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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

i am from…

while in orientation, we talked a lot as a group about what it means to be from where we are from. many questions about our identities were asked, but not all of them were answered (yet). while in discussions, it became evident that a frequent question would be, “where are you from?”

for most people home is a place, but as i am away from home, i have realized that it is so much more than a name on a map. the following is something i wrote that responds to the question, “where are you from?”

i am from my family. i am the daughter of my parents and the sister to my brother. i am the oldest of five granddaughters, but also the only granddaughter. i am from a family of believers, a family of fighters, a family of love. i am from a family who has struggled, but also a family who has survived, and thrived. i am from my family.

i am from the north, specifically california. i am from the coast. from where the green fields roll into the sand and the ocean leads into cliffs. where the redwoods grow so high and wide that you can’t even see the tops. i am from the valleys where a rainbow can be seen in the grape vines as they change color.  i am from the mountains, i am from the sea, i am from all the spaces in between.

i am from my communities. i am from my schools, my church, my teams, my work. i am from the people who have loved me, who have shown me compassion, who have given me hope. however, i am also from the people who have shown me unkindness, who have doubted me, who have made me cry.

i am from all these people, places, and more. my home is something i carry with me everywhere i go. it is so much more than a dot on a map. it is the people that i have met that have shaped me into who i am today. it is the people who continue changing the way i see the world.

i may not know exactly where i’m from, but what i do know is that i am from my family, my home, and the people who i love and the people who love me.