Whenever you meet people for the first time, one of the first few questions is often, “Where are you from?” For many of us, that can be a complicated question. There are many places/subjects that could be on that list.
Are we talking physical residence? Because I can name 9-10 places off the top of my head even now that cover 7 cities, 4 states and 2 countries. I’ve lived in apartments, townhouses, homes (rented and owned). Sometimes with other relatives. At times, among really amazing neighbors and others, those that still cause the corner of my eye to twitch uncontrollably.
Do you mean my ethnic background? That’s 4 cultures for myself and at least triple that for my family. We call ourself a model UN. Just within close family I have both a Mexican and a Filipino aunt. A certain side of the family is known for a slight space between our front teeth.
I remember meeting a relative for the first time at a funeral where I was hugged emphatically. When I inquired how they knew who I was, “the teeth, sweetheart…you have the teeth”. Only now does that bring a chuckle to mind and not a self-conscious look in the mirror.
My job, maybe? Paid or unpaid? Full-time? Part-time? Volunteer work? Like most families, I come from a mix of drop-outs and doctorates. I was a first-generation college graduate. I’ve worked since I was 15 years old.
My worldview? That’s a series of anecdotes and arguments I’m not sure we want to dig into just yet. It’s still quite early on in this digital conversation.
I can continue into the philosophical realm, but you get what I’m saying at this point. A question, at times, is so much more than the words you speak. It’s the emotions you evoke and the life stories you are reopening without a thought.
Every person you interact with is a chapter in your life you will either skim over or re-read daily. And every other person is in that same situation.
That’s a powerful place to be without having to put forth any effort.
As you’re reading this. Maybe it’s during a lunch break. You’re catching up on different email subscriptions before getting back to work. Or you might be settling in for the night and hoping to spark your own sets of posts. You might even be reading this in laughter and wondering what would make someone write this down.
Where are you coming from that brought you to this moment? The series of decisions, influences and/or goals that now has you staring at a screen while you consume someone else’s words and thoughts…
Where are you going after this time? You’ve lost it. There’s no way to retrieve it again. No TARDIS or Doctor ready to take you off into a second chance. Just another decision to set you off into another direction of your life. Another opportunity to add to the mark someone else will discover as the cycle continues. Over and over again.
Where am I coming from with this post for tonight? Throwback Thursday (aka #TBT) is such an ironic hashtag and tradition to me. It’s one day we decided as a digital society to look back and highlight a split second of our lives. I don’t take part all that much (besides these last few blog posts), because the past isn’t as enticing as I previously found it. At least, not with a hashtag and random photo I rediscover on the computer/last round of smart phone uploads.
If we’re going to talk about the past, let’s do it in relation to the future and how it’s giving us perspective to grow. Don’t just ask me “where are you from?”
Let’s shift it to “how did your origin give light to your present?”
Because, that’s really what we’re trying to scrap it down to. And saying what you really mean gives your present the power and attention it truly deserves…