When people ask me "where are you from?" I never know what to say. I was born in Brooklyn, New York. But when I was a baby my father's job was relocated to Columbus, Ohio. That is where I grew up, essentially. But then again, my teenage years were spent in Nowhere, Indiana, because when I was 13, we were uprooted once again. Though I never wanted and never liked Indiana, I never loathed my father for moving us there. (Well, ok, maybe I did when it first occurred, I *was* 13.) He was just providing the best he could for his family. Ever since the first day I set foot in Indiana, I hated it. I didn't want to be there, I didn't want to leave my friends. I was already enough of an oddball in Ohio. Growing up in the Midwest with New York-state-of-mind parents gave me enough of a moral dilemma on how to act on a daily basis. From the very start, I was a typical Type-A, hurried, impatient New Yorker. That, mixed with a firey attitude and a roller coaster of an emotional personality, I definitely stood out among the slower, calmer Midwest mindset. I knew from a very early age that the lack of sense of urgency around me really bothered me.
Once I was old enough and able to flee the confines of Smalltown, USA (aka, Indiana) I decided to do all I could to move to Chicago. It's not New York, which I ultimately want someday. But it's a large city, and it's close to my parents and my young brother, which I wasn't too sure I was ready to be farther from than driving distance yet.
Though Chicago is the third largest city in the US, (and a beautiful one, at that) she's still in the Midwest, and most people here aren't originally from the city. That lack of urgency still lingers. I find myself riding public transit and walking through crowds with the mindset of an angry New Yorker, getting annoyed at slow walkers and rolling my eyes every time the el doors open and no one rushes to go inside. (They actually wait for people to get out first before boarding here!)
Multiple solo trips to The City in more recent years make it clear that New York is home. I want Brooklyn, I want The City. For a few reasons, it's a little far from reach at the moment. But I love the feeling knowing that home is waiting for me, no matter how long it takes to get there.