People always ask the same question. It doesn’t matter if I walk into a new bar, or a new church service, when people see how different I talk and dress they all want to know where I am from.
I wish I knew where I was from. I wish that I could explain that rain reminds me that I am a jungle boy raises in the rainforests of the tropics. The oceans brings back the soaring salt water waves of my youth, and how I rode waves and sank to rip tides. The sunshine glimmers of my childhood in the cowboy country with a BB gun and a sling shot and too much time on my hands. I end up saying something like “I grew up overseas. We travelled a lot when I was a kid.” It sounds so empty, and rings of falsehood. I didn’t travel, I moved. I didn’t grow up overseas. I grew up in countries that became as much mine as the last one I lived in. This Noth America was overseas for me, as much as any country was. I didn’t grow up in a strange world, I grew up in something perfectly normal for me. Yes, when I was five I went snake hunting with a machette and a crowd of fearless boys and girls. I always thought chicken tasted like mountain lion, not the other way around. And yes, everything tastes like chicken, it’s all about how you cook it. If your chicken tastes like curry, so will your monkey or frog legs. I didn’t grow up a stranger, I didn’t even grow up an insider. I grew up just like every other kid – one day at a time.
The next question always bites a little too. They want to know what I am doing after college. What about the things I am doing while in college? I can’t live like my future career is more important than what I am doing right now. Maybe life starts now, and maybe I will do many different things after college, and maybe I won’t live past college, and maybe I will be stuck paying school bills the rest of my life. But all of those things depend on the now. Some things that I can change and some things that are out of my control. I respond with something like “Every day is a journey. I want to change the world, just like everyone else wants to,” the fact is, just like every human has since the dawning of time, I am stuck living life just one day at time.