I’ve had six bedrooms in the past two years: six different beds that I have considered my bed, and six different places that I have tried to personalize and recreate the previous living space. Two years ago, if you had asked me where I come from, I would’ve said California without hesitating, giving the ‘halfway between SF and Lake Tahoe’ description I’ve been using to indicate my fairly unknown, nondescript town of origin. Lately, though, with my house in California out of reach and my official change of residence to Monroe, Louisiana, I’ve called myself Louisianan (and therefore an expert on all things made with crawfish, seafood and rice, as people are wont to believe). Living in Chicago has further complicated matters, and the change of beds and living conditions at the start of each year doesn’t make anything more clear; neither do my sojourns to Santiago or Paris.
I still consider California my point of origin, with snippets of Louisiana living added in once every few months, and I still get giddy when I meet people who are familiar with my part of the state (like yesterday’s “Your boyfriend is from Walnut Creek?! I was born there!”), but I wouldn’t describe myself as settled in any particular place anymore.
I bet there are a lot of people here in Paris who feel similarly given the range of languages that I encounter on the Metro each day. I’m not sure how I feel about this–maybe I’m just floating around until I make my next big move. Odds are that it won’t be soon.