“So, where are you from?” This is a question that gets asked more frequently than any other when in a new environment and meeting people. This also happens to be a question for which I’ve never had a great answer.
“I grew up moving a lot, I’m really not from anywhere.”
“But where were you born?”
The older I get, the more I realize that the city and state of the hospital where I took my first breath has little to nothing to do with who I am as a human being.
Who I am is a wanderer — initially involuntarily, but now, by choice. After moving from state to state and school to school, little by little, I became a piece of everywhere I’ve been and everyone I’ve met.
When I was younger, I struggled with letting go of homes and swing sets and friendships. Eventually, it became easier. Rather than being uprooted, I learned to be more of a potted plant and was soon able to relocate with ease.
My ability to move about and accept change has had an incredibly positive influence on my young adult life. I travel alone, visit new countries, take jobs in new cities and will talk to just about anyone. Most importantly, I can let go and dive into new experiences with little hesitation.
I’ve been accused of running away. I’ve been called immature and unstable. I’ve been told that I will never find love or be happy when I give up so easily after realizing something won’t work.
To all who doubt my depth and potential, I say that a gypsy soul is always looking for something to make him or her want to stay. And, the things worth hanging on to will never be so far away.
The friends with whom I keep in touch are those who have touched the depths of my soul. The places I revisit hold a piece of my heart that can’t be rebuilt anywhere else.
If I’m found leaving at high speed, it's more likely that I'm chasing a better opportunity than running away.
Being able to let go is just as important as being accepting of new experiences. But, this doesn’t mean you won’t fight to keep the things and people who are important.
Take chances on love and adventure and give second chances when they’re deserved, but remember that life is fluid; nothing is forever and impermanence is the only constant.
I met someone once who had the Hawaiian term “aloha” written on her hand. It struck me as the most brilliantly succinct life philosophy. Be able to say hello and goodbye and know when it’s time for each one. Learn to say both with the same ease and grace. Fear neither and always be ready for change in life.
Allow yourself to get lost. You'll start to find yourself when you have no idea where you are or where you’re going. Any struggles you encounter will help you discover your true guts and grit.
You’ll feel it in your bones when you meet people who will be part of your life forever, whether you’re five or 5,000 miles away. These are the people who won’t tame you, but will join you on adventures. True connections matter more than the miles between.
“So, where are you from?”
"Everywhere and nowhere. I’m just passing through."
"But aren’t we all?"