Monday, October 4

I love this city, this state

I met some new people this weekend, and we did the usual "what do you do, where are you from" routine. The question "where are you from?" should be easy enough to answer, but it's never been simple for me. I usually reply with, "I'm originally from Ohio," like the later and alternate versions of me have been crafted elsewhere, the labor shipped overseas.

One of the people I met was also from Ohio -- two transplanted Midwesterners in a sea of New Englanders. Part of me still feels like an outsider here, even after 15 years. What's truly strange about thinking about this is how other people think on this issue, like they have a say in where you're from. My oldest friend laughed at me today and said I wasn't from Ohio. Is this one of those self-identified orientations? Am I from Ohio if I say I'm from Ohio? I doubt any true native New Englander would let me get away with saying I was from Boston. Because I'm not.

I was born in Toledo (Here's to the dogs of Toledo, Ohio!), I spent a few years in Columbus while my parents finished their degrees at OSU, and then I spent the majority of my childhood -- what I think of as my childhood -- in Fairborn. We relocated briefly to Maine before we settled in Billerica, Mass. And I haven't left the state since. Does that mean I'm from Boston now? I've picked up a few habits (yes, I say wicked), I love the Sox with a passion bordering on insanity, and I drive offensively, not defensively. I fucking love that dirty water, people. And lord, Boston, you're definitely my home. But I still think of myself as from Ohio; I feel like that's where my identity formed. My family still lives there, and I visit regularly. And every time I return, I feel a little homecoming. I become a me that I haven't been in a long, long time. And it feels good. Almost as good as it feels to come back to Boston.

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