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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Where I'm from

I know it's more complex than where I was born and raised. But I still never know how to answer people when they ask.

I was born in Colorado. Though I spent a mere six months there, and only returned to camp and backpack there as a child, leaving the flat dust bowl prairies of western Kansas and eastern Colorado, seeing the mountains emerge from the clouds, has always felt like coming home.

Kansas. Where I spent twenty-one years of life. Has never, ever, EVER felt like home. It was always strange to feel so isolated, an outsider to the place that was fully saturated in my history. The whole time I was growing up there, I'd wonder what I would have been like had we stayed in Colorado. I had this idea that I would have felt more comfortable being ME. Maybe I would have. After all, we left a hippie enclave to establish a life in a thoroughly conservative small town. Aside from a group of family friends, no one else lived the way we did. (And of course, by the time the real estate boom hit Boulder, I would have been the daughter of wealthy parents, for the property they owned back in the seventies is now worth millions.)

Chicago. That's what I always say when people ask. Yet I really only spent six or seven years there. How accurate or appropriate is it to use that as my answer then? I feel all melodramatic, like I'm back in high school poetry class, talking about how my heart belongs to Chicago. But it's true.


Blogger cilee said...

No place has ever felt like home to me the way Kansas does. I used to cry when Dorothy said "There's no place like home" because I very much felt that way even as a little child.

I think that Chicago captured your heart and made you finally feel at home. It doesn't matter where it is as long as you feel at home somewhere.

5:34 PM  

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