“Where are you from?” It’s a typical small talk question, and it’s one that I’ve loathed since I was about twelve years old. By then I had already moved 7 times, across 5 different states. 4 more moves would follow over the next 5 years. I wasn’t “from” anywhere. I didn’t have a place I could call home.
I struggled with this for a long time. If I wasn’t from anywhere, if I didn’t have any roots, how could I spread my wings and fly without somewhere to return to? If I didn’t have a home, who was I? This problem showed up in some of the most mundane areas of my life. Which sports team do I cheer for? I hadn’t been anywhere long enough to have an attachment to a fan base. What should I wear for Halloween? There’s a vast difference between the end of October in New Mexico and Minnesota. What do you call that fizzy beverage, or that thing you get a drink from in the school hallway, or what you bring to a church get-together? I quickly found out that even in one country there are a lot of variations in the language. These are things that just fit into normal life for many people, and for me these little things turned into a big deal, because I didn’t have an immediate answer.
I’ve spent most of my life searching for what it means to be home. If it’s not a specific address, if it’s not a town I grew up in, what does home mean? How do I find it? And how can I live a life of contentment while I look?
I haven’t found the answers to these questions yet, although my search is part of what I chronicle here on Finding Home.
This Iron Craft Challenge was to draw inspiration from your hometown’s history. I don’t have a hometown. I’m kind of from all over. But being kind of from all over, experiencing all sorts of cultural variations, has shaped the person I am today. So for this challenge, I chose a different sort of hometown.
I did a simple Google search for a free printable U.S. map, and printed two copies of the one I chose. I cut out the states to use as stencils on various scrapbook papers I had, and glued those onto the second copy. I only started to hate life when cutting out Rhode Island and Connecticut…I still need to mount it onto a background and frame it, but I’m really pleased by how this turned out!