Where are you from?
It’s a standard question during interviews. My standard answer is “upstate New York.” But, really, there’s so much more to it than that.
I started life in the tiny hamlet of Ionia, New York. My family has lived there for many generations, and after moving around quite a bit during childhood and early adulthood, I ended up right back in that same little community. After getting married, I moved all of four miles away, and still spend much time in my beloved Ionia.
But the story goes back further. My grandparents were all from this area, but their parents came from many different places. I have English, French, German, and Scottish roots. My paternal grandfather was the first of his family to be born in the United States. His siblings were all born in Canada, and their parents were Scottish immigrants. I long to some day visit Scotland to trace my heritage.
What at first seems a simple question can really run quite deep. It taps into not just where you are from, but who you are. How do you view yourself? With whom do you identify? Where do you feel most at home?
So…where are you from?