"Where are you from?"
Oh, heaven help me, I never know what to say....
Normally I just say Utah. If I trust the person to not make fun of me, I'll even go as far as saying Provo. But do you know how much this pains me?! I am not from Provo. Do I love Provo? Yes. With all my heart. It's been good to me, and I know for a fact it's shaped me to be the person I am today. So many good things come from and are in Provo. But am I from Provo? No. End of discussion.
People argue that I am unquestionably from Provo since that's where I last lived, it's where my family currently resides, and that's where I attended graduated from high school. That's understandable. I guess.....
However, besides the fact that I attend a university IN the city I live[d] in, it's normally a major turnoff to most outsiders to tell them I'm from Provo; I'm not "cultured" enough for some people. I've known nothing except for the life I've lived here in Utah. I'm spoiled because I get to go home on the weekends to have dinner with my family and pick up some clothes I need. I don't know anything about the church outside of Utah and I will probably grow up to have 10 children and live in the same house in Happy Valley until I die, surrounded by my whole family who will be doing the same thing for the rest of their pathetic lives.
That's when I get frustrated and always end up trying to turn the conversation around and explain that I'm
"not really from Provo."
And once I've caught their attentions for a matter of 2 seconds, I quickly explain my dad was in the air force and we traveled the country my whole life. (which in reality, we really didn't. And I've lived in 3 states my whole entire 18 years. Pathetic for the typical military family).
On some occasions, when a person is from Texas or California (my prior states of living), I'll attempt to make a connection with them by excitedly telling them that either A) I was born in California, therefore making me, in all technicalities, "from" California, or B) Tell them that I lived most of my childhood years - 8 to be exact - deep in the heart of Texas.
But that's not good enough for some people. I'm either from one or the other - I can't be from all three. Do I know the Texas pledge? Do I know how to surf? Did I participate in Hope of America? Blah blahblah blahblah.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty here. I can't really please everybody because when I explain my whole story and frustrations to someone, they unevitably ask, "Well which state did you like the best?"
And to that, well, I just throw up my hands and give up. Because at this point in my life, I honestly could not pick one place.
California was my birthplace and has half of my relatives there. It contains Disneyland, my earliest childhood memories, beaches, and the sun. Let's be real here, who doesn't want to live in California at some point in their life?
Texas was my everything. My first lifelong friends live there. My whole childhood is rooted there. It has the Alamo, the Spurs, Air Force bases, Friday Night Lights, humidity, cowboys, bluebonnets, and oh so delicious Mexican food. I learned so much there and wish after almost 7 years, I will return back soon.
Utah is my now - my present and near future. At first I hated this place, but I've come to realize that Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he sent our family here. Sometimes I think he did this all for me. Because without this place, I wouldn't have grown up. I wouldn't have experienced the wonderful Timpview Marching Band and Timpview Ballroom Company in their prime years. And not having those two things in my life just kills me to think about. I have wonderful friends I can rely on. And the best part in living here, I get to walk outside and gaze at the majestic rocky mountains.
I have been privileged to live in 3 of what I think are the greatest states in the country, and picking between them is impossible. And knowing this, when someone asks me where I'm from, after all is said and done, I have decided that I will simply answer
Land of the free baby.