you are: HOME.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt to make the journey wearing fabulous ruby slippers - am I right ladies or am I right?